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Dr. Michael G Katona  -  Biography

Michael G. Katona

Gig Harbor, WA 98335

e-mail: mgkatona@comcast.net                                          


Dr. Katona is a private consultant who recently retired as Professor and Chair from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Washington State University. Dr. Katona specializes in numerical analysis techniques applied to soil-structure interaction problems including long-span soil bridges, culverts, tunnels, pipelines and other buried structures. Areas of expertise include constitutive models, finite element methods, and dynamics.

As chairman at WSU, he directed 26 faculty in teaching and research in all areas of civil and environmental engineering. Prior to accepting the Chairman position, Dr. Katona was Chief Scientist at the Air Force Environmental and Civil Engineering Research Laboratory at Tyndall AFB in Panama City, Florida. As the top civilian in the laboratory, he provided technical oversight for a $30M research program and directed seventy researchers. Earlier in his career Dr. Katona held a tenured faculty position in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Notre Dame teaching structural mechanics and conducting sponsored research. In addition to his academic and government laboratory experience, he led an industrial research team at TRW to develop advanced concepts for ballistic missile basing modes. He is best known for his work in buried structures including the internationally acclaimed finite element program “CANDE” used for the analysis and design of buried culverts. He has authored over fifty refereed journal publications and significant technical reports. He continues to be the principal developer for the AASHTO/TRB CANDE program with the latest release called CANDE-2022 available at the website CandeForCulverts.com.



1967    BS in civil engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

1967    BA in mathematics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

1968    MS in structural engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

1976    PHD in structural mechanics, University of California, Berkeley.



  1. 1968 - 1977: Structural Researcher, Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory, Port Hueneme, California.  His work focused on structural modeling theory with applications to: human-head impact response to automobile accidents, viscoelastic response of sea-ice sheets to aircraft loading, layered contact systems for aircraft, and soil-structure interaction of buried conduits (CANDE program).

  2. 1977 - 1986: Professor in Civil Engineering Department, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, tenured 1980.  He taught graduate courses in structural and computational mechanics and served as group leader of the structural/geotechnical/materials faculty.  He was Principal Investigator of seven research programs supported by military and domestic government agencies.                                         
  3. 1986 - 1989: Senior Section Head of Protective Structures Group in Ballistic Missile Division of TRW, Norton Air Force Base, California.  He directed advanced-degree engineers in performing finite element analyses and hardness assessments of protective structure systems associated with ballistic missiles. He also served as principal investigator for independent research and development to enhance and improve TRW’s finite element capabilities.                                                   
  4. 1989 - 1997: Chief Scientist of the Air Force Civil and Environmental Engineering Laboratoryat Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.  He provided technical oversight and direction for civil engineering and environmental quality research in the areas of site remediation, pollution prevention, compliance, air base energy and robotics, fire and crash rescue, airfield pavements, and hardened structures.                                                                                                                                                                 
  5. 1997-2005: Professor and Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington. He directed 26 faculty in teaching and research in the areas of environmental engineering, geotechnical, hydraulics, structures, and transportation. Approximately 300 undergraduate and 80 graduate students were under his purview. In 2005 Dr. Katona retired from WSU and entered private consulting.                                                                              
  6. 2005-Present: Private consultant specializing in soil-structure interaction and numerical analysis. Current consulting practice includes clients from the culvert industry for thermoplastic pipe, corrugated metal long-span soil bridges and reinforced concrete arches. He maintains and provides consultation services for the TRB/AASHTO sponsored CANDE computer programs including the latest version CANDE-2022 at CandeForCulverts.com.



