pmu
PMU
We're delighted to have you join us for an exciting exploration of ideas, innovation, and inspiration. As we kick off this extraordinary event, we are privileged to introduce our distinguished keynote speakers, each a trailblazer in their respective fields. Prepare to be captivated by their insights and expertise .

Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool

Boston University, United States
Exploring community impacts, just transitions, and conceptual frontiers for industrial decarbonization and net-zero societies

Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool

Boston University, United States

Abstract

Decarbonizing industry represents a complex, daunting technical challenge.  The industrial sector provides critical products such as electronics, machinery, metals, chemicals, and textiles, but is technically “difficult to decarbonize” because of the diversity of fuels and services it harnesses across very heterogenous operations clustered across different types of factories and processes.  This framing as a technical challenge lends itself to technical solutions such as advancing early-stage research and development in carbon capture and utilization and hydrogen technologies, improving the energy-efficiency of industrial processing, scaling new prototypes through demonstrations, electrification of heating, and investing in new sources of low-carbon electricity supply (among others).   However, this framing obscures many of the nontechnical aspects of the industrial decarbonation challenge, aspects that involve social and even ethical considerations. Communities and workers may see their homes and livelihoods tied to oil and gas production and fossil-fuel consuming industries severely disrupted. Whether and how these industries decide to comply with government climate policies and public pressures to phase-out fossil fuels has the potential to transform the cultural, economic and political landscape. These nontechnical elements to industrial decarbonization are explored in this presentation, along with conceptual frameworks focusing on justice (such as Just Transitions) and accelerated low-carbon transitions as a topic.

Short Bio

Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool is Professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University in the United States, where he is the Founding Director of the Institute for Global Sustainability. He was formerly Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School in the United Kingdom, and Director of the Center for Energy Technologies and University Distinguished Professor of Business & Social Sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark. Professor Sovacool works as a researcher and consultant on issues pertaining to energy policy, energy justice, energy security, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation.  More specifically, his research focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, the ethics and morality of energy decisions, designing public policy to improve energy security and access to electricity, and building adaptive capacity to the consequences of climate change. With much coverage of his work in the international news media, he is one of the most highly cited global researchers on issues bearing on controversies in energy and climate policy.

Dr. Brahim Benmokrane

University of Sherbrooke, Canada
Recent Canadian Developments Related to FRP Reinforcement for Sustainable and Resilient Concrete Structures, Design Codes, and Field Applications

Dr. Brahim Benmokrane

University of Sherbrooke, Canada

Short Bio

Professor Brahim Benmokrane holds the prestigious Tier–1 Canada Research Chair in Advanced Composite Materials for Civil Structures and the Senior Industrial Research Chair in Innovative FRP Reinforcement for Sustainable Concrete Infrastructures at the Department of Civil & Building Engineering at the University of Sherbrooke, QC, Canada. Professor Benmokrane is one of the world’s top in the field of structural concrete internally reinforced with fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcement. His research has significantly influenced the development of concrete structures reinforced with FRP bars, building codes, design specifications, and its practical use in North America and beyond. He has many world firsts to his credit in terms of use of FRP reinforcement in concrete structures, such as bridges, parking facilities, water-treatment plants, and tunnels. His contributions go beyond his cutting-edge research to include leadership and involvement in developing international design codes
and specifications for engineers and users. Professor Benmokrane has organized and chaired several international conferences/workshops in his research field and has freely given of his time and expertise in delivering many intensive courses, seminars/webinars, and workshops to hundreds of engineers, researchers, and professionals across Canada and around the world. His research and professional services have been recognized with several awards. Some of his more note-worthy awards have come from ACI, CSCE, CSA, IIFC, NSERC, and the Royal Society of Canada (Fellow of Academy of Science). Professor Benmokrane has published over 750 papers, books, and book chapters and delivered over 250 lectures worldwide. He is one of the scientists most cited in the world in the field (22,300+ Citations, h-index = 83, by Google Scholar). He currently leads a research group of 36 and has trained 185 researchers.

More than 35 of his former graduate students now hold faculty positions in Canada and abroad. Over the last 25 years, Professor Benmokrane has worked with Canadian and international engineering firms and government departments and counts many world firsts to his credit in terms of bridges, parking facilities, water-treatment plants, and tunnels. He has acted as a consultant on major national and international projects using FRP bars, such as the Nipigon Cable Stayed Bridge on the Trans-Canada Highway (northwestern Ontario, Canada), Highway 40 & Champlain Bridge (Montreal, Canada), TTC Subway North Tunnels (Highway 407) (Toronto), Port of Tanger Med II (Morocco), and Port of Miami Tunnel (US).

