Take a car trip from Houston and you’ll likely drive over one of the 50,000 bridges that span the great state of Texas. During your drive you probably never wondered if the weight limits on the bridges were accurate. But then, that’s why we have Mina Dawood, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the Cullen College.
A team of researchers from University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering and Qatar University has won a $779,000 grant to develop a new way to rehabilitate deteriorating reinforced concrete structures.
A civil infrastructure that provides essentials like clean running water and passable roads is essential to a healthy and prosperous society. While concrete and steel remain the backbones of modern infrastructure, civil engineers are exploring ways to add advanced composite materials to the mix. These materials could increase the service life of existing structures in need of repair and new structures alike by decades.
When concrete on a bridge or building deteriorates, cracks or is weakened, the structure doesn’t need to be torn down and replaced. Instead, it can be repaired and strengthened with advanced materials such as carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) that are more than five-times stronger than steel when placed under tension.
Earthquake research in the Thomas Hsu Structural Laboratory was featured on KPRC Channel 2 in Houston on March 14, 2011. Drs. Y.L. Mo and Abdeldjilil "DJ" Belarbi were featured discussing current earthquake-related research at the University of Houston in an effort to explain how structural materials react to earthquake-like conditions.
Abdeldjelil “DJ” Belarbi will return to his roots in December when he takes over as chair of the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.