  • Honor societies: Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Chi Epsilon, 1967
  • First in class of civil engineering, Outstanding Achievement Award at U of Michigan, 1967   
  • Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory Fellowship Award for advance study, 1970                    
  • NSF’s Presidential Young Investigator Award (signed by President Regan, 1st award), 1984                 
  • TRW’s Superior Honor Role Award for Independent Research and Development, 1988           
  • Air Force Civilian Superior Performance Awards, 1990-1997
  • Elected Fellow of America Society of Civil Engineers, 1996
  • Outstanding Civilian Career Award, Air Force, 1998
  • Emeritus honor member in Transportation Research Board, 2001


  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1996 - present
  • Group Chair, Transportation Research Board, Design and Construction, Group II, 1994-1997
  • Section Chair, Transportation Research Board, Soil Mechanics, Section K, 1988-1994
  • Committee Chair, Transportation Research Board, Soil-Structure Interaction, A2K04, 1982-1988
  • U.S. Representative, NATO Committee on Protective Construction Measures, 1990-1993
  • Air Force Representative, Joint Engineers Management Panel, Army/Navy/Air Force, 1992-1997
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Int. J. Num. and Analyt. Methods in Geomechanics, 1985-2002
  • Scientific Advisory Board, EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Research Center, GLMAC, 1994-2000
  • Vice Pres., Civil Engineering Foundation’s Academic Research Council, 1998 2001                   
  • Member, Construction Industry Institute’s Research Council, 1992-1998                                                 
  • Member, NCHRP panelist and chair on thirteen buried pipe projects, 1994-present                                 
  • Member, American Society for Engineering Education, 1997-present
  • ABET Program Evaluator in Civil Engineering, Accreditation Board Engineering, 2000-present


Refereed Journal Publications
  1. M. R. Snoey and M. G. Katona, “Stress Analysis of Spherical Acrylic Pressure Hull,” ASME, Journal of Engineering for M. Industry, Vol. 93, August 1971.  Pp.  877-885
  2. T. S. Shugar and M. G. Katona, “Development of a Finite Element Head Injury Model,” ASCE, Journal of Engineering Mechanics Divisions, Vol. 101, EM3, June 1975, pp.  223-239.
  3. M. G. Katona, “On the Analysis of Long-span Culverts by the Finite Element Method,” Transportation Research Record, No. 678, 1978, pp. 59-66.
  4. M. G. Katona, “CANDE:  A Versatile Soil-Structure Design and Analysis Computer Program,” Journal of Advances in Engineering Software, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1978, pp. 3-9.
  5. M. G. Katona, “Combo Viscoplasticity:  An Introduction with Incremental Formulation,” Journal of Computers and Structures, Vol. 11, No. 3, 1980, pp. 217-224.
  6. M. G. Katona, “Effects of Frictional Slippage of Soil-Structure Interfaces of Buried Culverts,” Transportation Research Record, No. 878, 1982, pp. 8-10.
  7. M. G. Katona and P. D. Vittes, “Soil-Structure Evaluation of Buried Box Culvert Designs, Transportation Research Record, No. 878, 1982, pp. 1-7.
