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Mohammed Gabr

Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and Construction

Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and Construction

Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Professor

Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor

Fitts-Woolard Hall 3227


Mohammed (Mo) Gabr is Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and Construction at North Carolina State University specializing in Geotechnical/Geoenvironmental Engineering. His recent research interests include assessment and development of sustainable and Innovative soil improvement techniques including the use of geosynthetics and chemical and biological amendments approaches; development of performance limit states and damage assessment of earth structures under extreme storms, and resilient foundation systems supporting civil infrastructures.

Dr. Gabr earned his Ph.D. at North Carolina State University in December 1987. He was then awarded a postdoctoral fellowship by the Royal Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and spent 1988 at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI). Upon returning to the US, he worked as a Project Engineer for Woodward-Clyde Consultants until August 1991; at that time, he joined West Virginia University (WVU). He has been Assistant and then Associate Professor (1995) at West Virginia University from 8/91 to 12/97 and Associate then Full Professor at North Carolina State University from 1/98 to present. Dr. Gabr spent the summers of 1992 and 1993 as a Research Faculty at the Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He spent the Fall 2012 semester at the Imperial College, London, as a Visiting Professorial Academic. Dr. Gabr served as the Acting Director of the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program (NCROEP) from July 2015-July 2019. The program is administrated through the University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute (CSI). In such capacity, he worked with colleagues from the CSI and several Universities across the state of North Carolina to plan and advance research and technology supporting the generation of renewable ocean energy in cost-competitive and environmentally benign manner. Over 30 years of his academic career so far, Dr. Gabr has served as chair, co-chair, and advisor of 40 Ph.D. and 70 Masters students. Supported by more than $14 million in grants and contracts, Gabr continues to work with his students and colleagues on research areas that transcend Geotechnical, Environmental, Structural, and Coastal Engineering.

Dr. Gabr received the Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition award by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He was selected as the 1993 West Virginia Young Engineer of the Year by ASCE. He received the 1993-94 Outstanding College Researcher award and 1995-96 Outstanding College Teacher award from the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources (CEMR) at WVU. He received the 1994-95 J.C. Burnichal Teaching award and the 1994-95 Outstanding Advisor award from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at WVU. He was selected as a North Carolina State University Outstanding Teacher, received an Alumni Outstanding Teacher award, and was elected to the academy of Outstanding Teachers at the University in 2008. He was named “Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor” in 2009 and is named as “Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Professor” in 2019; these titles are retained while appointed as a member of the NC State faculty. He is the College of Engineering Recipient of the 2011 Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Gabr also received the 2015 Outstanding Teaching Award from the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), Southeast Section.

Dr. Gabr is the former Chair of the Transportation Research Board of the national academies committee on Physicochemical Properties of Soils (1997-2003), and the ASCE Geo-Institute national committee on Geosynthetics (2000-2008.) Dr. Gabr served as an editorial board member (EBM) of the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering (2001-2006) and as Editor of the Environmental Geotechnics Section of Geotechnical News (1998-2004). He served as an EBM of ASTM Geotechnical Testing Journal (1999-2015) and as Editor of the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering (2007-2015). He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering (2015-2019) and currently serves as Editor-at-Large for the journal. Dr. Gabr was elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2000 and was inducted as a Diplomate of the Geo-Institute Academy of Geo-Professionals in 2015. He is a registered professional engineer in five States.

Dr. Gabr considers teaching to be his passion. He endeavors to create a comfortable learning environment, clearly define learning objectives and expectations, and focus on teaching basics and innovations for lifelong learning. He regularly teaches CE 342,CE 435, CE 443, CE 584, CE 741,and CE 747. He pursues cutting-edge innovative concepts in response to emerging challenges in Civil Engineering education. To this end, he has secured funding with his colleagues from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for two projects on development of innovative teaching approaches. The first project aimed at adaptation of information technology for incorporation of internet-enabled Civil Engineering laboratory experiments in geotechnical courses. The second aims at incorporating sensors and instrumentation for monitoring engineering infrastructure in the civil engineering undergraduate curriculum. Dr. Gabr has been teaching since 1991 and has served on several committees and professional organizations where achieving excellence in education is a primary focus.