Dr. Eyad Masad

Texas A&M University, Qatar
Development and Upcycling of Materials for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

Dr. Eyad Masad

Texas A&M University, Qatar

Abstract

The resiliency and sustainability of infrastructure systems are crucial for economic development and vitality.  Infrastructure resiliency refers to the capacity to withstand disruptions, whether caused by material degradation, climate change, or natural hazards, with little loss in function as well as rapidly and efficiently restore functionality. Sustainability, on the other hand, focuses on preserving high-functioning infrastructure through the adoption of environmentally-friendly technologies and minimization of natural resource depletion. This presentation will delve into a number of studies dedicated to the upcycling and development of innovate materials that have low energy footprint and improve infrastructure resiliency. It will also explore the practical application of these developed technologies in engineering projects. A key highlight is the use of geopolymers, integrated with reclaimed construction materials, for the 3D printing (additive manufacturing) of infrastructure elements. Our research findings reveal that these materials exhibit optimal rheological, mechanical, and thermal characteristics suitable to additive manufacturing. Further, the presentation will also discuss the development of plastic-modified asphalts and recycled asphalt binders that exhibit improved rheological properties and performance over virgin unmodified binders. The talk will highlight the relationships between chemical, structural, and mechanical properties of these materials and their influence on performance of asphalt pavement materials. Concluding the presentation, we will outline future research directions aimed at bolstering the resilience and sustainability of our infrastructure, a critical step in mitigating the impact of climate change on infrastructure reliability and performance.

Short Bio

Dr. Eyad Masad is a professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University and a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Program at Texas A&M at Qatar.  He is also the Executive Director of Global Partnerships in the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station. Dr. Masad is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education. He served as Chair of the Pavement Committee of the Geo-Institute, ASCE, and President of the Associate of Pavement Science and Engineering (APSE).

Dr. Masad is recognized globally for making definite and transformative contributions to the advancement of multi-scale characterization of pavement materials as well as analysis and design of resilient, sustainable pavement systems.  Dr. Masad published more than 400 technical papers and reports including 230 journal papers.  He is also the holder of two US patents. He is the co-author of a book on Pavement Design and Materials, which is adopted for teaching pavement courses in many universities around the world. He received several best-paper awards from journals. Dr. Masad has established several research laboratories and chaired/co-chaired many conferences, symposia and workshops sponsored by professional organizations all over the world. He has delivered numerous training courses for the industry and transportation agencies. He has been a consultant for major projects in the United States and Middle East. These projects involve pavement analysis and design, forensic evaluation of pavements, soil stabilization, material characterization, and development of quality control and quality assurance systems.

Dr. Masad is the recipient of several national and international awards in recognition of his academic and research achievements. Among these awards are the Francis C. Turner Award (2022) from the Transportation and Development Institute of ASCE, Monismith Lecture Award (2022) from the Geo-Institute of ASCE, and the James Laurie Prize (2019) from ASCE. Dr. Masad received the Eisenhower Graduate Research Fellowship (1997), and the Eisenhower Faculty Fellowship in Transportation Engineering (1998) from the Federal Highway Administration. He is also the recipient of the W. J. Emmons Award for the best paper published in the Journal of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT) (2001), and the Best Paper Award from the International Journal of Road Materials and Pavement Design (2004, 2017, 2021). He received several university awards including the Faculty Excellence Award (2020), Dean’s Leadership Award (2017), Zachry Professorship (2015), Dean’s Meritorious Service Award (2010), Halliburton Professorship Award for Scholarly Excellence in Engineering (2009), the Texas Transportation Institute/Trinity New Researcher Award (2006), the ConocoPhillips Faculty Fellow Award for outstanding performance (2005), and the Zachry Award for Excellence in Teaching (2004).

Marsia Geldert-Murphey

P.E., F.ASCE
ASCE 2024 President
Engineering the Future: Bridging Imagination and Reality

Marsia Geldert-Murphey

P.E., F.ASCE
ASCE 2024 President

Abstract

With an expanding global population, we must maintain our aging infrastructure to meet current needs and move it into the future with innovative technologies and capabilities that will enable us to combat the problems of tomorrow. In this presentation, ASCE President Marsia Geldert-Murphey will share how we need to prepare future civil engineers to meet these challenges. Marsia Geldert-Murphey is the ASCE 2024 President 2024. ASCE is the oldest engineering society in the United States, representing 160,000 members in 177 countries. ASCE stands at the forefront of a profession that plans, designs, constructs, and operates society’s economic and social engine – the built environment – while protecting and restoring the natural environment.

Short Bio

Marsia Geldert-Murphey is one of two regional directors for Lochmueller Group, a 270-person Midwestern consulting firm, where she is responsible for the operations of their offices in the states of Missouri and Illinois. She has three decades of diverse, increasingly responsible, multi-disciplinary technical and leadership experience, both for private and public entities. Marsia’s history includes the founding of two consulting engineering firms and a construction business.

An ASCE member since 1990, when she joined as a student chapter member, Marsia is the former chair of the Public Policy and Practice Committee. She served on the ASCE Board of Direction from 2016 to 2019 as the Region 7 director. Her extensive ASCE activities include service on several Society-level committees such as program and finance, leader training, and diversity and women, as well as serving as a mentor. She also led the St. Louis Section as president in 2006.

