Term of Award

Summer 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Engineering (M.S.A.E.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Keith Landry

Committee Member 1

Gustavo Maldonado

Committee Member 2

Marcel Maghiar

Committee Member 3

Francisco Cubas

Committee Member 3 Email



Marine structures under great service demand need repair and rehabilitation throughout its lifetime. In this research, the emphasis lies on retrofitting of timber piles in piers using structural steel components. The objective through the project’s development was to create a design tool kit, in order to prove that geometric axisymmetric cross sections are best for rehabilitation. A specific Microsoft (MS) Excel comparative analysis of three hollow steel sections (rectangular, round, and square) extracts effective members in terms of self-weight, slenderness, and braced length. Literature review provided by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) indicates the following conservative values of these control variables: 44 lbs, less than 200, and 12 ft, respectively. Similarly, two rehabilitation designs discussed by USACE pertain to bridging and splicing piles to transfer loads traveling down from decks and pile caps to the ground. An influence line study of a 4-pile bent determined that concentric factored loads on each pile equaled 92.625 kips. However, structural determinate analysis of five case scenarios found higher load transfer when implementing bridging. Axial compression and tension forces vary with truss dimension, however values in these idealized situations range between 50.17-77.19 kip and 15.44-21.41 kip, respectively. The presented MS Excel design tool accurately demonstrates the superiority of round hollow steel sections in elastic buckling for these rehabilitation methods. Results are verified through finite element analysis created in ABAQUS and using Euler’s buckling equation. These found that for rectangular, round, and square cross sections, 12, 18, and 17 were effective, respectively.

Research Data and Supplementary Material