Ph.D. Civil Engineering North Carolina State University 1987

M.S. Civil Engineering Clarkson University 1984

B.S. Civil Engineering Cairo University 1980

Area(s) of Expertise

Dr. Gabr's research programs are the results of work by his colleagues and graduate students and experience accumulated through interaction and cooperation with colleagues in various places including North Carolina State University (NCSU), Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Woodward-Clyde Consultants, West Virginia University (WVU), the Waterways Experiment Station (WES), and the UNC Coastal Studies Institute. Dr. Gabr's research is multifaceted in nature and encompasses the areas of in-situ soil flushing, waste characterization and properties, scour, limit states of protective earth structures, geosynthetics, and shallow and deep foundations. Details on some of the research activities are summarized as follows:
1. Base Support and Reinforcement: We have conducted research in the area of soil reinforcement focused on strain-based analysis in terms of defining the contribution of reinforcement to the soil modulus as well as characterizing the variation in strain within the soil mass with reinforcement. Our work branched out to include the effect of polymeric reinforcement on crater forming under explosions as a part of a project we conducted at US Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station. At present, on-going work is extending the soil reinforcement research to discern the behavior of a soil mass with various reinforcement types for the stabilization of soft subgrade soils under cyclic loading. The results of this work will be incorporated in a constitutive model for the design/analysis of reinforced soils under cyclic loading.
2. In Situ Assessment of Scour: We have developed an in situ erosion evaluation device called ISEEP to allow for rapid assessment of the scour potential of soil with depth around hydraulic structures throughout their designated lifetime, but especially prior to, and after, storm events. The ISEEP has been tested in coastal sands, coastal peat as well as in the Laboratory. The ISEEP development has been documented in ASTM Standard.
3. Levees Stability and Seepage Limit states (Strain-Based Approach): We have conducted research in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and the Waterways Experiment Station (WES) related to the development of methods for analyzing and assessing the risk of failure of levees. We have introduced the concept of Strain-Based Limit States for protective earth structures investigated the consequences of repeated storm loading on the functionality for a given limit state.
4. Piles and Drilled Shafts: Our research in the area of deep foundation has developed methods for analysis of drilled shafts on slopes as well as the use of in situ tests for analysis of laterally loaded shafts. We have extended this work to investigate the buckling behavior of piles taking into account the presence of the soil to provide lateral support with variable lateral subgrade distribution, as well as the impact of various boundary conditions on piles behavior. We have performed research on the use of in situ measurement techniques for obtaining parameters used in pile/shaft design. We have conducted research to investigate the effect of embedment in soft weathered rock profiles on lateral shaft behavior as well as the influence of various degree of fixity on the measured P-y curves. We have introduced a simple model for estimating the point of fixity in laterally loaded piles for use in bridge design. We are currently conducting research on the use of micropiles for anchoring offshore renewable energy devices.
5. Well Injection Depth Extraction (WIDE) System for Enhanced Soil Flushing: An achievement in this research area is the pioneering use of prefabricated vertical wells (PVWs) for accelerated soil flushing. The technology termed Well Injection Depth Extraction (WIDE) aims at reducing the clean up time in soils with a large fines fraction. The research was proclaimed as a success story by the Department of Energy. The WIDE technology was subjected to a level II independent peer review process conducted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institute for Regulatory Science.
6. Surfactant Flushing of PAH’s and DNAPLs in Clayey Soils: In conjunction with the development of an enhanced pump and treat system, we have conducted research in the area of surfactant flushing of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH’s) and Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLs). The research was focused on soil clogging as a result of introducing surfactant and investigated the redistribution of the contaminant within the soil/liquid/air phases during flushing, the quantitative measurement of the contaminated soil’s hydraulic conductivity and its variation during the flushing process, and the effect of the clay content on flushing levels.
7. Recycle of Industrial By-Products and Waste Characterization: We have established a research program on the use and recycling of by-product industrial material for the development of grout and flowable fill materials as well the utilization of geosynthetics to facilitate such applications. Results of the research on grout development have been successfully implemented by the US Bureau of Mines at a site in Waynsburg, Pennsylvania, for the abatement of acid mine drainage. As fly ash differs from natural soils in aspects related to physical and chemical characteristics, we have developed design criteria for the long term assessment of filtration and clogging of nonwoven geotextiles retaining fly ash fill material as well as methods pertaining to sample preparation techniques and the impact of such techniques on filtration and drainage behavior.


