Henry V. Burton, Ph.D., S.E.

Assistant Professor
Structural Engineering
Englekirk Presidential Endowed Chair in Structural Engineering

5732 Boelter Hall
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1593

Phone: (310) 825-2843
Fax: (310) 206-2222


Ph.D., (2014), Stanford University
M.S., (2004), Stanford University
B.S., (2002), Morgan State University

Statement of Research Interest

My research is broadly focused on improving the resilience of urban regions to natural disasters. Specific areas of interest include (1) developing enhanced earthquake resistant building systems, (2) performance-based life-cycle design and assessment, (3) modeling the relationship between the performance of infrastructure systems within the built environment, and the ability of communities to minimize the extent of socioeconomic disruption following extreme events such as major earthquakes. This work relies heavily upon large-scale experimental testing, high-performance computing for structural simulations and advanced probabilistic methods. Current major research projects include (1) developing a post-disaster recovery model for residential communities (NSF Award Number 1538747), (2) utilizing remote sensing to assess the implication of tall building performance on the resilience of urban centers (NSF Award Number 1538866) and (3) developing a rocking wall-frame system as a cost-effective strategy for new design and seismic retrofit of concrete buildings.

I joined UCLA’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering after completing my PhD in Civil/Structural Engineering at Stanford University. I have significant industry experience and am a registered structural engineer (S.E.) in the state of California.  I spent six years in practice at Degenkolb Engineers where I worked on a number of projects involving seismic design, evaluation and retrofit of existing buildings.


Selected Awards and Honors

  • 2014 National Science Foundation, Next Generation of Hazards and Disaster Researchers Fellowship
  • 2014 Best Paper Award, International Conference on Building Resilience, Manchester, England
  • 2012 Diversifying Academia Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Fellowship, Stanford University
  • 2011 Young Researcher Travel Award, International Conference on Earthquake Engineering, NSF
  • 2000 Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Environmental Protection Agency


C&EE 135L : Structural Design and Testing Laboratory This course introduces undergraduate students to the concepts, procedures, and key issues involved in the design and laboratory testing of structures. The prerequisites for this course are Introduction to Computer Programming with MATLAB (M20) and Elementary Structural Analysis (C&EE 135A). Topics covered include: Computer-aided optimum design, construction, instrumentation, and testing of small-scale model structure. Use of computer-based data acquisition and interpretation systems for comparison of experimental and theoretically predicted behavior.
C&EE 235A : Advanced Structural Analysis This course introduces graduate students to the theoretical development and computer implementation of various structural analysis concepts. The prerequisite for this course is Elementary Structural Analysis (C&EE 135A). Topics covered include: the direct stiffness method, virtual work principles, computation and assembly of element stiffness matrices and load vectors, equation solution techniques and thermal loading, non-uniform torsion, substructuring, static condensation, and kinematic condensation. Practical modeling techniques. Intro to continuum finite element methods and nonlinear analysis.
C&EE 244 : Structural Loads and Safety of Civil Structures/Structural Reliability Graduate students are introduced to concepts and applications of structural reliability. Students enrolling in this course are expected to have a very basic knowledge of probability concepts such as random variables and their descriptions. Topics covered include: computing first- and second-order estimates of failure probabilities of engineered systems, computing sensitivities of failure probabilities to assumed parameter values, measuring the relative importance of the random variables associated with a system, updating reliability estimates based on new observational data, identifying the relative advantages and disadvantages of various analytical reliability methods, using reliability tools to calibrate simplified building codes, and performing reliability calculations related to performance-based engineering

Current schedule of classes may be viewed online.