CAREER: Understanding and Quantifying System-level Seismic Performance for the Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures with Highly Ductile Concrete Materials

Project: Research project

Project Details


This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award will support research on the seismic behavior and design of reinforced concrete structural systems using highly ductile concrete materials known as high-performance fiber-reinforced cementitious composites (HPFRCCs). Engineers have made rapid advances in the development of concrete materials with enhanced mechanical properties and cracking resistance. Proof-of-concept studies have shown that HPFRCCs drastically improve the seismic response of individual building components. In order to promote transformational change and progress the science of structural design for natural hazards, this project will focus on understanding how HPFRCCs can be engineered for the use in entire building systems to improve seismic performance. By creating a new understanding of how structural systems behave with HPFRCCs, engineers will be able to design more resilient structures that enhance the public's safety, prosperity, and welfare. The project will integrate physical experimentation, computational modeling, and risk assessment to create new methods to evaluate and design reinforced concrete structures. Curricula will be developed on the applications of novel construction materials. Outreach activities will promote interest in STEM among female middle school students across socioeconomic backgrounds and engage high school students within Newark, New Jersey to study cost-benefit scenarios related to the use of new infrastructure materials. This award will contribute to the National Science Foundation (NSF) role in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP).

The goal of this project is to understand and quantify seismic performance of structural systems using highly ductile concrete materials. The research program will lead to a new understanding of designing buildings with HPFRCCs, and quantify their impact on performance, life safety, and life-cycle costs. In order to achieve these outcomes, the research integrates the following objectives: (1) quantify the plastic hinge response of HPFRCC components under the combined effects of axial loading and bending through a targeted set of physical experiments and detailed computational simulations; (2) create computationally efficient models that account for the unique response and failure characteristics of HPFRCC components for use in system-level seismic analysis and design; (3) develop seismic design criteria, perform risk assessment, and analyze cost-benefit scenarios for HPFRCC systems; and (4) integrate educational and outreach programs to create research and learning opportunities for students across age, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The project will advance the science of highly ductile concretes in natural hazard applications and provide the foundation for a career in leadership in research, education, and outreach in the use of novel construction materials in structural systems. Experimental results will be accessible through the NSF-supported Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) Data Depot (, and models will be integrated with resources from the NHERI Computational Modeling and Simulation Center.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date8/1/227/31/27


  • National Science Foundation: $559,998.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.