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Date: 08/01/23 - 7/31/25
Amount: $394,572.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Traditional practice of bridge local scour estimation relies upon the use of analytical models such as the one specified in Hydraulic Engineering Circulars, HEC-18 and HEC 20 (Arneson et al., 2012). Models such as HEC-18 were however developed based on data collected mainly from flume testing on sand. The data used for HEC-18 model development were mainly for narrow pier erosion in sand (scour depth/pier width>1.4) per Benedict and Knight (2017). Yet the model is applied in practice to intermediate and wide pier cases as well. In addition, the materials classified as ???soils??? include sand, and/or silt, and/or clay with a grain size distribution that can yield a bed soil behavior that may not be captured by a single parameter, such as D50. Approaches such as the HEC-18 model also lump the flow channel and bridge hydraulic and geometrical parameters with the bed erosion resistance parameters in one equation. While such an approach is simple to use, there is consensus in literature that it yields overly conservative scour estimates. On a fundamental level, the magnitude of erosion and scour can be assessed through knowledge of the flow-induced shear stress, the soil???s erodibility parameters, which include the critical shear stress (??c), co- efficient of erodibility (??'), and m, which is ???an exponent defining the functional variation of the soil erosion rate with the flow-induced shear stress.??? This approach is fundamentally implemented in the FHWA Hy- draulic Toolbox and adopted by the NextScour Program. In parallel, geotechnical site investigation by the North Carolina DOT commonly involves the performance of SPT, and the retrieval of soil samples for characterization of physical and engineering properties. As such, there is an opportunity to obtain the site- specific erodibility (??c, ??', and m) through linking such parameters with the geotechnical data for a rational assessment of site-specific scour magnitude, accounting for variability of channel-bed soil layers with depth.

Date: 01/01/16 - 6/30/24
Amount: $1,136,061.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)

The integrity and reliability of flood-control earthen dams and levees are essential components to homeland safety. The failure of such systems due to natural or man-made hazards may have monumental repercussions, sometimes with dramatic and unanticipated consequences on human life and the country??????????????????s economy. The levees network in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta support exceptionally rich agricultural area (over a $500 million annual crop value). Currently, the risk of levee failure in this area from potential flooding or draught threatens the lives of individuals living behind the levees, but also, the water quality in this water-transfer system. Preliminary risk assessment demonstrated a 40% chance that at least 30 islands within the Delta area would be flooded by simultaneous levee failures in a major earthquake in the next 25 years. The teamwork proposed herein will extend the remote sensing monitoring by InSAR and Joint Scatterer interferometry (JSInSAR) to monitor levees deformation with a resolution on the order of a few millimeters. The research team ay NCSU will participate by integrating the use of measurement data and modeling techniques, using the concept of performance limit states, to effectively achieve a performance based health assessment of the delta levees network.

Date: 08/01/21 - 5/31/24
Amount: $301,146.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

In a recent research project a pipe material selection software was developed. This software enables estimation of the service life of pipes made from different materials based on their anticipated exposure conditions. The linked GIS database is used to automatically compute the anticipated exposure condition corresponding with GPS coordinates input by the user for a given project. The culvert pipe materials commonly used by NCDOT have been included in the software: reinforced concrete, galvanized steel, aluminized steel, cast iron, mild steel, aluminum alloy, and polymeric pipes. Based on conversations with NCDOT, additional scope for the software is desired and identified as follows: i. The developed software selection guide only considers material type and exposure condition in the selection process. It is desirable to integrate NCDOT??????????????????s structural requirements into the selection process such that NCDOT engineers can use a single software to select pipe materials based on both durability and structural requirements. ii. The current software does not provide an estimate of how service life can be extended by repair and rehabilitation. It is desirable to upgrade the software to account for the additional service life expected from various rehabilitation measures, and to develop a comparative analysis of possible repair methods in terms of expected impact on service life. iii. The current software does not account for the effects of approaches to mitigate adverse subsurface exposure on the service life of installed pipes. Addressing the effects of mitigation is desirable since in many projects, backfill soil is different from native soil. The work proposed herein aims to update the current software to include: (i) An upgraded pipe selection guide software that integrates structural requirements, repair and rehabilitation methods, and mitigation strategies into a unified pipe selection guide, and (ii) provisions accounting for the effects of various repair and rehabilitation methods on the service life of the pipe materials.

Date: 08/01/19 - 5/15/22
Amount: $335,480.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) routinely performs assessment of scour potential at bridge foundations. The availability of representative approaches for estimating first order scour magnitude is needed as such information is used for the design of new bridges, designating bridges as ????????????????scour- critical,??????????????? and for deciding on the need for implementing scour countermeasures. As stated by Mr. Jerry Snead, the applicability and potential modification of USGS Scour Envelope Curves, developed for the state of South Carolina, to North Carolina soils is the focus of the research proposed herein. Such investigation is needed to assess the robustness of the first order scour estimates and to provide reliable quality control measure to ensure the reasonableness of bridge scour magnitudes estimated by other means.

