Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Research

Dr. Antonio Nanni
1. Durability Study of RC Seawalls Constructed with GFRP I-Bars and SIP Panels:
Timber, concrete, composites and aluminum materials are currently used for waterfront construction. The challenge remains durability and low maintenance. A combination of concrete and internal GFRP reinforcement represents a solution with high potential (no steel reinforcement corrosion) particularly when construction costs and completion time could be simultaneously reduced by introducing integrated GFRP reinforcement and stay-in-place (SIP) formwork. This research intends to investigate the long-term performance of concrete seawalls using structural SIP panels. The project tasks will include design of a prototype, construction, accelerated ageing and deployment at a waterfront site, and laboratory testing. The goal of this project is to (a) contribute data and understanding to the engineering community and public about the durability of GFRP reinforcement; and, (b) draw conclusions about the durability of the system when used in an environment as expected during its service life. This research will provide a new technology for seawall construction capable to withstand aggressive environments. Dr. Nanni’s Website

2. NIST-TIP Self-Powered Sensor Network for Structural Bridge Health Prognosis: According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI) of 2007, the number of structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges is 72,524 and 79,792, respectively. As the bridge inventory continues to age, routine inspection practices will not be sufficient for the timely identification of areas of concern and to provide enough information to bridge owners to make informed decisions for safety and maintenance prioritization. Continuous monitoring is needed for long term evaluation; monitoring areas of concern, such as retrofits, previous repairs or monitoring an area with known flaws, while scheduling and awaiting a repair or continuous monitoring for bridge impacts. Continuous monitoring can also be used in cases where there is concern about vandalism, terrorism and/or bridge element integrity. The integrated sensing system would act as a monitoring and early warning alarm system that has the ability of communicating the information from the bridge directly to the bridge owner for potential and immediate action. The project incorporates novel and promising sensing approaches together with energy harvesting devices to reduce the dramatic uncertainty inherent into any inspection and maintenance plan. The self-powered features of the proposed system will translate in easy deployment. Built-in self-check capabilities will eliminate the need for routine sensor maintenance. By reducing uncertainty, it will become feasible to prioritize resources more efficiently, and to improve the overall reliability of the bridge network at an acceptable cost. TThe purpose of this research is the development and deployment of energy independent, on-line structural health monitoring and prognostic (SHMP) system for bridges. Dr. Nanni’s Website