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

MST Researchers Present at GeoCongress

Dr. Xiong Zhang and Ph.D. student Sara Fayek of Missouri University of Science & Technology presented four posters at the Geo-Congress Charlotte, NC, on March 20-23, 2022. The posters showcased their recent work on modeling and testing of geomaterials with innovative methods and techniques. These presentations included: “Consideration of One Camera Photogrammetry-Based Method to Reevaluate Some Aspects of Conventional Triaxial Methods“, “Use of Low-Cost Security Cameras to Measure the Volume Changes of Unsaturated Soils during Triaxial Testing“, “Using a Three-Dimensional Hydro-Mechanical Model to Study the Cyclic Behavior of Unsaturated Soils”, and “Using the Modified State Surface Approach to Explain and Simplify the Clay and Sand Model (CASM)”.

More information about the conference can be found here:

FAU Researchers Promoted to New Positions

Pierre-Philippe Beaujean

Dr. Pierre-Philippe Beaujean has been named Interim-Chair of the department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering at Florida Atlantic University.  Beaujean is a TriDurLE researcher and also professor at FAU. He specializes in the field of underwater acoustics, acoustics in sediments and porous solids, signal processing, sonar design, data analysis, machine health monitoring, and vibrations control. Dr. Beaujean is an active member of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).




Francisco Presuel-Moreno

In addition, Dr. Francisco Presuel-Moreno, a site director for TriDurLE and Professor and Director of Graduate Programs at Florida Atlantic University Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering,  has been name the director of SeaTech, an institute of FAU-OME  labs  in Dania Beach, Florida.

Liu Presents at ASCE-CI and CRC Joint Conference

Dr. Jenny Liu, Ph.D., P.E., Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, was invited to give two presentations entitled “Preliminary Study of HDPE Modified Asphalt” and “Integrating Quality Assurance in Balanced Mix Design for Durable Mixtures” during the CI&CRC Joint Conference, Arlington, VA, March 9 -12, 2022. As the Chair of ASCE Bituminous Materials Committee (BMC), she also chaired one BMC sponsored technical session and the committee meeting during the conference.

ASCE’s Construction Institute (CI) and Construction Research Council (CRC) are joining forces to bring this joint conference for the latest in construction insights from the academic community and industry professionals.

IACIP Best Poster Awards

Ph.D. students Hanli Wu and Anyou Zhu from the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Missouri S&T, received the First Place and Second Place IACIP Best Poster Awards, respectively, during the International Association of Chinese Infrastructure Professionals (IACIP) Student Poster Contest at the 12th Annual IACIP Workshop (Virtual) on January 9th and 16th, 2022. Hanli Wu’s topic was “Impacts of lightweight aggregates ACEs on thermal performance in Alaska permafrost regions,” and Anyou Zhu’s topic was “Feasibility Study on Foamed Fire-Resistant Coating Materials”. Their advisors are Drs. Jenny Liu and Xiong Zhang.

Haifang Wen Named ASCE Fellow

Congratulations to Dr. Haifang Wen of Washington State University, who has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The ASCE represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 177 countries and is the nation’s oldest engineering society.

Yan Zhang wins CUTC award

Yan Zhang, a WSU Ph.D. student in Civil & Environmental Engineering, has won the 2022 Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award for the best Doctoral dissertation. The annual CUTC National Annual Student Awards recognize outstanding scholarship in transportation research and education. All awards come with an honorarium and award winners were recognized at the CUTC Annual Awards Ceremony, held in virtually on Saturday, January 8, 2022. Congratulations Yan!

Licensing deal aims to enable safer winter roads with more sustainable chemicals

An anti-icing technology developed at Washington State University is being licensed by Fusione Corp., a Massachusetts-based snow and ice operations company, with the goal of creating environmentally responsible and sustainable snow and ice road treatments. Read More

Recycling Industrial Byproduct to Create Environmentally Friendly Concrete

Civil & environmental engineering doctoral student Zhipeng Li is conducting critical research on the novel use of fly ash in concrete, funded by the University Transportation Center TriDurLE (Transportation Infrastructure Durability and Life Extension). His journey since arriving at WSU—in spite of personal challenges—is a true testament of the academic fortitude of a young scientist.

Zhipeng grew up in China and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2014 from Wuhan University of Science & Technology and a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering in 2017 from Wuhan Polytechnic University. Zhipeng came to the U.S. in 2019 to earn his doctoral degree in civil engineering from Washington State University, where he works in Xianming Shi’s lab studying geopolymers.

“I work with geopolymer composites that are modified by trace amounts of graphene oxide,” says Zhipeng. “In particular, I am researching the use of fly ash-based geopolymer composites, which are more sustainable and greener and have great potential to replace the conventional Portland cement.”

Fly ash is an industrial solid waste and environmental pollutant released by factories and thermal power plants as a by-product of power generation. The disposal of fly ash has become a serious environmental hazard, thus the utilization of the waste material for new products is an economical and environmentally friendly solution. Considerable research has been undertaken on its potential use.

