SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION IN AREA OF SPECIALIZATION
Worked extensively to develop some research programs in the area of durability of concrete and building materials during my work in the Materials Section, Center for Engineering Research, Research Institute, in cooperation with my colleagues in the Civil Engineering Department. Tried very hard to attract external funds for new research areas such as utilization of advanced composite materials in enhancing the durability performance of concrete structures. Managed several projects, and played a pivotal role in preparing many research proposals. The research studies conducted involved both extensive laboratory and field activities. The main contribution included the following:
Durability of Reinforced Concrete Structures
I have been involved in solving serious durability problems faced by different sectors of the construction industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The results of these studies were used to improve the durability performance of different types of structures. Several organizations in Saudi Arabia have changed their own standards and QC/QA requirements based on the findings of the durability studies conducted by the research team at the Materials Section, RI. This has resulted in an increase in the useful service-life of the structures and an overall reduction in the cost of repair and maintenance.
I was the principal investigator of the field station at Khaleej Mardomah that established five years ago along the shoreline of Al-Jubail Industrial City which covers typical exposure conditions commonly encountered in construction sites throughout the Arabian Gulf coastal areas. Concrete and other metallic specimens were prepared and placed in the station. These specimens were designed to be studied over than twenty years of exposure.
Moreover, I have been involved in several research activities dealing with essential aspects related to durability performance of concrete, including inhibition of reinforcing steel corrosion under atmospheric condition, effect of dust in aggregates and the chloride concentration in soil on concrete durability, effectiveness of concrete patch repairs using formed and non-formed cementitious repair materials, effect of rebar cleanliness on the effectiveness of repairs, comparative study of the performance of water quenched steel bars with air-cooled bars, and specification for silica fume to produce durable concrete.
In general, the data developed in the completed and ongoing projects are very useful to the clients and the local construction industry. The clients have updated their specifications. In some cases, the outcome of the projects has helped the clients in their marketing activities. Since the projects relate to assessing the performance of conventional and advanced materials under local conditions, the outcome is highly applicable to the local construction industries. This information could also be adopted in other hot and semi-arid regions.
I have conducted several studies on the durability of glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) reinforcement as a building construction material. The tests I have conducted under the laboratory conditions were complemented with field exposure and testing to obtain information on long time durability of reinforced concrete structures under local environments. The ultimate objective is to identify the most promising areas of application of GFRP reinforcement in the local environments, where the durability and service life of concrete structures can be enhanced and an overall reduction in the cost of repair and maintenance.
Different types of commercially available GFFRP bars have been considered in these studies. The stand alone GFRP bars were exposed to accelerated exposure conditions which included alkaline solution, alkaline plus seawater, alkaline plus sabkha solution, acidic solution, thermal variations, outdoor exposure, and fire exposure. All the solutions were maintained at 60°C. The properties of GFRP bars have been monitored through various tests including tensile strength, compressive strength, and weight loss, in addition to examining the chemical and microstructural changes using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Another group of specimens were tested for bond strength.
The GFRP reinforced concrete specimens were exposed to conditions simulating the local aggressive environmental conditions including the potable water, seawater, sabkha solution and outdoor exposure for a duration of 24 months, in addition to fire exposure. The reinforced concrete specimens were tested for bond strength and bending behavior plus tensile strength.
Moreover, concrete specimens with GFRP reinforcement bars were cast to form pull-out specimens and beam specimens with one embedded GFRP bar each, and exposed to the tidal zone, below ground zone, and above ground zone in Khaleej Mardomah field station. This investigation was planned as part of the 20 year research field study reported previously.
The reinforced concrete specimens will be retrieved after predetermined periods of exposure to be tested for bond strength, and tensile strength of retrieved GFRP bars from exposed concrete beam specimens. Moreover, all the exposed specimens will be monitored visually for any sign of damage or deterioration throughout the duration of the study. The microstructural changes of limited number of retrieved GFRP bars will be examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
The results of these studies have already been used in formulating the Guide for Design and Construction of Concrete Reinforced with FRP Bars (ACI 440). The findings and results of the recently completed laboratory work as well as the ongoing unique field investigation in this area will be of great interest to the researchers since they address unique exposure conditions such as sabkha.
CONTRIBUTION TO TEACHING, RESEARCH, AND UNIVERSITY,
DEPARTMENTAL AND PUBLIC SERVICE
Contribution to Teaching
I have been actively engaged in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Civil Engineering. Due to my involvement in the Research Institute, unfortunately I was not given the chance to teach full load although I made myself available to teach each semester.
I have always endeavored to make the students understand the course content. In this direction, my presentation has been to make the students understand the basics of the material taught and its practical application. Furthermore, my courses have always been complemented with field trips to visualize, as much as possible, the applications of theories and practices reported in the textbooks and course notes. I have always received positive comments and appreciation from the students as part of the course and instructor evaluations. Many students have personally appreciated my teaching methods and the friendly approach that I adopt.
In spite of the low enrollment in the graduate program in the Department of Civil Engineering, as compared to the number of faculty members, I have been the Chairman of two MS thesis committees, and a member in two MS thesis committees.
I have been participating in short courses and seminars offered by the Academic Development Center in the University to enhance my teaching quality and performance. My record/evaluation in all the courses and the short courses was excellent; for all the courses I taught, the evaluation being always more than 9.3 out of 10.
