AFRP Reinforced Concrete Bridge Decks and Columns with
Replaceable Structural Fuses as Energy Dissipaters under Cyclic Loading

NHERI Lehigh Seminar Series
May 9, 2018 | Noon - 1pm EST


Monique Head, PhD
Associate Professor, Morgan State University

Corrosion deterioration and structural degradation of aging bridges are a major infrastructure challenge. Concrete bridge deck panels reinforced and prestressed with aramid fiber reinforced polymers (AFRPs) show promise for enhanced durability given their inherent corrosion-resistance and tensile properties compared to conventional steel rebar. The precast panels are reinforced and prestressed in the parallel and perpendicular to the traffic directions, respectively, and supported by reinforced concrete beams. Results from experimentally testing a 16 ft x 18 ft deck slab are presented, and overall constructability issues and challenges when using AFRP bars are also discussed. The experimental results show the average failure load of the interior spans and overhangs equal to 3.9 and 1.4 times the maximum AASHTO LRFD (2010) factored wheel load, respectively, where the deflection serviceability criteria are met and satisfactory deformability performance is achieved. No local failure at the panel-to- panel seam and shear composite pockets was observed, which confirms the design efficacy of the connection details. Studies have been extended to include an analytical investigation of a bridge column reinforced with AFRP bars and structural fuses as energy dissipaters to assess its performance under cyclic loading. The design rationale and performance of these columns, including future plans for reduced-scale single column testing are presented.


Since January 2017, Dr. Head has led the School of Engineering at Morgan State University as the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, where she has focused on increasing the funding allocations for engineering graduate students and increasing research grant submissions. Prior to joining the faculty at Morgan State University in 2011 from Texas A&M University as a tenure-track Assistant Professor (2007-2011), Dr. Head has secured more than $1.5M in grants involving cutting-edge technical research projects while also creating experiential learning and discovery opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students via the research projects. Her research lab, Green Transportation Infrastructure Center (GTIC), is focused on addressing our nation's deteriorating transportation infrastructure through the application of fundamental engineering principles and use of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) bars to replace conventional steel rebar within concrete bridge decks and columns, especially within seismic zones (i.e. bridge and earthquake engineering).

Dr. Head has published in top-tier journals, and is a member of several national professional organizations. In 2014, she received the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Maryland Section, Outstanding Educator of the Year Award and the University of Delaware, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Citation for Outstanding Alumni Achievement. In addition to her national and international service, she enjoys facilitating engineering outreach activities for middle and high school students to stimulate an excitement for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). She is passionate about increasing graduation and retention rates, especially of female engineering students and students from diverse backgrounds, and is focused on enhancing research and innovation at Morgan State University. Dr. Monique Hite Head is a native of Newark, Delaware. She received her bachelor and master of civil engineering degrees from the University of Delaware in 2000 and 2002, respectively, and her doctorate in civil (structural) engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in May 2007. Dr. Head is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, and conducts large-scale experimental testing using advanced materials like fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) bars to develop better design methodologies as part of performance-based seismic bridge design.

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