  8. M. G. Katona, “A Simple Interface Element for Contact-Friction Problems,” International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, Vol. 7, No. 3, September 1983, pp. 372-384.
  9. M. G. Katona, “Evaluation of Viscoplastic Cap Model,” Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 110, No. 8, August 1984, pp. 1106-1125.
  10. M. G. Katona and A. Y. Akl, “Analysis and Behavior of Buried Culverts with Slotted Joints,” Transportation Research Record, No. 1008, 1985, pp. 22-32.
  11. M. G. Katona and O. C. Zienkiewicz, “A Unified Set of Single Step Algorithms: The Beta-m Methods, a Generalization of the Newmark Scheme,” International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Vol. 21, 1985, pp. 1345-1359.
  12. M. G. Katona and A. Y. Akl, “Structural Design of Buried Culverts with Slotted Joints,” ASCE, Journal of Structural Engineering, January 1987.
  13. M. G. Katona, K. Marr, and M. R. Walkiewicz, “Computer-Aided Instruction for Steel Design,” Civil Engineering Education, fall issue 1986, pp. 22-37.
  14. M. G. Katona, “Allowable Fill Heights for Corrugated Polyethylene Pipe,” Transportation Research Record, No. 1191, 1988, pp. 30-38.
  15. M. G. Katona, “Minimum Cover Heights for Corrugated Plastic Pipe Under Vehicle Loading,” Transportation Research Record, No. 1288, 1990, pp. 127-135.
  16. N. J. Carpenter, R. L. Taylor and M. G. Katona, “Lagrange Constraints for Transient Finite Element Surface Contact,” International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Vol. 32, pp. 103-138, 1991.
  17. M.G. Katona and T. J. McGrath, “A Guideline for Interpreting ASSHTO LRFD Specifications to Design or Evaluate Buried Structures with Comprehensive Solution Methods,” Transportation Research Record, No. 2028, 2007, pp. 211-217.
  18. M.G. Katona, “Seismic Design and Analysis of Buried Structures with CANDE 2007Journal of Transportation Research Record, No. 2172, 2010, pp. 171-181. 
  19. M. G. Katona, “Fluid Jackets: New Concept to Enhance Structural Performance of Buried Concrete Pipes,” Transportation Research Record, No. 2313, 2012, pp. 157-167.
  20. M. G. Katona, “Modifying Duncan/Selig Soil Model for Plastic-like Behavior”, Transportation Research Record, No. 2511, 2015, pp. 53-62.
  21. M. G. Katona, “Influence of Soil Models on Structural Performance of Buried Culverts”, International Journal of Geomechanics, Vol. 17, Issue 1, January 2017.
  22. M. G. Katona, “Continuous Load Scaling: A New Method to Simulate Longitudinal Live-load Spreading for 2D Finite Element Analysis of Buried Culverts”, Transportation Research Record: No. 2642, Issue 1, 2017, pp. 77-90.
  23. M. G. Katona, “Improved Methods for Simulating Live Loads for 2D Structural Analysis of Buried Culverts”, Transportation Research Record, Vol. 2673(12), 2019, pp. 449-462.
  24. M. G. Katona, “Assessment of AASHTO Load-Spreading Method for Buried Culverts and Proposed Improvement”, Transportation Research Record, Vol. 2675(11), 2021, pp. 877-887.
  25. M. G. Katona, “Extension of AASHTO Load-Spreading Method to Include the Full Benefits of Pavements for Reliable Load Rating of Buried Culverts”, Transportation Research Record, Vol. 2676(12), 2022, pp. 508-521.


