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Washington State University National Center for Transportation Infrastructure Durability & Life-Extension (TriDurLE)

Webinar: Modeling collapsible soil and its impact on axially loaded piles

Speaker:  Mohamad Ashour, Ph.D., Alabama A&M University
Associate Professor and Coordinator of Civil Engineering program
Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering

Title: Modeling collapsible soil and its impact on axially loaded piles

Time: January 26, 12:00 PM Pacific Time

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Forterra Resilience & Sustainability Webinar


Sustainability is key to building a brighter future for our families and our communities. What we do today affects tomorrow. This presentation covers the three pillars of sustainability, and provides principles of resilience to support our efforts to build a sustainable infrastructure. In terms of environmental sustainability, this means being conscious of our world and the environment we live in. For economic sustainability it means looking beyond this year’s budget and evaluating true cost of ownership. For societal sustainability, it means limiting delays and improving social convenience while keeping user safety a top priority. Lastly, an integral part of sustainability is ensuring that our infrastructure is resilient enough to resist and defend our communities from present and future threats. Coming from the drainage world, the presenter will offer comparisons and case studies based on storm drainage products on the market today. This presentation is based on researched performed by a task group composed of member companies of the American Concrete Pipe Association, of which Joseph Updike co-led.

About the Speaker

Joseph Updike (EIT) is a Technical Resource Engineer with Forterra, the largest precast concrete pipe manufacturer in North America. Joseph specializes in providing lunch and learns, resources, and support for DOTs, municipalities, and consultants. Additionally, this role includes speaking at universities to allow up and coming engineers a glimpse of the drainage industry, and how critical it is to our infrastructure. In his short career, Joseph has served as a co-chair for an ACPA task group on Resilience & Sustainability, and has spoken at ACPA’s Pipe School in 2020. He has served on multiple ASCE committees including the Infrastructure Resilience Division, Committee for Cold-Regions Engineering, and is currently the vice president of the Black Hills ASCE Chapter. Joseph is a December 2019 graduate of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology where he earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering. Outside of work, Joseph dedicates time to his wife, family, and church community in the Blacks Hills of South Dakota, but has also found time to explore his interests in novel and poetry writing. In 2020, Joseph won first prize in a national poetry contest, and looks forward to many other opportunities. Looking to the future, Joseph hopes to earn his PE license in Structural Engineering, and continue exploring ways to improve the world around him through engineering.

Webinar: Evaluating Sidewalk Infrastructure & Prioritizing Investment

Webinar Title



Wes Marshall with Nick Coppola, University of Colorado Denver

Webinar Abstract

This project leverages advances in technology and increasing access to high-resolution remote sensing and spatial data to develop methods for inventorying sidewalk characteristics and static obstructions across an entire major city. In part 1 of this effort, we analyze city-scale sidewalk availability, width, and land coverage calculated from spatial data from aerial imagery (planimetrics). We then determine how much of a difference accounting for static obstructions makes when measuring the clear width of sidewalks in one city. Part 2 then combines planimetric sidewalk data with vehicle and pedestrian trip big data to develop a methodology to prioritize city areas in need of pedestrian infrastructure attention.

The results show an overall deficiency of sidewalks and indicate that deriving sidewalk availability, average width, and minimum clear width are feasible at the city scale. Moreover, the results suggest a significant decrease in the average clear width of sidewalks when accounting for static obstructions. Not accounting for static obstructions could lead to a gross overestimation of seemingly adequate sidewalks and an unrealistic assessment of sidewalk infrastructure and pedestrian accessibility. We then present a feasible and efficient method to prioritize pedestrian infrastructure in a city.

Primarily due to a lack of data, academic literature has scant research on sidewalks. In this project, we leveraged advances in remote sensing to bridge the data and research gap on pedestrian infrastructure in cities. These results will help cities that are lacking information rectify an unprecedented backlog of deteriorating pedestrian infrastructure.

About the Speaker

Wes Marshall is a Professor of Civil Engineering and affiliate faculty in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Colorado Denver, director of the CU Denver Transportation Research Center, and co-director of the Active Communities/Transportation (ACT) research group. He is a Professional Engineer and focuses on transportation teaching and research dedicated to creating a more sustainable and resilient built environment, particularly in terms of road safety, active transportation, and transit. Other related teaching and research topics include street networks, parking, health, travel behavior, and scofflaw bicycling.  His recent book, Elements of Access, provides planners with the fundamentals of transportation engineering and engineers with the fundamentals of transportation planning. Having spent time in the private sector with Sasaki Associates and Clough, Harbour and Associates, Wes has been working on all this for the last two decades. A native of  Massachusetts, he is a graduate of the University of Virginia, the University of Connecticut, a recipient of the Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship, the Endeavour Fellowship, winner of the Wootan Award for Outstanding TRB Paper in the field of Policy and Organization, and winner of the Campus-wide University of Colorado Denver Outstanding Faculty in Research Award.

Webinar: Advanced Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) Methods for Structural Concrete Assessment

Speaker: Larry Olson, PE
President and Chief Engineer
Olson Engineering, Inc.

About the Topic: NDE is being increasingly used to assess conditions of aging structures and infrastructure such as bridges, buildings and dams as well as forensic evaluation of such concrete problems as honeycomb, void and cracking in new structures.  Specific NDE methods to be discussed for these applications include ultrasonic pulse velocity, tomography, radar scanning, impact echo scanning,  and surface waves.  Also to be discussed is data fusion with photogrammetry to overlay NDE results on surface images.  Specific learning objectives include understanding NDE methods for condition assessment of corrosion induced delamination of bridge and parking decks, how to map out rebar with 3-D scanning and analyses with radar, and imaging of internal void/honeycomb in concrete with velocity tomography.

