Civil and Mechanical Engineering


The materials and structural laboratory at IPFW possess state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for testing and analysis of concrete and small to medium scale structural elements. The mechanical properties of concrete can be tested using innovative equipment and facilities that are continuously upgraded. The major durability aspects of concrete can be evaluated under simulated environmental exposures. The lab is also used by undergraduate CE students to fabricate the steel bridge and concrete canoe for the ASCE annual contests. Other materials such as metals, wood, and composites can be tested.


  • 350 kip Fully-Automated Tinuis Olson Compression Testing Machine
  • 12x10x10 ft Standard Moist-Curing Room
  • Concrete Mixers
  • Rapid Chloride Permeability Test
  • Shrinkage Test
  • Bond Strength Test
  • Plastic Concrete Properties Tests
  • Aggregate Tests
  • Coring Machine and Ovens
  • Data Acquisition System, Sensors, and Rebound Hammers

Affiliated Faculty

Current Projects

Superiority & Constructability of Fibrous Additives for Bridge Deck Overlays

This project is sponsored by the Illinois Center for Transportation/Illinois Department of Transportation for 3 years with a total amount of fund of $160,000 that includes 25% cost share by IPFW (January 2009 – December 2011). The principal objective of this research study is to evaluate the advantages that the fibrous additives can add to the performance of bridge deck concrete overlays. Anticipated advantages include minimizing plastic shrinkage cracking and provide crack arresting mechanism and residual strength to the overlay concrete; thus keeping the crack width to hairline scale and prevent crack propagation, which in turn maintain the intended low permeability of the concrete overlay. On the other hand, the fibrous concrete overlay must be constructible without complications during mixing, placing, and finishing practices.

Extensive experimental program is currently undertaken at the Structural & Materials Laboratory at IPFW (SS134). Several undergraduate civil engineering students are hired to help with this project. The following pictures show portion of the experimental program and test results.

Recent Publications

  • M.A. Alhassan and Mohsen A. Issa, "Estimation of Drying Shrinkage-Induced Stresses at Bridge Deck Slab-Overlay Bond Interface," Journal of the Chinese Ceramic Society (JCCS), Vol. 39, No. 1, January 2011, pp. 92-98.
  • M.A. Alhassan, "Shrinkage-Time Responses of Bridge Deck Overlay Mixtures with Fibrous Additives," Journal of the Chinese Ceramic Society (JCCS), Vol. 38, No. 9, September 2010, pp. 1638-1644.
  • M.A. Alhassan and S. Ashur, "Fibrous Bridge Deck Concrete Overlay: Parameters of Investigation and Preliminary Experimental Results," TRB 89th Annual Meeting CD-ROM, Paper No. 10-2233, Session 535, Washington, D.C., January 10-14, 2010.
  • M.A. Alhassan and S. Ashur, "Performance-Based Aspects and Constructability of Bridge Deck Latex-Modified Concrete Overlays with and without Fibrous Additives," Published at the ACI 2010 Spring Convention CD-ROM, Chicago, IL, March 21-25, 2010.
  • M.A. Alhassan, "Shrinkage-Time Responses of LMC, MSC, and FAC Bridge Deck Overlay Mixtures with Fibrous Additives," Published at the 7th International Symposium on Cement & Concrete (ISCC2010) CD-ROM, Ji’nan, China, May 9-12, 2010.
  • M.A. Alhassan and J. Welch, "Incorporating very Powerful Structural Analysis and Design Software Packages into Civil Engineering Courses," Published and Presented by James Welch at the 2010 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Paper No.: AC 2010-2267, June 20-23, Louisville, Kentucky.
  • M.A. Alhassan, “Improving the Seismic Behavior of Critically-Detailed RC Beam-Column Joints with Fiber Reinforce Concrete Jackets,” New Materials and Innovative Approaches for Seismic Rehabilitation, ATC & SEI Conference on Improving the Seismic Performance of Existing Buildings and Other Structures, Abstract and Technical Presentation Handouts, San Francisco, CA, Dec. 8-12, 2009.