Conference Proceedings and Invited Publications


  1. M. G. Katona and K. D. Vaudrey, "Finite Element Analysis of Floating Ice Sheets," ASCE, National Structural Engineering Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, Paper No. 2235, April 1974.
  2. K. D. Vaudrey and M. G. Katona, “Viscoelastic Finite Element Analysis of Sea Ice Sheets,” Proc. Third International Symposium on Ice Problems, Hanover, New Hampshire, November 1975, pp. 525-525.
  3. M. G. Katona, “A Modern Approach for Structural Design of Pipe Culverts,” Second International Conference on Computers in Engineering and Building Design CAD76.  IPC Science and Technology Press, Guildford, Surrey, England, 1976, pp. 128-140.
  4. M. G. Katona, “Discussion and Application of CANDE Computer Program to Design of Reinforced Concrete Culverts,” ASTM Symposium Volume STP-630, Concrete Pipe and the Soil-Structure System, August 1977, pp. 17-40.
  5. C. C. Chen, T. Ariman and M. G. Katona, “A Finite Element Analysis of Buried Pipelines Under Seismic Excitations,” Lifeline Earthquake Engineering – Buried Pipelines, Seismic Risk, and Instrumentation, ASME, New York, 1979, pp. 142-188.
  6. M. G. Katona, “Soil-Structure Analysis and Evaluation of Buried Box Culvert Designs,” Proceedings of the First International Conference on Computing in Civil Engineering, ASCE, New York, 1981, pp. 911-930.
  7. M. G. Katona, “A Simple Contact-Friction Interface Element with Application to Buried Structures,” Symposium on Implementation of Computer Procedures and Stress – Strain Laws in Geotechnical Engineering, Editors C. S. Desai and S. K. Saxena in cooperation with ASCE, Chicago, Vol. I, August 1981, pp. 45-64.
  8. M. G. Katona and M. A. Mulert, “A Viscoplastic Cap Model for Soils and Rocks,” an invited paper presented at the International Conference on Constitutive Laws for Engineering Materials, Tucson, Arizona, January 1983.  Published by Wiley, Mechanics of Engineering Materials, Desai/Gallagher editors, 1984, pp. 335-350.
  9. M. G. Katona, “A General Family of Single-Step Methods for Numerical Time Integration of Structural Dynamic Equations,” presented at NUMETA-85 Swansea, UK, 1985.  Published by Balkema, Numerical Methods in Engineering:  Theory and Applications, Middleton/Pande editors, Vol. 1, January 1985, pp. 213-226.
  10. M. G. Katona, “Air Force Civil Engineering Research, Now and Beyond,” Nuclear Survivability (DNA), Special Edition, pp. 18-20, April 1992.
  11. M. G. Katona, “On the Analysis of Buried Conduits, Past, Present, and Future,” Keynote address at the Second International Conference on Structural Performance of Pipes, University of Ohio, Athens, Sargand/Mitchell editors, March 1993, pp. 1-7.
  12. M. G. Katona, “On the History of Soil-Structure Interaction,” Keynote address at the Third International Conference on Structural Performance of Pipes, 1998, University of Ohio, Athens, (Conference Proceedings, March 1998)
  13. M. G. Katona, "Soil-Structure Interaction of Buried Conduits,” Invited paper for Industry Symposium on High Density Polyethylene Pipe, March 1999, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  14. M. G. Katona, “Soil-Structure Interaction of Buried Culverts – Why it’s fun”, Honored Speaker for TRB Session, “A Dialogue with Leaders”, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, Jan 2005.
  15. D. M. Brodowski and M. G. Katona, “Application and Modeling of Steel Fiber-Reinforced Concrete for Buried Structures”, American Concrete Institute, Special Publication SP-268-1, pp. 1-16, 2010.
  16. M. G. Katona, “History of Analytical Methods for Soil-structure Interaction of Buried Culverts”, Invited speaker for Transportation Research Board Spotlight session on Fifty Years of Culvert-soil Interaction, TRB Annual Meeting, January 14, 2014.