Date: 08/01/19 - 12/31/21
Amount: $336,834.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) routinely performs road improvement projects where a portion of the right-of-way might be contaminated. Based on the field evaluations carried out by NCDOT, at times subsurface utilities including water and/or drainage pipes are present, or need to be installed, in environments where soil and groundwater contamination exists. The currently funded project (RP 2017-08 with end date on July 31, 2019), is focused on the laboratory evaluation of contaminant migration through concrete pipes, as well as evaluation of the effect of contaminants on the mechanical performance of PVC pipe and three gasket materials (Neoprene, Buna-N, and Viton) when exposed to contaminated water. In addition, modeling of hardening methods and evaluating their efficacy is conducted as a part of the ongoing project.

Date: 08/01/19 - 12/31/21
Amount: $299,710.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

A large number culvert pipes are installed every year in North Carolina. While the loading and structural requirements for these pipes are considered during the selection process, the exposure condition of these culverts receives less attention. Many pipe choices exist including reinforced concrete, galvanized steel, aluminum, aluminized, and various types of plastic. Choosing the right pipe for the right installation is a non-trivial task that carries significant financial impact. Factors such as structural capacity, environmental durability, anticipated life-span, required pipe size, site conditions, and available construction expertise are all important when selecting a pipe. Existing NCDOT selection tables provide some limited guidance, but often result in highly-conservative selections being made, particularly from the perspective of matching pipe materials to site environmental conditions. Selection of the wrong pipe material (or an overly-conservative pipe material) can result in significant excess cost. If materials degrade too quickly, costly re-work is required, and additional costs and risks may be incurred due to reduced performance of the degraded pipe. If high-cost and high-performance materials are selected in areas where they are not needed, then initial construction costs can increase dramatically. For example, in many situations, aluminized corrugated steel pipe can likely provide the same useful service life as corrugated aluminum pipe at a dramatically reduced cost. Aluminum pipe may be justified in regions with salt-water exposure, however, it is likely an over-conservative choice for regions where contact with salt will be incidental. Accounts from NCDOT personnel have indicated widespread use of aluminum pipe in regions where it is likely not needed (i.e., regions with limited salt exposure).

Date: 08/01/16 - 7/31/19
Amount: $387,441.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) routinely performs road improvement projects where a portion of the right-of-way might be contaminated. Potential sources of contamination include underground storage tanks in the vicinity of the road improvement site, old unlined landfills, or abandoned industrial and agricultural operations with practices leading to soil and/or groundwater contamination. It has been reported by NCDOT in RNS#7406 that in several situations, subsurface utilities including drainage pipes are present in environments where soil and groundwater contamination exists. The effect of the contamination on the integrity and durability of the subsurface drainage pipes and gaskets is largely unknown but such integrity is a function of the type of contamination and the physicochemical properties of pipe, gasket, and other materials forming a given subsurface utility. In addition to the variety of contaminants and concentrations that prevail at these sites, a wide variation in soil geological formation and hydrogeological conditions exist across the state. While in general the groundwater table is expected to be high in the North Carolina (NC) Coastal Plain Physicographic region, it is expected to be deep in the Mountains. On the other hand, it is more likely that groundwater will feed surface water springs and streams in the NC Mountains. Therefore, a "typical" contaminated site is difficult to define. Accordingly, the adverse effect of subsurface contamination on drainage pipes and the efficacy of hardening measures are usually developed on a site-specific basis. Objectives of this project are to (i) catalog the prevalent types of contaminants and their concentrations at sites where subsurface utilities are installed, (ii) document the typical materials used in subsurface utilities and drainage systems in NC, (iii) quantify the effect of contaminants on the long-term durability of commonly used hardened and unhardened materials that are used in construction of subsurface utilities, (iv) quantify the rate and extent of migration of common contaminants through concrete utilities, (v) recommend effective hardening methods for different materials, and (vi) provide documentation and better understanding of the effect of subsurface utility installation on the contamination of groundwater and surface water through simulation of several typical scenarios. These objectives will be achieved through a multidisciplinary effort of the research team as outlined in the project plan. Objective (i) will be achieved through examination of available data from the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). If necessary, limited sampling of groundwater and surface water will be conducted in consultation with NCDOT in areas where subsurface utilities have been installed and contamination is known to exist or expected to occur. Objectives (ii), (iii), and (iv) will be accomplished through literature review and accelerated coupon testing in our laboratory. Objective (v) will be achieved by analyzing test results and literature data. Objective (vi) will be accomplished through numerical simulations.

