Professor Wil Srubar’s research team conducts experimental and computational materials science research for sustainable infrastructure applications. Current projects range from nano-scale science of bio- and geopolymeric materials to systems-scale modeling of infrastructure resilience and sustainability. He currently advises students who are interested in architectural engineering (AREN), structural engineering and structural mechanics (SESM), civil systems, and engineering for developing communities (EDC). He is actively recruiting students in the following areas related to material-component-structure-community sustainability and resilience: (a) organic and inorganic polymer science and engineering and (b) service-life modeling and life-cycle assessment of civil engineering materials and structures. Visit his group website here.
1. Quantifying the Environmental Impacts of Buildings Exposed to Chronic and Acute Hazards. This project would implement a novel framework that integrates lifecycle assessment, service-life prediction, and performance-based earthquake engineering to quantify the environmental impacts of classes of buildings that are simultaneously exposed to both chronic (e.g., corrosion) and acute (e.g., seismic) hazards. This collaborative effort will lead to the development of novel lifecycle design (versus analysis) methodologies and tools to aid in design decision-making for the structural engineering profession. (Collaboration with Professors A. Liel and K. Porter)
2. Novel Bio- and Cement-based Materials for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure. This project would investigate (a) the use of biomaterials, namely biobased hydrogels and natural fibers, as internal curing agents to reduce autogenous shrinkage in conventional portland cement concrete and/or (b) the process-structure-processing relationships of novel geopolymeric binders to inhibit microbial-induced concrete corrosion in wastewater infrastructure applications. Students with backgrounds in cement chemistry or polymer science and engineering are encouraged to apply.
3. Design Optimization of Sustainable and Resilient Concrete Mixtures. This project would leverage the power of multi-objective optimization and high-performance computing to elucidate design-decision tradeoffs in the design of sustainable and resilient concrete materials susceptible to chronic hazards, such as chloride- and carbonation-induced corrosion, sulfate attack, and freeze-thaw deterioration. Students with backgrounds in cement chemistry, concrete materials design, and/or optimization techniques are encouraged to apply. (Collaboration with Professor J. Kasprzyk)
4. Biobased FRPs for Retrofit and Rehabilitation of Wood and Concrete Structures. This fundamental research aims at reducing the environmental impact of materials used for the seismic upgrade, retrofit, and rehabilitation of wood and reinforced concrete structures. The primary goals of this project are to: (1) engineer sustainable, durable, high-performance natural-fiber composite materials for externally bonded fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) applications and (2) experimentally validate the improved seismic performance of upgraded or repaired concrete components using the proposed high-performance biobased FRPs. (Collaboration with Professor P. Sideris)