Government Reports
  1. "Structural Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Beams Made with Fast-Fix 1 Cement," (M.G. Katona and S. B. Nossier).  Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory (NCEL), TR-164, Port Hueneme, California, February 1969.
  2. "An Experimental Evaluation of New Approach to Concrete Overlay Design for Flexible Pavements," (M.G. Katona and J. P. Nielsen).  NCEL, TN-1038, Port Hueneme, California, July 1969.
  3. "Structural Design of Conical Acrylic View ports," (M.G. Katona and M. R. Snoey). NCEL, TR-686, Port Hueneme, California, June 1970.
  4. "Structural Analysis of a Full-Scale Spherical Acrylic Plastic Pressure Hull," (M.G. Katona and M. R. Snoey). NCEL, TN-716, Port Hueneme, California, March 1971.
  5. "Wave Propagation in Anisotropic Rock," (M. G. Katona and W. Goldsmith, et al.), University of California, Report to Advanced Research Projects Agency, DOD, Berkeley, California, February 1972.
  6. "Layered Pavement Systems," (M. G. Katona and J. B. Forrest).  NCEL, TR-686, Port Hueneme, California, April 1972
  7. "Ice - Engineering:  Review of Elastic Properties Research and Introduction to Viscoplastic and Nonlinear Analysis of Saline Ice," (M. G. Katona and K. R. Vaudrey).   NCEL, TR-790, Port Hueneme, California, 1973.
  8. "Viscoelastic Finite Element Formulation," (M. G. Katona), NCEL, TR-803, Port Hueneme, California, January 1974.
  9. "State-of-the-Art for Prediction of Pavement Response," (M. G. Katona and J. E. Crawford).  NCEL, Report to U.S. Army Waterways Experiment Station, Report No. FAA-RD-183, Port Hueneme, California, September 1975.
  10. "CANDE:  A Modern Approach for the Structural Design and Analysis of Buried Culverts," (M. G. Katona et. al) Federal Highway Administration Report No. FHWA-RD-77-5, October 1976, (475 pages).
  11. "CANDE User and System Manuals,” (M. G. Katona and J. M. Smith), Federal Highway Administration Report No. FHWA-RD-77-6, October 1976, (372 pages).
  12. "A Viscoelastic-plastic Constitutive Model with a Finite Element Solution Methodology,” (M. G. Katona), NCEL, TR-866, Port Hueneme, California, June 1978.
  13. "An Efficiency Study for Explicit and Implicit Time Integration Schemes in Structural Dynamics,” (M. G. Katona), NCEL TR-856, Port Hueneme, California, July 1977.
  14. "Solid-Fluid Interaction with Finite Element Method," (M. G. Katona and H. J. Migliore). NCEL, TM-44-77-6, Port Hueneme, California, May 1977.
  15. "Combined Explicit-Implicit Time Integration, A Numerical Evaluation," (M. G. Katona at University of Notre Dame), NCEL Report N62583-77MR776, January 1979.
  16. "User Manual for Programs VISICE and VISFIT," (M. G. Katona at University of Notre Dame), NCEL Report CR79.016, June 1979.
  17. "Structural Evaluation of New Concepts for Long-Span Culverts," (M. G. Katona), Federal Highway Admin, No. FHWA-RD-79-115, December 1979 (286 pages).
  18. "CANDE-1980:  Box Culverts and Soil Models," (M. G. Katona, et. al.), Federal Highway Administration, No. FHWA-RD-172, May 1981 (210 pages).
  19. "A Viscoplastic Algorithm for CAP 75," (M. G. Katona at University of Notre Dame), NCEL Report, Contract No. N68305-80-C-0031, September 1981 (65 pages).
  20. "Tension Cutoff and Parameter Identification for the Viscoplastic Cap Model," (M. G. Katona), report to NCEL, Contract No. N62482-C-8270, November 1981 (78 pages).
  21. "Design and Analysis of Metal Culverts with Slotted Bolt Holes," (M. G. Katona and A. Y. Akl), final report submitted to Federal Highway Administration (Contract No. DTH61-82-C-00071), August 1984 (291 pages).
  22. "Enhancement of ADINA for Facility Hardness Assessment - Explicit Beta-M and Hourglass Control," (M. G. Katona) TRW IR&D Report, March 1988 (24 pages).
  23. "Enhancement of ADINA for Facility Hardness Assessment - R/C Beam and Parameter Identification," (M. G. Katona), TRW IR&D Report, March 1989 (31 pages).
  24. "CANDE 1989:  Culvert Design and Analysis Program--Improved and Modified for PC," (S. Musser, M. G. Katona and E. Selig), Report to Federal Highway Administration, FHWA-RD-89-169, June 1989.
  25. "Air Force In-house Laboratory Innovative Research (ILIR-Program)," (M. G. Katona et. al.) Annual reports to Air Force Materiel Command and DOD, 1989-1997.



  • Life’s partner: Irene Sandholm, retired teacher.
  • Two daughters:  Joy Lankford-McNamee with children Christian and Holly, and Teresa Wickstrom with son Jacob.
  • Hobbies: Racquetball, fly fishing, science fiction.