Date: 08/15/13 - 12/31/16
Amount: $247,840.00
Funding Agencies: State of Alaska, Department of Transportation

A research project on reinforced concrete filled pipe piles concluding in May of 2013 had the following objectives: (1) Develop recommendations for strain limits for use in seismic design at key design limit states as a function of diameter/thickness (D/t) ratio and material properties, (2) Develop an equation (via computation) for the plastic hinge length of ?below ground hinges?, (3) Quantify the impact of reinforcing steel on performance and confirm that strain compatibility can be used for prediction of the force-displacement response. These three objectives have been studied through the use of large scale experimental testing, and the analysis of pile members. In addition, work in the project provided recommendations for equations to estimate equivalent viscous damping, which are required for implementation in a direct displacement-based design approach. This proposal builds upon the work previously conducted through the following tasks: (1) Large scale testing of reinforced concrete filled pipe piles in soil; and (2) FEA and fiber-based SSI analysis. The specific goals of this proposed research project are to examine the impact that soil stiffness has on: (1) Pipe pile strain limit states; (2) Plastic hinge length and integration of curvature for deformations; (3) Proposed analysis methods, and (4) Damping

Date: 09/01/13 - 8/31/16
Amount: $134,182.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has funded a research project (will be referred to as Phase I study) to develop criteria for situations where soft soils need to be undercut and replaced and/or stabilized with mechanical or chemical measures (undercut refers to the removal of soft subgrade during the construction or reconstruction of new pavement sections). In this funded study, a large scale laboratory testing program was conducted to evaluate the performance of undercut subgrade stabilization measures under construction traffic loading, prior to final paving. Twenty-two simulated undercut sections, with four different stabilization configurations, were built in a large-scale test pit. Undercut areas backfilled with aggregate base course (ABC) and reinforced with geosynthetics showed improvement over unreinforced sections, but only when reinforcement was placed at depth approximately equal to the loaded area diameter and after initial displacements mobilized the strength of the geosynthetic. The soft nature of the subgrade and its consequences on the ability to compact the ABC layer showed the importance of carefully analyzing the results when viewed on a comparative basis, and the need for documented field performance. In this case, a trend of an accelerated deformation rate was observed during the first two hundred load cycles, with a steady state deformation rate emerging after approximately 1000-2000 loading cycles. It is not clear, however, whether this is a situation specific to the results from the laboratory testing, due to the limitation of the laboratory-sized equipment, or it is a behavior representative of field performance, and is occurring due to the limited ability to compact backfill over the soft subgrade layer. The main objective of the proposed project is to validate the findings from the Phase I laboratory study at a construction site in the Piedmont geologic area of North Carolina. The proposed work will seek to investigate the applicability of the proposed undercut criteria in the Piedmont Physiographic region and validate approaches to improving soil bearing properties investigated in the laboratory. The proposed plan includes the field implementation of four instrumented test pads for performance monitoring. In addition to a control pad, one pad will implement undercutting and replacement with select fill, a second will include undercutting in conjunction with ABC and the use of geosynthetics, and a third will include chemical stabilization. The research work will address the following objectives: i. Identify test sites in the Piedmont Physiographic region for implementation of alternative or supplemental approaches to undercut, including the use of geosynthetics and/or chemical stabilization. ii. Instrument test pads at the identified site and monitor performance in terms of induced rut depth, maximum curvature, tension cracks development, and stress attenuation with depth under repeated truck loading. iii. Perform Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) testing to validate proposed undercut criteria for site conditions. In addition, perform FWD testing to supplement the DCP data for comprehensive subgrade characterization. iv. Use field data to verify performance of alternative or supplemental approaches to undercut to limit volume change and improve soil properties and workability. Accordingly, update and verify the undercut criteria and comparative cost analyses developed during Phase I. Provide a recommendation of the relative cost of each measure and the most suitable stabilization measure(s).

Date: 08/16/12 - 6/30/16
Amount: $328,080.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The main objective of the proposed project is the more economical design of temporary slopes and retaining structures in North Carolina (NC) residual soils. In general, the current design methods and procedures for temporary slopes and temporary excavation support systems do not consider the short-term characteristics of NC residual soils, and therefore may result in overly conservative designs and unnecessary construction costs. Even though the geotechnical engineers are aware of the over conservatism of the current design methods and procedures, they do not have rational means by which to improve the design cost effectiveness. It is the development of these rational design procedures that is the heart of the proposed research.