Marsia earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at South Dakota State University and her master’s degree in civil engineering with a focus on geotechnical engineering at Missouri Science & Technology in Rolla, Missouri. She remains actively involved with both universities.She is currently serving on the Selection Committee for the new dean of the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering, and she is a member of the Civil Engineering Academy at MS&T. Marsia is a licensed professional engineer in several states and is a fellow in ASCE.

Dr. Dimitrios Vamvatsikos

National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Infrastructure safety in the era of probability: Code-based design perspectives

Dr. Dimitrios Vamvatsikos

National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Short Bio

Dr. Vamvatsikos holds a Diploma in Civil Engineering (1997) from NTU Athens, and an MSc (1998) and PhD (2002) from Stanford University.  He holds the position of Associate Professor at the National Technical University of Athens, where he focuses on integrating structural modeling, computational techniques, probabilistic concepts, and experimental results into a coherent framework for the performance and risk assessment of structures and infrastructure subject to natural and man-made hazards. He has co-operated with leading structural engineering firms, the oil industry, catastrophe risk modelers, and the insurance/reinsurance industry. He has co-authored guidelines for the Applied Technology Council, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Global Earthquake Model Foundation. He is currently involved in the evolution of Eurocode 8, focusing on the seismic design of industrial facilities."

Dr. Riadh Al-Mahaidi

Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
Innovative Materials and State-of-the-Art Testing Methods for Enhancing Structural Safety and Resilience in Extreme Events

Dr. Riadh Al-Mahaidi

Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Abstract

The assessment of the effectiveness of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites and Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) repair and retrofitting techniques in structures during extreme events can be accurately achieved through 6-DOF hybrid testing. This method combines both physical testing and numerical simulations to reproduce complex loading conditions, including axial, lateral, longitudinal, pitch, roll, and yaw forces, significantly optimizing the design and deployment of FRP solutions. The presentation highlights how hybrid testing enhances seismic retrofitting practices in civil engineering and the acceptance of the repair technique. It also highlights the effectiveness of SMA in enhancing the fatigue life of structures. Accurate outcomes are contingent on correctly setting the interface boundary conditions between physical and numerical domains and replicating the prototype load using gravity, followed by service and/or extreme loads. The Multi-Axis Substructure Testing (MAST) system assembled at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, includes state-of-the-art loading systems that enhance hybrid testing capabilities for six- degrees-of-freedom (6-DOF) boundary conditions through switched/mixed load/deformation control. The system is a one-of-a kind facility in Australasia, offering valuable research prospects and contributing to the research community and industry worldwide.

Short Bio

Professor Riadh Al-Mahaidi is the Director of the Smart Structures Laboratory and a Professor of Structural Engineering at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. He previously held the position of Vice President (International Engagement) at Swinburne from 2017 to 2022. Before joining Swinburne in 2010, he was the Head of the Structures Group at Monash University. He earned a BSc (Hon 1) in civil engineering from the University of Baghdad and MSc and PhD degrees in structural engineering from Cornell University in the United States.

Over the past 25 years, he has focused his research and practice on the lifetime integrity of structures, with a particular interest in structural strength assessment and retrofitting using advanced composite materials. His current research projects involve strengthening bridges using fiber reinforced polymers combined with cement-based bonding agents, improving the fatigue life of metallic structures using advanced composite systems and shape memory alloys, and assessing structure collapse through multi-axis hybrid testing.

Professor Al-Mahaidi is a prolific researcher, with over 250 journal and 270 conference papers published to date, as well as 18 authored/edited books and conference proceedings. To date, He has scored an H-Index of 60 and received several awards, the most recent one was the 2023 IIFC Medal for distinguished contributions to the field of FRP composites for construction through research or practical applications, or both. He was also the recipient of the 2021 IABMAS Special Service Award from the International Association for Bridge Maintenance and Safety. In 2019, he received the Magazine of Concrete Research Prize, from the Institution of Civil Engineers, UK. In 2016, his research group won the Engineers Australia Excellence Award for Innovation, Research, and Development (High Commendation) for the Multi-Axis Substructure Testing (MAST) System. In 2017 he was awarded the WH Warren Medal by Engineers Australia and in 2018 the ARRB Research Impact Award. Other awards included the Vice Chancellor's Internationalization Award in 2012, the RW Chapman Medals in 2005 and 2010 for best journal publication in Engineers Australia Structural Journal, and best paper awards at ACUN-4 (2002) and ACUN-6 (2012) Composites conferences.

Professor Al-Mahaidi is a Fellow of various institutions, including Institution of Engineers Australia, American Concrete Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers, The International Institute for FRP in Construction (IIFC), Institution of Civil Engineers (UK), and the Bridge Engineering Institute.