Contribution to Research
Worked extensively to develop several research programs in the area of durability of concrete and building materials during my work in the Materials Section, Center for Engineering Research in the Research Institute. Tried very hard to attract external funds for new research areas, such as utilization of advanced composite materials in enhancing the durability performance of concrete structures. Managed several projects, and played a pivotal role in preparing many research proposals.
Coordinated the activities of almost all the projects and laboratory services in the Building Materials Research Group. Worked to upgrade and equip the Lab facilities in the Building Materials Research Group, in addition to the responsibility of teaching in the Civil Engineering Department.
Played a major role in marketing the capabilities and expertise of the Civil Engineering and Building Materials Research Group as well as marketing new research ideas to different “local” organizations. These relentless efforts resulted in receiving external funds for several projects.
I have been involved in solving serious durability problems faced by different sectors of the construction industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The results of these studies were used to improve the durability performance of different types of structures. This has resulted in an increase in the useful service-life of the structures and an overall reduction in the cost of repair and maintenance.
These research studies resulted in practical recommendations to improve the durability of different concrete structures exposed to varying exposure conditions. An exposure site was established to expose concrete and other metallic specimens to the Arabian Gulf environments. Such a unique research study is an efficient way to obtain information on long time durability of reinforced concrete structures under local environment. The results can be compared with those obtained from other field stations on the regional as well as international levels. This comparison would provide an indication of the acceleration of deterioration due to elevated temperature, salinity and humidity conditions.
The data developed in the completed and ongoing projects are very useful to the clients and the local construction industry. The clients have updated their specifications. In some cases, the outcome of the projects has helped the clients in their marketing activities. Since the projects relate to assessing the performance of conventional and advanced materials under local conditions, the outcome is highly applicable to the local construction industries. This information could also be adopted in other hot and semi-arid regions.
In addition to the laboratory investigations, the field station established recently along the shoreline of Al-Jubail Industrial City which contains typical exposure conditions commonly encountered in construction sites throughout the Arabian Gulf coastal areas will play an important role in upgrading the local specifications and protection methods.
The technical quality of work meets national and international standards. This is reflected by the clients’ satisfaction with the research output and the acceptance of the technical papers for publication in the international refereed journals and conferences. One of three SABIC projects sponsored by the University Research Committee [No. 10, Section 3.1, Part (vi)] scored the maximum points among more than 25 proposals that were submitted to the KFUPM University Research Committee for funding. The other proposals were also rated very highly, indicating the excellent quality of the proposed work.
The projects and tasks that I have managed required creativity in designing the experimental setup with limited manpower and resources to achieve the objectives of the research projects. The experimental setups required for standard and non-standard tests, were designed and fabricated to achieve the objectives of the projects. As an example in the GFRP study (CER 2242), the conditioning and testing setups required originality to successfully determine the effect of different exposure conditions on the properties of the GFRP bars. In general, the results obtained with the different designed experimental setups have met the satisfaction of my colleagues in the group and the clients.
I have worked as a project manager as well as a task leader in many projects. The Director of the Center for Engineering Research and the Manager of Materials Section were satisfied with the way I have supervised the work assigned to me. As the leader of the Building Materials Research Group, I was successful in obtaining excellent support from the other members of the group. Together, we were able to successfully complete many projects.
Contribution to University, Departmental and Public Services
At the university level, I have served in several standing committees including the Continuing Education and Educational Services Program Committee, Lecturers, Graduate Assistants, and Research Assistants Affairs Committee, Traffic Safety Committee, Library Affairs Committee, Projects Budget Committee, Equipment Review Committee, Proposal Evaluation Committee, and Alterations Committee, in addition to several other ad-hoc committees. I have also served in some committees and ad-hoc committees in the Department of Civil Engineering. In the Research Institute, I have served in several standing and ad-hoc committees including the Conferences and Publication Committee, and RI Distinguished Research Awards Committee. On the national level, I chaired for several years Qiyas Examination (RAM 1) Committee for Wadi-Ad-Dawaser Center and Mahail Assir Center.
As part of the public services, I have delivered several seminars at KFUPM and all over Saudi Arabia including Dhahran, Al-Khobar, Dammam, and Al-Jubail Industrial City. These presentations were based on my research findings in the field of concrete durability and utilization of composite materials in construction. The main objective of these presentations was to raise the awareness of the general public about the ongoing research as well as the importance of the durability of reinforced concrete in aggressive exposures, such as those prevailing in the Arabian Gulf region.
As part of my services to the University and the engineering society at large, I have lectured in open and closed short courses. These courses also provided us the input for our future research activities. The courses were well attended by participants and often well appreciated and evaluated.
I have also reviewed many papers for publication in local and international journals as well as in conferences and symposia. A total of more than 15 papers were reviewed during the last 7 years.
I have the privilege to be the Chairman of the Board Members of the Saudi Society of Civil Engineers, Eastern Branch (SSCE-EB) that has been formed recently. I am also a member of the Saudi Arabian Chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI-SAC), the Eastern Province Section. The importance of these societies in educating the Civil Engineering industry and disseminating the recent development in technology is well appreciated by KFUPM administration. Through these voluntary activities, academicians can help upgrade the knowledge of practicing engineers, technicians, and administrators to be aware of the research findings and new ideas.