Richard J. Balling

Structures, Optimization, and Sustainable Cities
Contact Info - Office: 
368G Clyde Building
(801) 422-2648

Richard J. Balling



University of California, Berkeley PhD, Engineering, 1982.
University of California, Berkeley MS, Engineering 1979.
University of Utah BS, Civil Engineering, 1978.
University of Utah BS, Mathematics, 1978.

Work Experience

  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, BYU, (1992-present)
  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, BYU, (1987-1992)
  • Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, BYU, (1982-1987)

Professional Development

  • Board of Directors, Design Synthesis Inc, Provo, UT, 1988-2004
  • Visiting Scientist, ICASE, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, 1993-1994
  • Staff Engineer, Hercules Aerospace Inc, Magna, UT, 1982
  • Junior Engineer, URS John A. Blume Engineering, San Francisco, CA, 1979

States in Which Professionally Licensed

  • Currently in Utah, Professional Structural Engineer (S.E.)
  • Formerly in California, Professional Engineer (P.E.)

Honors and Awards

  • King Husein Professor of Civil Engineering 2011-2013
  • Keith Duffin Teaching and Learning Fellowship 2010-2012
  • Keynote Address, International Conference held in Sharjah, UAE 2009
  • National ASCE State-of-the-Art Award 2004
  • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Scholarship Productivity Award 1999
  • National ASCE State-of-the-Art Award 1998
  • AIAA Survey Paper Citation 1996

Professional Service

  • Associate Editor for ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering (1990-91)
  • Chair, ASCE Committee on Methods of Structural Analysis (1991-1994)
  • Member, AIAA Committee on Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (1997-1999)
  • Member, ASCE Committee on Optimum Structural Design (1991-2000)
  • Current member, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)
  • Current member, Int'l Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (ISSMO)
  • Former member ASCE, ASME, AIAA, ASEE, SIAM

University Service

  • Member, University Academic Unit Review Committee (2007-present)
  • Member and Chair, University Rank and Tenure Committee (2000-2004)
  • Executive Member, University Faculty Advisory Council (1999-2002)
  • Director, China Megastructures/Megacities Study Abroad Program (2007-present)
  • Coordinator for ABET Accreditation Review (2008)

Consulting and Industry

  • Co-Author of OPTDES.BYU and OPTDESX software packages (200 users worldwide)
  • Instructor at 9 optimization short courses to 200 engineers from industry (1983-1987)
  • Expert witness of a building failure (2003-2004)

Research and Publication Summary

  • 110+ published peer-reviewed manuscripts
  • 1500+ citations of published work
  • h-index = 20 (primary author on 20 publications each of which is cited 20 or more times)
  • P.I. on 6 NSF awards totaling $1.34 million (continuous funding 1983-2003)
  • P.I. on 11 non-NSF external research grants totaling $0.59 million
  • Author of 9 Course Textbooks

Course Textbooks

Balling, R.J. (2010).  Structural Analysis: Statics, Brigham Young University Bookstore, Provo, Utah,
Balling, R.J. (2007).  Structural Analysis: Virtual Work and Flexibility, Brigham Young University
               Bookstore, Provo, Utah, ISBN9780740931055
Balling, R.J. (2008).  Structural Analysis: Stiffness and Moment Distribution, Brigham Young University
              Bookstore, Provo, Utah, ISBN9780740931116
Balling, R.J. (2012).  Computer Structural Analysis, Brigham Young University Bookstore, Provo, Utah,
Balling, R.J. (2012).  Computer Structural Optimization, Brigham Young University Bookstore, Provo,
Balling, R.J. (2011).  Continuum Mechanics and Elasticity, Brigham Young University Bookstore, Provo,
              Utah, ISBN9780740930676
Balling, R.J. (2010).  Finite Elements, Brigham Young University Bookstore, Provo, Utah,
Balling, R.J. (2009).  Plates and Shells, Brigham Young University Bookstore, Provo, Utah,
Balling, R.J. (2009).  Nonlinear Solid Dynamics, Brigham Young University Bookstore, Provo, Utah,

Publications in the Last Five Years (* indicates student co-author)

Balling,R.J. and R.P.Bessey* (2014). "Flexible Lightweight Cable-Spring Support System for ETFE Cushions Spanning Between Buildings." ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, in press

Balling,R.J. and J.W. Lyon* (2011). "Second Order Analysis of Plane Frames with One Element per Member." ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 137(11), 1350-1358

Balling, R.J. (2011). " Tall Buildings + Skybridges + Envelope + Green = Greenplex: A Sustainable Urban Paradigm for the 21st Century." Proceedings of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 2011 World Conference, Seoul, South Korea

Balling,R., R.Wilkins*, and B.Theodore* (2010). "Engineering Hyperstructures for Cities of the Future." Proceedings of the ASCE Structures Congress, Orlando, FL

