Masonry Dissertations


The research in this dissertation is divided between three different approaches for predicting the shear strength of reinforcement masonry shear walls. Each approach provides increasing accuracy and precision in predicting the shear strength of masonry walls. The three approaches were developed or validated using data from 353 wall tests that have been conducted over the past half century. The data were collected, scrutinized, and synthesized using principles of meta-analysis. Predictions made with current Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC) shear strength equation are unconservative and show a higher degree of variation for partially-grouted walls. The first approach modifies the existing MSJC equation to account for the differences in nominal strength and uncertainty between fully- and partially-grouted walls. The second approach develops a new shear strength equation developed to perform equally well for both fully- and partially-grouted walls to replace and improve upon the current MSJC equation. The third approach develops a methodology for creating strut-and-tie models to analyze or design masonry shear walls. It was discovered that strut-and-tie modeling theory provides the best description of masonry shear wall strength and performance. The masonry strength itself provides the greatest contribution to the overall shear capacity of the wall and can be represented as diagonal compression struts traveling from the top of the wall to the compression toe. The shear strength of masonry wall is inversely related to the shear span ratio of the wall. Axial load contributes to shear strength, but to a lesser degree than what has been previously believed. The prevailing theory about the contribution of horizontal shear reinforcement was shown to not be correct and the contribution is much smaller than was originally assumed by researchers. Horizontal shear reinforcement principally acts by resisting diagonal tensile forces in the masonry and by helping to redistribute stresses in a cracked masonry panel. Vertical reinforcement was shown to have an effect on shear strength by precluding overturning of the masonry panel and by providing vertical anchorages to the diagonal struts.

College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering


BYU ScholarsArchive Citation

Dillon, Patrick, "Shear Strength Prediction Methods for Grouted Masonry Shear Walls" (2015). All Theses and Dissertations. 4395.

Date Submitted


Document Type




masonry, full grouting, partial grouting, shear, strength prediction, linear regression

The Masonry Society’s (TMS) Student Thesis Awards are presented annually by TMS’s Research Committee to the best doctoral dissertation and master’s thesis on masonry topics.

Masters theses or reports will be considered that were submitted for degree requirements between May 16, 2016 and June 30, 2017.  Masters reports must be publicly available (referenceable) to be eligible.

Ph.D. dissertations that are submitted for degree requirements between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2017 are eligible for this award. Ph.D. dissertations previously sent to TMS for award selection and that meet the current Ph.D. completion date requirements, are still eligible and will be automatically considered without the need for resubmittal.

Theses must be submitted to the TMS office ( ) no later than June 30, 2017. Electronic submission of theses in pdf format is strongly encouraged.

Recipient Summary

2016: Susana Maria Trinidade Moreira and Tamás Forgács

2015: Saman Babaeidarabad and Bennett Banting

2014: Charlotte Louise Knox and Madeleine P. Joyal

2013: Najif Ismail and Rashid Popal

2012: Ioannis Koutromanos and Sarah E. Ebright

2011: Dziugas Reneckis, Alistair Peter Russell, and Kawsar Ahmed

2010: Seongwoo Jo, Andreas Stavridis, and Benchmark Harris

2009: Vladimir  Guilherme Haach and Courtney Lynn Davis

2008: Jennifer B. Popehn and Jon Mjelde

2007: Kok Choon Voon and Marwan Mohamed Tarek Shedid

2006: Omer Onur Erbay, Gavin D. Wight, and Saman Afqahi Aryana

2005: Gregory L. Cohen and Matthew K. Snook

2004: Franklin L. Moon, Jennifer E. Tanner, and Ian K. Eikanas

2003: Eleni-Eva Toumbakari and Bruce Chen

2002: Junyi Yi and Owen Arthur Rosenboom

2001: Augustin Dukuze and Eric John Seaverson

2000: Francisco Javier Crisafulli and Ben Roberts

1999: Chin K. Shea and Jason J. Thompson

1998: Andrew C. Costley and Christian C. R. Badger

1997: Armin Mehrabi and Jose Madero

1996: Khaled S. Ibrahim and Daniel E. Domalik

1995: Magdy M.S. Khattab and John D. Brunner

1994: Sean Liaw

1993: Gilberto Leiva and Scott Turner

1992: Pin Guo

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