Durham School Distinguished Lecture


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'Innovative Prestressing Technique for Infrastructure Resilience and Durability Using Shape Memory Alloys'

Dr. Bassem Andrawes
Director, Transportation Infrastructure Precast Innovation Center (TRANS-IPIC)
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Friday, March 29, 2024
12:00PM:  Boxed lunches available
12:15PM - 1:15 PM: Presentation
Peter Kiewit Institute Room 160 (Omaha), Kiewit Hall A405W (Lincoln), or Zoom

Please use the form below to RSVP for lunch or the Zoom link by Tuesday, March 26, 2024 at 5 PM.

The last few decades have demonstrated the vulnerability of our civil infrastructure to problems like aging, and natural and man-made hazards, including earthquakes, hurricanes, blasts, etc. Conventional materials such as steel and concrete have proven to be limited in their ability to withstand the extreme demands imposed on them by modern societies. The limitations in currently used construction materials combined with the consistently growing population worldwide present new challenges and demands for researchers in the field of structural engineering. Hence, there is an urgent need for new materials capable of extending the service life of structures with minimal or no need for maintenance or repairs. Shape memory alloys (SMAs) is a class of “Smart Materials” that have recently emerged as a potential construction material with unique thermomechanical properties, namely shape memory effect and superelasticity. This talk will provide the audience with a brief background on this new class of materials and their potential application in civil infrastructure. In this presentation, Prof. Andrawes will highlight two potential prestressing applications for SMAs that have been extensively studied by the Shape Memory and Structures (SMS) research group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The first application involves using SMAs to perform seismic retrofit and emergency repair of bridge columns lacking flexural ductility. In this application, SMAs are used as thermally prestressed transverse reinforcement that can apply considerable active confinement pressure to the columns at their plastic hinge regions to improve their flexural ductility. The second application focuses on developing a new Adaptive Prestressing System (APS) that can be used to apply localized longitudinal prestressing at targeted regions in the structural components where precompression is needed the most. The newly developed APS is investigated as an effective method for improving the durability of railroad concrete crossties.

Dr. Bassem Andrawes is a Professor of Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the Director of the Transportation Infrastructure Precast Innovation Center (TRANS-IPIC). Prof. Andrawes is a licensed professional engineer and an elected Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He received his Ph.D. in Structures from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2005. Prof. Andrawes has over 27 years of experience as an engineer, educator, and researcher in the area of infrastructure resilience and durability. He is known for his pioneering work in the emerging application of shape memory alloys (SMAs) in civil infrastructure. He has more than 140 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, technical reports, and patents. Throughout his career, Prof. Andrawes received numerous awards including the prestigious NSF CAREER award. He served on and led several ASCE and ACI technical committees including serving as the founding chair of the ASCE Committee on the “Retrofit of Structures under Dynamic Loads”. He teaches classes at the University of Illinois on the design and behavior of reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete structures and the design of highway bridges.