Swinburne researchers recognised for bridge engineering research

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Riadh Al-Mahaidi and Robin Kalfat holding AARB research impact awards

Professor Riadh Al-Mahaidi and Dr Robin Kalfat have developed fibre reinforced polymers to extend the life of existing concrete infrastructure.

In summary

  • Professor Riadh Al-Mahaidi and Dr Robin Kalfat awarded Australian Road Research Board 2018 Research Impact Award
  • The award recognises their work on strengthening bridges with carbon fibre reinforced polymers

The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) has awarded Swinburne’s Professor Riadh Al-Mahaidi and Dr Robin Kalfat the 2018 Research Impact Award for their work on strengthening bridges with carbon fibre reinforced polymers.

The award was presented at ARRB gala and awards dinner in Brisbane on 1 May2018.

Professor Al-Mahaidi and Dr Kalfat have developed fibre reinforced polymers (FRP) to extend the life of existing concrete infrastructure through innovative research into:

  • innovative anchorage systems that have achieved a greater degree of strengthening using less material
  • new methods for shear and torsion retrofitting of box girder bridges using FRP techniques
  • the use of near-surface mounted FRP combined with epoxies and cement-based adhesives to increase the strength of reinforced concrete members in flexure, shear and torsion

“Extending the life of existing infrastructure is important to promote sustainability,” says Professor Al-Mahaidi.

Many existing box girder bridges are being retrofitted with fibre composite materials to achieve greater flexural, shear and torsional strength and to increase their long term sustainability.

“The technology we developed has been used in the West Gate Bridge widening project and also on the M80 Western Ring Road upgrade, saving both time and money.”

Approach spans of the Westgate Bridge strengthened with fibre reinforced polymers

Approach spans of the West Gate Bridge strengthened with fibre reinforced polymers.

Professor Al-Mahaidi and Dr Kalfat’s research has contributed to the development and publication of Australia’s first standard in the use of FRPs to strengthen concrete bridges. They have completed a book titled Rehabilitation of Concrete Structures with Fiber-Reinforced Polymers, to be published in August this year.

Australian Road Research Board Research Impact Award

The award is presented to an individual researcher or research team, whose research, development and implementation efforts have made a significant improvement to operational quality and/or cost in the last 24 months and has therefore achieved considerable impact within the community and industry.