About the Speaker: Larry D. Olson, P.E., is internationally known for his expertise in nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of civil infrastructure including dams, bridges, buildings, foundations, pavements, tunnels, etc. He has 40 years of consulting experience in structural condition assessment and monitoring, materials, pavement, geotechnical, geophysical, and vibration engineering. He holds BS Civil and MS (Geotechnical) Engineering degrees from the University of Texas at Austin which honored him as a distinguished alumnus in 2006. He is a member of ACI Committees 228 Nondestructive Testing, 342 Bridge Evaluation and 309 Consolidation.

“Development and Testing of Autonomous Vehicle Technology for Transportation Infrastructure Maintenance” By Dr. XB Hu

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Development and Testing of Autonomous Vehicle Technology for Transportation Infrastructure Maintenance

Mobile and slow-moving operations, such as striping, sweeping, bridge flushing, and pothole patching, are critical for efficient and safe operation of a highway transportation system. However, reducing hazards for roadway workers and achieving a safer environment for both roadway maintenance operators and the public have been a challenging problem. In 2017 alone, a total of 158,000 total crashes occurred in our nation’s work zones, accounting for 61,000 injuries. The Autonomous Truck Mounted Attenuator (ATMA) vehicle, sometimes referred to as an Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle (AIPV), offers a promising solution to eliminate injuries to Department of Transportation (DOT) employees.

In this webinar, we will present how to use Autonomous Vehicle technology for work zone maintenance, for the purpose of protecting DOT maintenance workers from potential crashes. We will also present the evaluation methodology for the ATMA system, as well as the field-testing outcomes in Sedalia, MO. We hope this webinar will be helpful for transportation agencies that are interested in deploying similar technologies, or for academic researchers to assess characteristics of autonomous vehicles and to apply knowledge gained in transportation modeling and simulation practices.

About the Presenter

Dr. XB Hu is currently an Assistant Professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Arizona in 2013 and was a founding team member and the Director of R&D at Metropia Inc. at Tucson AZ. His research focuses on smart transportation systems, transportation big data analytics, and traffic flow and system modeling. He is supporting Missouri DOT, Colorado DOT, and a pool-fund with 12 state DOT members to test and deploy autonomous maintenance technology in the United States.

Invited Speaker Webinar with Dr. Zhongren Wang, Ph.D., California Department of Transportation


“Implementing a Pavement Management System in California DOT”


About the Speaker:

Dr. Zhongren Wang is Chief, Office of Mobility Programs at Caltrans. He manages multiple statewide mobility programs such as connected corridor, operational improvement analysis and investigation, and project environmental impact analysis.

A registered Civil and Traffic Engineer in California, Dr. Wang has more than 30 years of experiences in transportation project development and management, program administration, and academic teaching and research. Dr. Wang serves on multiple TRB standing Committees including Geometric Design, Traffic Flow Theory and Characteristics, and Pavement Management. Dr. Wang published more than 30 journal papers in various refereed journals and is now an associate editor of the International Journal on Transportation Science and Technology.

Dr. Wang graduated from the University of Tennessee, National University of Singapore, and Tongji University, Chin

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Invited Speaker Webinar Series with M. Saiid Saiidi, PhD, PE., University of Reno Nevada

10:00 a.m. Pacific Time


Topic: “Seismic Performance of ABC (accelerated bridge construction) Bridge Systems”

Deployment of accelerated bridge construction (ABC) in high seismic zones has faced resistance due to uncertainties on seismic performance of connections between prefabricated bridge elements.  Research on development and evaluation of earthquake-resistant connections appropriate for ABC began to a limited extent over 15 years ago and intensified over the past decade.  By necessity, studies were mostly focused on component connections (known as ABC connections) such as column-footing, column cap beam, and superstructure cap beam linkage.  While the results of these studies identified appropriate details and led to preliminary design guidelines, questions still remained on the holistic seismic performance of bridges incorporating ABC connections.  Several bridge system studies in recent years have provided answers and have led to increased confidence in ABC in high seismic zones.  The presentation discusses a number of the more promising connections and how they were integrated into three, large-scale two-span bridges tested on shake tables of the University of Nevada, Reno.  The results also shed light on the relative performance of different types of ABC connections for concrete girder and steel girder bridges with a variety of column connections.

About the speaker:

Dr. Saiidi is an emeritus professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of Center for Advanced Technology in Bridges and Infrastructure at the University of Nevada, Reno.  He is also a distinguished research faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a principal at Infrastructure Innovation, LLC, Reno, Nevada.  He has published over 500 papers and reports and given over 400 presentations, many as a keynote speaker in over 30 countries.  Professor Saiidi’s research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, Federal Highway Administration, US Department of Transportation, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, the California, Nevada, and Washington Departments of Transportation, and industries.  Professor Saiidi’s primary research focus has been on experimental and analytical studies of seismic response of reinforced concrete bridges, seismic retrofit, resiliency with novel materials, seismic response and design of precast bridges, and probabilistic design for seismic damage control.  He has received many awards for his research including the Outstanding Researcher Award, Established Innovator Award, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Distinguished Alumni Award among others.  He is a registered engineer in California and Nevada, and a member of the Mexican National Academy of Engineering.