Date: 08/16/13 - 8/15/15
Amount: $227,388.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Asset management is a relatively new concept in geotechnical engineering. In general, the nature of earth structures within the realm of highway engineering renders the concept of asset management a valuable tool for operation efficiency and cost control. Asset management includes a database of assets, tools to manage the database, asset condition assessment models, and strategies for assessment, mitigation, rehabilitation, and replacement. At present, there is no systematic tool to provide electronic documentation and analysis of earth structures including the retaining wall inventory maintained by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The objective of this research is to design and develop a database archival and retrieval system for electronic documentation, management, qualitative analysis, and display of retaining walls, especially critical walls such as those adjacent to bridges. Such structures include MSE, soil-nail, tie-back, gravity, cantilever, and pile panel walls. The prototype database to be created will include wall location, geometry, internal configuration, local geology, and external signs of stress such as tilt and cracking. The development of rating criteria models that are specific to particular wall types will also be explored in consultation with NCDOT. The development of a systematic means for cataloging and condition assessment of highway retaining structures will represent a major contribution to the ability to establish effective and sustainable maintenance and replacement priorities. The primary project product is referred to herein as a database and includes a definition of all data tables and the attributes they contain. The final report will provide these definitions as well as sample data for 12 existing retaining walls populating all tables. Data collection procedures will include both wall spatial as well as wall attribute (characteristics) data. The spatial data will be organized in such a way as to be able to link to existing NCDOT systems. The proposed database (of key parameters defining the various types of retaining walls within the state) is intended to assist NCDOT engineers and contractors in evaluating the need for maintenance and replacement as well as capture often-lost assets for effective master planning, engineering, design, maintenance, and management of highway retaining structures.

Date: 08/16/11 - 8/15/14
Amount: $288,767.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Problems with reflective cracking in asphalt concrete (AC) overlays on cracked flexible pavements have been observed for many years in North Carolina. Left untreated, such cracks can severely degrade the service life of asphalt pavements. Intrusion of water into the subgrade and/or base material quickens the deterioration process, leading to early and costly failure of the whole pavement structure. Therefore, it is in the economic interest of the state of North Carolina to investigate methods that reduce or, at the very least, retard reflective cracking in AC overlays.

Date: 07/01/08 - 6/30/14
Amount: $2,766,873.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)

The dynamic evolution of landforms under stress can lead to catastrophic loss of either functionality or of mass itself. This project will examine the dynamics of landforms undergoing a transition from one state to another (e.g., barrier island collapse, wetland loss, dune erosion) in order to determine critical defining features of the resilient natural and developed landforms. This descriptive dynamic will be translated into design parameters for restoration of protective or beneficial landforms (e.g., beaches, dunes, barrier islands, wetlands). In addition, this analysis will be used to provide improved metrics for communicating hazard and risk as well as incorporating hazard and risk into land use plans. This project lies at the interface between Coastal Hazards Science and Planning for Resilience focus areas and has the potential to provide insights to the Hazards, Human Behavior and Economic Resilience focus area.

Date: 09/30/09 - 9/30/13
Amount: $390,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)

The purpose of this proposal is to establish a graduate research fellowship program to train students to be future leaders in the area of engineering of resilient civil infrastructure systems for coastal regions considering natural hazards. This program will be conducted in coordination with the ongoing DHS Center of Excellence on Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure and Emergency Management.

Date: 02/01/09 - 7/31/12
Amount: $149,998.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

The use of sensors and instrumentation for monitoring civil engineering infrastructure has been of paramount importance since ancient times. Currently, the use of advanced sensing technologies is rapidly increasing in research and practice, with the ultimate goal of continuously and remotely collecting real-time data from myriad sensors dispersed throughout the natural and built environment. Unfortunately, the implementation of sensors in the undergraduate curriculum has not kept pace with advances in both the state of the art and the state of the practice. It is a challenging task to effectively incorporate sensors and instrumentation concepts in the undergraduate civil engineering curriculum if only theory is to be presented. It is also insufficient to merely supplement theory in a given course with a description of field components illustrating the use of sensors and instrumentation to monitor real-time response of built infrastructures. In order to effectively impact learning outcomes on sensor applications in civil engineering and enhance the student?s learning experience, collection and analysis of real data from functioning sensors and the ability to interact with the monitoring instrumentation are needed. This proposal is aimed at adaptation of recent developments in sensors and instrumentation technology for incorporation of field monitoring of civil-infrastructures in undergraduate civil engineering courses. The intellectual merit of the proposed work includes creation of learning materials through the use of embedded sensors to monitor the interface of the natural and constructed environments. It is anticipated that sensors will be placed adjacent to an earth dam and on a building foundation on the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Centennial Campus (where significant construction activities are planned over the next 10 years) located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The two sets of sensors will each be outfitted with solar panels for power and data will be collected using a multipurpose datalogger coupled with wireless transmission capabilities. Data will be transmitted from the sensor banks using spread-spectrum radio modems with a range of approximately 1.6 km. A workstation will be set up to initiate data transfer at regular intervals, scan for alarms, and assess data quality. The data will be uploaded to a website for use by researchers, students, educators, and other interested parties (e.g., local engineering consultants and government agencies), which will contribute to the broader impacts of the work beyond the borders of the NCSU campus. Implementation of instructional modules based on sensors and sensed data will be a significant innovation to the existing civil engineering curriculum. The collected data will be consistent with those associated with monitoring the natural and built environments and to which students will likely be exposed in practice. The instructional modules will focus on: (i) Sensor Fundamentals; (ii) Sensor Installation and Operation; (iii) Data Collection and Analysis; and (iv) Data Synthesis, Inversion, and Prediction. The proposed implementation and adaptation will introduce undergraduate students to the synergies of real time monitoring of the built environment. The sensors and associated data will be integrated into the undergraduate civil engineering curriculum at NCSU and North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T). Additionally, the learning modules will be incorporated into a Summer Practicum for students from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (the premier engineering school in Venezuela) and the NCSU Engineering Summer Program for high school students.