Balling,R.J. (2010). "China Megastructures: A Different Capstone Experience." Proceedings of the ASCE 19th Analysis and Computation Structures Congress, Orlando, FL

Lowry,M.B.* and R.J.Balling (2009). "An Approach to Land-Use and Transportation Planning that Facilitates City and Region Cooperation." Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 36(3), 487-504

Balling,R.J., L.J. Balling*, and P.W.Richards (2009).  “Design of Buckling-Restrained Braced Frames Using Nonlinear Time History Analysis and Optimization." ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 135(5), 461-468

Balling,R.J. (2009). "China Megastructures: Learning by Experience." Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Austin, TX

Balling,R.J. (2009). "Design by Shopping Using Multi-Solution Genetic Algorithms." Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Modeling, Simulation, and Applied Optimization, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (Keynote Address)

Most Cited Publications (* indicates student co-author)

Balling, R.J. and J. Sobieszczanski-Sobieski (1996). "Optimization of Coupled Systems: A Critical Overview of Approaches." AIAA Journal, 34(1), 6-17  (Cited by 306, Special Citation from AIAA)

Balling,R.J. (1991). "Optimal Steel Frame Design by Simulated Annealing." ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 117(6), 1780-1795 (Cited by 100)

Balling,R.J. and C.A.Wilkinson* (1997). "Execution of Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Approaches on Common Test Problems." AIAA Journal, 35(1), 178-186, (Cited by 99)

Balling,R. (1999). "Design by Shopping: A New Paradigm?"  Proceedings of the 3rd World Congress of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, Buffalo, NY (Cited by 78)

Balling, R.J., J.C.Free, and A.R.Parkinson (1986). "Consideration of Worst-Case Manufacturing Tolerances in Design Optimization." ASME Journal of Mechanisms, Transmissions, and Automation in Design, 108(4), 438-441 (Cited by 78)

Balling,R.J.,  J.T.Taber, M.R.Brown*, and K. Day* (1999). "Multiobjective Urban Planning Using a Genetic Algorithm." ASCE Journal of Urban Planning and Development, 125(2), 86-99 (Cited by 77)

Balling,R.J. and J. Sobieszczanski-Sobieski (1995). "An Algorithm for Solving the System-Level Problem in Multilevel Optimization." Structural Optimization, 9(3-4), 168-177 (Cited by 72)

Balling,R.J. and X.Yao* (1997). "Optimization of Reinforced Concrete Frames." ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 123(2), 193-202 (Cited by 59)

Balling,R. (2003). "The Maximin Fitness Function:  Multi-Objective City and Regional Planning." Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Evolutionary Multi-Criterion Optimization, 2632, 1-15 (Cited by 50)

Balling,R.J., K.S.Pister, and V.Ciampi (1983). "Optimal Seismic-Resistant Design of a Planar Steel Frame." Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, 11(4), 541-556 (Cited by 40)

May,S.A.* and R.J.Balling (1992). "A Filtered Simulated Annealing Strategy for Discrete Optimization of 3D Steel Frameworks." Structural Optimization, 4(3-4), 142-148, (Cited by 36)

Balling,R. and M.R.Rawlings* (2000). "Collaborative Optimization with Disciplinary Conceptual Design." Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 20(3), 232-241 (Cited by 35)

Balling,R.J. (2000). "Pareto Sets in Decision-Based Design." Journal of Engineering Valuation and Cost Analysis, 3, 189-198, 2000 (Cited by 34)

Hager,K.* and R.Balling (1988). "A New Approach for Discrete Structural Optimization." ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 114(5), 1120-1134 (Cited by 34)

Balling,R.J., R.R.Briggs*, and K.Gillman* (2006). “Multiple Optimum Size/Shape/Topology Designs for Skeletal Structures Using a Genetic Algorithm.” ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 132(7), 1158-1165, (Cited by 33)

Udy,J.L.*, R.J.Balling, M.D.Landon*, and S.E.Benzley (1988). "Computation of Interferences Between Three-Dimensional Objects and the Optimal Packing Problem." Advances in Engineering Software, 10(1), 8-14, (Cited by 30)

Balling,R.J., K.S.Pister, and E.Polak (1983). "DELIGHT.STRUCT: An Optimization-Based Computer-Aided Design Environment for Structural Engineering." Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 38(2), 237-251 (Cited by 27)

Landon,M.D.* and R.J.Balling (1994). "Optimal Packaging of Complex Parametric Solids According to Mass Property Criteria." ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 116(2), 375-381 (Cited by 25)

Balling,R.J. and D.L.Gale* (1998). "Collaborative Optimization of Systems Involving Discrete Design at the Discipline Level." ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 120(1), 32-39, March (Cited by 21)

Pirasteh,A.*, J.L.Cherry*, and R.J.Balling (1988). "The Use of Optimization to Construct Critical Accelerograms for Given Structures and Sites." Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, 16(4), 597-613 (Cited by 20)