Simpson Strong-Tie Honors Retiring Washington State University Professors as Part of Annual Student Symposium

Simpson Strong-Tie Symposium at the Paccar building on the Washington State University Pullman campus, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.

Simpson Strong-Tie, the leader in engineered structural connectors and building solutions, recognized Washington State University retiring professors Dr. Don Bender, P.E., and Dr. J. Daniel Dolan, P.E., for their significant contributions to our industry in the areas of product testing, research, code development and education, along with their leadership of the Simpson Strong-Tie® Excellence Fund — an eight-year commitment of $100,000 annually to support construction and engineering research at WSU.

The Excellence Fund includes support for fellowships for professors and graduate students, sharing research findings, conducting continuing education training and naming rights to the state-of-the-art Simpson Strong-Tie® Research and Testing Laboratory at the WSU Pullman Campus. The Fund is now in its seventh year.

As part of WSU’s annual Building Connections Student Symposium, Simpson Strong-Tie honored Bender and Dolan with award plaques and recognition for their outstanding support.

Dr. Don Bender is Director of the Composite Materials & Engineering Center (CMEC) and Weyerhaeuser Distinguished Professor. He received his B.S. and M.S. from Virginia Tech University and his Ph.D. from Purdue University. Bender’s research interests include the testing, engineering analysis and design of timber structures and engineered wood components, deck and balcony safety, post-frame construction, wood durability and building envelopes. He has taught Design of Timber Structures, Advanced Wood Engineering, and Probability and Statistical Models in Engineering at WSU and published dozens of papers on his research in the ASCE Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction, BioResources, Forest Products Journal and other scholarly publications. Bender’s work has helped develop safer building codes for decks and standards for pole buildings.

Dr. J. Daniel Dolan is a Civil & Environmental Wood Engineering professor and Fulbright Scholar. He graduated with civil engineering degrees from Montana State University and the University of Washington, and received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. Dolan’s research has focused on the dynamics of low-rise and light-frame buildings, along with the testing of structural assemblies (walls, floors, roofs) and the numerical modeling of structural and material responses to static and dynamic loading. He has taught Design of Timber Structures, Advanced Mechanics of Materials, and Advanced Design of Timber Structures at WSU and has been published in the Journal of Structural Engineering, the Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering and the Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology. His work helped develop mass timber construction in the US and he’s been involved in developing building codes internationally.

“Our long-standing, strong partnership with Washington State University would not have been possible without the leadership and collaboration of Dr. Bender and Dr. Dolan. Their numerous contributions to our industry through their research, testing, and development of codes is immeasurable and we are honored to recognize them as they move into the next phase of their lives,” said Simpson Strong-Tie CEO Karen Colonias. “We thank them for all they’ve done to advance the construction industry and wish them well in retirement!”