Date: 08/16/10 - 3/31/12
Amount: $86,115.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is progressing toward developing quantitative and systematic criteria that address the implementation of undercutting as a subgrade stabilization measure. As a part of this effort, a laboratory study and numerical analyses were performed over the past two years with the results providing proposed criteria for undercutting and alternative stabilization measures under various roadway site conditions. These criteria provide provisions for discerning possible rutting and pumping of the subgrade under construction loading, and provide response and subgrade stiffness under repeated loading of 10,000 cycles. The objective of work proposed herein is to perform testing in the field on instrumented roadway sections to collect data for the validation of the guidelines developed from the laboratory and modeling study. The proposed plan encompasses field instrumentation of four test pads; one with the implementation of undercutting and replacement with quality fill and stabilization fabric, a second includes undercutting in conjunction with the use of geotextile, a third stabilized with geogrids, and a fourth includes chemical stabilization.

Date: 09/01/08 - 9/30/11
Amount: $52,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Transportation (DOT)

The current geosynthetic guidelines used and developed by the FLHD come solely in standard specifications and special contract requirements. While some initial lab and field work has been conducted and reported in literature, the largest gaps in frost heave mitigation practice involve applying the results of the relatively few laboratory and field tests to model development and practice. The main objective of this study is to develop systematic recommendations to guide advancing the use of geosynthetic materials as moisture barriers in pavement sections, as well as in other situations such as swelling and collapsing foundation soils. To supplement the standards, a systematic approach for design of capillary/moisture barriers to mitigate frost heaving, using geosynthetics is proposed.

Date: 04/01/09 - 8/15/10
Amount: $63,624.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is currently seeking to develop systematic criteria that address the implementation of undercutting as a subgrade stabilization measure. As a part of this effort, a laboratory study is proposed to develop criteria for undercutting under various roadway site conditions; these criteria will include systematic short-term criteria for expected construction loading and long-term criteria to establish the subgrade stiffness for the design of pavement layers under traffic loading. The objective of work proposed in this project is to perform testing in the field on instrumented pavement sections to collect data for the validation of the guidelines to be developed from the laboratory study. The proposed plan encompasses field instrumentation of three test pads; one with the implementation of undercutting of poor soils and replacement with quality fill, a second includes undercutting in conjunction with the use of geosynthetics, and a third includes chemical stabilization. Each test location will include a control section in addition to the test pad with the specified stabilization measure.

Date: 08/01/07 - 10/31/09
Amount: $266,376.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The main objective of the proposed project is to develop criteria for undercutting under various roadway site conditions; these criteria should include systematic short-term criteria for expected construction loading and long-term criteria to establish the subgrade stiffness for the design of pavement layers under traffic loading. The research work will provide tools for identifying the required depth of the undercut as well as alternative or supplemental approaches to improve soil-bearing properties and workability. The approach to be developed will be supplemented with the use of expedient in situ techniques, such as the Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP). The proposed research plan encompasses laboratory work as well as the modeling and analysis of data.

Date: 09/01/06 - 9/01/09
Amount: $103,500.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Transportation (DOT)

investigating methods to predict ground surface vibrations and noise generated by pile driving. To do so, I am combining both vibration data and high strain dynamic pile testing data from an extensive data set collected at the Marquette Interchange Project in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By investigating monitoring data collected on the instrumented piles, I hope to develop a practical vibration prediction algorithm that can eventually be integrated into pre-construction wave equation analyses. This will allow for improved vibration and noise predictions before construction, so that possible damage to structures and annoyances to the traveling and residential public can be addressed early.