The use of fly ash to fully replace cement in mortar and concrete could result in lower water demand due to the spherical shape of fly ash and could also greatly increase strength and durability due to reduced porosity. Ongoing research on the use of fly ash is exploring its durability under variable weather conditions and the addition of nanomaterials to enhance durability. Zhipeng is currently working on a project for TriDurLE titled “Design of Fly Ash Based Geopolymer Concrete-filled FRP Tube Composite for Highly Durable and Environmentally Friendly Infrastructure.”

Zhipeng is also an avid technical writer, publishing as author or co-author eight journal articles with an additional article currently under review. In addition, he is the recipient of several awards including the 2021 Outstanding Research Assistant Award from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; the 2020 Distinguished Reviewer Award from the Journal of Infrastructure Preservation and Resilience; the 2020 Waheed Uddin Outstanding Graduate Student Award, 2nd Place, from the National Center for Transportation Infrastructure Durability & Life-Extension; the 2020 David C. Gross Scholarship, American Coal Ash Association Educational Foundation (ACAAEF); and the 2019 and 2020 Smart & Green Infrastructure Research Scholarship.

While accomplishing so much, Zhipeng has faced challenges at WSU that are shared by many international students. “The main difficulty for me and many international students is that you miss your family,” says Zhipeng. “The cultural differences are hard. Also, I studied English in China for 10 years, but the language is different when you get here.” These problems were enhanced over the past months with travel restrictions, quarantines, and isolation due to COVID.

Zhipeng anticipates his future as an engineer, hoping to defend his dissertation and graduate in 2022 and continue his research thereafter. Watch for his defense in the coming months on fly ash-based geopolymer for concrete infrastructure: development, characterization, application, and lifecycle assessment.


Li,Z., Shi, X. Effects of Nanomaterials on Engineering Performance of a Potassium Methyl  Siliconate-Based Sealer for Cementitious Composite. ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 2021, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0004148.

Li, Z., Xu, G., Shi, X. Reactivity of Coal Fly Ash Used in Cementitious Binder Systems: A State-of-the-Art Overview. Fuel, 2021, 301.

Li, Z., Fei, M., Huyan, C., Shi, X. Nano-Engineered, Fly Ash-Based Geopolymer Composites: An Overview. Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 2021, 168, 105334.

※ Lei, Z., Li, Z., Zhang, X., Shi, X. Durability of CFRP-Wrapped Concrete in Cold Regions: A Laboratory Evaluation of Montmorillonite Nanoclay-Modified Siloxane Epoxy Adhesive. Construction and Building Materials, 2021, 290. (co-first author)

※ Tang, Z., Li, Z., Fan, L., Gong, J., Zhong, J., Shi, X. Effect of Surface Tension, Foaming Stabilizer, and Graphene Oxide on the Properties of Foamed Paste. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2021, 21(5), 3123–3133. (co-first author)

Li, Z., Shi, X. Graphene Oxide Modified, Clinker-Free Cementitious Paste with Principally Alkali-Activated Fly Ash. Fuel, 2020, 269,.

※ Gong, J., Li, Z., Zhang, R., Li, J., Shi, X. Synergistic Effects of Nano-montmorillonite and Polyethylene Microfiber in Foamed Paste with High Volume Fly Ash Binder. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2019, 19(8), 4465-4473. (co-first author)

Li, Z., Gong, J., Du, S., Wu, J., Li, J., Hoffman, D., & Shi, X. (2017). Nano-montmorillonite modified foamed paste with a high volume fly ash binder. RSC advances7(16), 9803-9812.

Gong, J., Yu, L., Li, Z., Shi, X. Mechanical Activation Improves Reactivity and Reduced Leaching of MSWI Bottom Ash in a Cement Hydration System. Transportation Research Record, 2021. Under review (Corresponding author).



Call for Abstracts: Resilience, Failure Mitigation, and Preservation of Concrete Bridges and Structures

Professors Jimmy Kim and Xianming Shi will be moderating a special technical session at the spring 2023 ACI conference focusing on advances in the resilience, failure mitigation, and preservation of concrete bridges and structures. The convention is scheduled for April 2-6, 2023 in San Francisco.

Call for Abstracts

Of interest are presentations concerning a wide variety of technical aspects from laboratory experiments to field applications, involving the evaluation, design, and construction of load-bearing members and systems. Specific subjects include resilience, redundancy, performance reliability, fragility, recovery after seismic events, rehabilitation and preservation methods, uncertainty analysis, failure mechanisms, remaining service life, functionality metrics, and hazard mitigation. Case studies are considered appropriate. The session will bring to light recent research findings and best practices, and will provide an opportunity to discuss present challenges and technical demands. The session will benefit those who lead the design and construction of bridges and structures toward resilient and sustainable built-environments.

Deadline for Abstracts: January 31, 2022

1) Presentation title, 2) authors’ name, affiliation, mailing address, and email, and 3) abstract no more than 300 words

Send To:

Yail Jimmy Kim, University of Colorado Denver, 1200 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80217, USA
Phone: 303-315-7497