The chair of the Civil Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Arlington has been awarded a $653,000 contract by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to test longer-lasting concrete pipes embedded with polypropylene fibers for strength and durability.

The team, led by Ali Abolmaali, Tseng Huang Endowed Professor, will monitor and evaluate the performance of these pipes through robotic inspection of their interior and will scan samples with an electron microscope to test their chemical composition.

“Professor Abolmaali’s research related to synthetic fiber concrete pipes has been on the leading edge of research in this area and has already led to the development of new international standards and acceptance by the American Concrete Pipe Association,” UTA President Vistasp Karbhari said.

“The new research project will undoubtedly take this one step further through the assessment of performance in the field—and further cements Professor Abolmaali’s reputation as a leading researcher internationally, as well as the stature of the department as a leader in pipe research across the United States.

I’m extremely proud of the way in which he and other faculty have not only pioneered new innovations, but have also enabled the rapid transfer of these into use by industry. This is a true example of impactful university research.”