Paramita Mondal, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Riyadh Hindi, director of graduate programs and interim chair of civil engineering in Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology at Saint Louis University, are currently serving as principal and co-principal investigators, respectively, for ICT research project R27-139, Bridge Decks: Mitigation of Shrinkage Cracking (Phase II).
Based on the findings of the first phase of this project, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) developed a design specification that incorporates new materials to be used in concrete bridge decks to reduce shrinkage cracking. The results of this research are being implemented by state engineers and might significantly change bridge deck construction in Illinois. The second phase of the project is expected to provide IDOT with recommendations that can easily be implemented to increase the safety and durability of Illinois bridges and, consequently, save money.
Mondal explains: “To reduce shrinkage-related cracking in concrete bridge decks, it is necessary to adopt a holistic approach and to consider both material and structural aspects. The collaboration with Dr. Hindi brings structural engineering expertise to the project.”
Hindi adds, “Our collaboration with Professor Mondal and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has brought great ideas and opportunities to our research teams at Saint Louis University. Having successfully completed the first phase of this project, we were able to explore different ideas and were awarded a second phase. In addition, this project has given our graduate students the opportunity to interact and learn about different research aspects.”
Mondal holds a bachelor’s degree from Jadavpur University, India, a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, all in civil engineering. Her research interests include various aspects of concrete microstructure, the use of nanotechnology to improve property and performance of concrete and other cementitious materials, and the design of innovative and sustainable construction materials.
Hindi holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Baghdad, Iraq, and a Ph.D. in structural and earthquake engineering from the University of British Columbia, Canada. His area of expertise includes nonlinear behavior; modeling and damage of reinforced and pre-stressed concrete elements under static, cyclic, and seismic loadings; confinement of reinforced concrete bridge columns; low-cycle fatigue of bridge elements and reinforcement; and behavior of bridges under vehicular live loads.