Date: 04/01/08 - 4/30/09
Amount: $200,670.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

An efficient and accurate inventory of a state highway agency?s assets, along with the means to assess the condition of those assets and model their performance, is critical to enabling an agency to make informed investment decisions in a Transportation Asset Management (TAM) environment. Today, new technologies provide fast and improved ways to gather, process, and analyze data. The key is to identify the information and assess how much of it is needed to make informed decisions that affect the assets. The data must be useful, reliable, cost-effective to obtain, and delivered in a timely fashion in a user-friendly format that can tie into existing management systems. In addition, the data must be defendable and repeatable so that users of this information have a high level of confidence in its overall effectiveness.

Date: 07/01/05 - 6/30/07
Amount: $326,813.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The research described in this proposal aims to expand upon work currently underway for Pile-Bent bridge structures to all sub structure systems employed by NCDOT including spread footings and columns supported on drilled shaft foundations. The research task encompass identifying issues specific to drilled shaft bent design and selection of a series of sample structures for design. The outcome of the proposed work will (1) Provide a better understanding of the actual performance of NCDOT sub-structure systems (depth to fixity; connection performance, effective length factors), (2) Provide a rational basis for identification of key performance limit states (drift and strength limits), (3) Provide a new analysis and design platform based on Florida Pier and NCPIER that has been verified by comparisons with FEA programs and section analysis tools, (4) Provide design examples comparing LFD and LRFD, and lastly, (5) Facilitate implementation of LRFD criteria for bridge sub-structures.

Date: 12/31/04 - 5/30/07
Amount: $150,011.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Energy (DOE)

This proposal is submitted in support of on-going efforts of the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE) to advance environmental technology research and development in the areas of soil and groundwater remediation. This project implements Well Injection Depth Extraction (WIDE) technology for removal of JP-4 aviation fuel from the subsurface . Performance evaluation for deployment of WIDE will be performed with continuous monitoring and evaluation for optimization of contaminant extraction. Base line comparison of expanded deployment pads to existing field installation will be conducted and results compiled to discern predominant mass transfer mechanisms (vapor, product, or aqueous phases).

Date: 09/01/05 - 12/15/06
Amount: $60,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Transportation (DOT)

No definitive guidance on the value of systematically including geosynthetics in highway construction projects is currently available. It has been identified by engineers from CFLHD that geosynthetics are ?under-used in Federal Lands Highway practice and under-represented in the FP-03 when compared to how prevalent they now are in highway and other civil construction. ? Accordingly, this study aims at developing geosynthetics work plan to identify, promote, and advance the use of geosynthetics materials across FLH Divisions in the Pavement and Geotechnical areas.The main objective of the proposed tasks is to develop a systematic work plan that maps out a 3-5 year effort that will culminate in advancing the use of geosynthetics materials in FLH highway projects across their three divisions. The target areas include pavement and geotechnical applications. Geotechnical applications will be focused on slopes, walls, base reinforcement, pile-supported mats, capillary barriers to mitigate frost heaving, deep patches for soft shoulders, and geocomposite clay liners to control seepage from ditches.

Date: 08/16/04 - 5/31/05
Amount: $55,561.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Defense (DOD)

The objective of the proposed work is to provide analyses of WIDE operation for in situ extraction of subsurface liquids and vapors causing groundwater and soil contamination at the Former Lockbourne AFB Columbus. The WIDE deployment process and the collected data will be analyzed for performance and quality control assessment. Based on the field data and modeling, aspects of the WIDE technology performance will be documented, with emphasis on construction/assembly/ operation, and project management, in a flow process diagram and deisgn manual.

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  • Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Professor, North Carolina State University
  • Outstanding Teacher Award, American Society of Engineering Education-Southeastern Region
  • Diplomate, Academy of Geo-Professionals, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • College of Engineering Recipient- Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor
  • Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award, North Carolina State University
  • Member, Academy of Outstanding Teachers, North Carolina State University
  • Outstanding Teacher Award, North Carolina State University
  • Kimely-Horn Faculty Award
  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award, American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Dept. of Civil Engineering, West Virginia University
  • Outstanding Teacher Award, College of Engineering, West Virginia University
  • Outstanding Faculty Advisor, ASCE Student Chapter, West Virginia University
  • Outstanding Researcher Award, College of Engineering, West Virginia University
  • West Virginia Young Engineer of the Year , American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Eminent Engineer, Tau Beta PI - National Engineering Honor Society
  • First Place, Student Technical Paper Contest, 3rd US Conf. on Earthquake Engineering
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant, North Carolina State University