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General research interests

My general research interests include:

  • Precast and/or prestressed concrete elements and structures
  • Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRP) in new construction
  • Slender masonry or concrete walls
  • Steel-concrete connections
  • Rehabilitation techniques for structures

Current Research Projects (MSc and PhD)

Thermal Bowing in Precast Concrete Insulated Wall Panels

Precast concrete insulated wall panels are structurally and thermally efficient members that have been used in construction for decades. These panels consist of two layers of concrete that surround and interior layer of rigid foam insulation. The concrete layers are connected using systems known as shear connectors that transfer forces between the layers. The strength and stiffness of panels are significantly affected by the strength and stiffness of the shear connection systems.

Stiff shear connectors allow for very structurally efficient panels. However, they also lead to excessive thermal bowing, which is a phenomenon that is currently only qualitatively understood.

This project experimentally evaluates thermal bowing in insulated walls that are representative of those currently available on the market. The influence of shear connection stiffness on thermal bowing is being investigated as part of this work.

Sergio Arevalo (MSc candidate) is the student currently working on this project.

Current Students and Research Projects

Repair of GFRP Reinforced Bridge Elements

Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) bars have been used in place of steel rebar in corrosion sensitive applications since the late 20th century. GFRP bars are considerably stronger than steel and are not susceptible to chloride induced corrosion, which makes them attractive for applications such as bridge decks and barriers.

Though not susceptible to corrosion, damage caused to a deck or barrier (e.g. significant vehicle collision) can be a concern since many of the repair techniques used for steel-reinforced structures cannot be used for GFRP reinforced systems.

This project will evaluate and recommend repair techniques for damaged GFRP reinforced bridge decks and barriers.

Abdullah Al-jaaidi (MSc candidate) is the student currently working on this project.

Current Students and Research Projects

Standardization of Embedded Plates for Steel-Concrete Connections in Buildings

Embedded plates are very commonly used to connect steel and concrete elements together in buildings. Although these systems are common, designers approach their design differently and this leads to inefficiencies in the design and construction process.

This project will develop a set of standardized embedded plates that can be used by designers, fabricators, and installers to more efficiently construct steel/concrete connections.

This project is part of the Steel Centre.

Ian Chin (MSc candidate) is the student currently working on this project. Ian is co supervised by Dr. Robert Driver.

Current Students and Research Projects

Shear Performance of Fibre Reinforced Concrete Elements

Fibre reinforced concrete (FRC) has superior tensile performance compared to typical concrete. For this reason, FRC tends to have smaller and better distributed cracks than a typical reinforced concrete system with the same design.

FRP (fibre reinforced polymer) reinforced concrete structures are more often governed by crack control than steel reinforced concrete structures since FRP is less stiff than steel, leading to wider cracks under the same load. For strength, this causes concern since wide shear cracks can greatly reduce shear resistance of concrete structures.

This project will evaluate the shear performance of FRC reinforced with FRP bars and compare this performance with existing models for non-FRC systems in order to develop additional designer guidelines on the behaviour of FRC reinforced with FRP.

Helmi Alguhi (Doctoral Student) is currently working on this project.

Current Students and Research Projects

MEng Projects

Previous MEng projects:

  • Literature review of shear connection systems used in precast concrete insulated wall panels
  • Structural considerations with converting an office building to residential