Across the country, our transportation infrastructure is aging. Designed to last a certain amount of time, our nation’s bridges are reaching the end of their design life. Approximately 56,000 bridges, are considered to be in "poor" condition, on which we daily take 188 million trips. Today, the estimated cost to rehabilitate our deficient bridges is $123 billion – posing a significant burden on taxpayers. Without remediation, bridges that are rated as "poor" are also in danger of collapsing, which may lead to deaths and damage to surrounding property.
Moreover, population in the coastal regions are feeling the wrath of climate change, which has led to an increase in hurricanes, flooding, and sea level rise. The climate change also causes higher rates of degradation in residential and commercial buildings, and transportation infrastructures which makes them highly vulnerable to collapse under natural hazards.
The main goal of our research is to develop and integrate advanced materials in bridges, residential, and commercial buildings, to make them more durable and resilient when faced with today’s natural hazards. The use of appropriate materials to repair existing structures and to construct new structures can reduce maintenance efforts and slow down structural deterioration, ultimately improving structural performance, and reducing overall lifecycle costs.