Members

Dr. Head, Principal Investigator (PI)

Dr. Head joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Delaware in 2018.  The broader impact of her work has been focused on seismic demands on bridges and using fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite bars as an alternative to steel reinforcement in concrete bridge decks to meet minimum AASHTO loads and deflection criteria. She received her bachelor and master of civil engineering degrees from the University of Delaware in 2000 and 2002, respectively, and PhD in civil (structural) engineering with a minor in seismology from the Georgia Institute of Technology in May 2007.  She is an active member of  the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Concrete Institute (ACI), and serves as Transportation Research Board (TRB) Chair for AKB50 (formerly TRB AFF50): Committee on the Seismic Design and Performance of Bridges. She is also an affiliated member of the University’s Center for Innovative Bridge Engineering (CIBrE) and Delaware Center for Transportation (DCT). (Dr. Head, Principal Investigator (full CV))

Wael Aloqaily is currently a PhD student who started his doctoral program in Spring 2019. He completed his Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan in 2014. Next, he worked as a Structural Design Engineer with Dar Group, Amman Jordan from 2014 to 2017. During this period his work included concrete structural design for different types of buildings as well as water and earth retaining structures. In 2017 he was nominated to Fulbright Program for Foreign Students and was awarded a scholarship to get his master’s degree from University of Delaware, Newark DE. His master’s thesis considered linear time-history analysis of structures subjected to earthquake load. His passion in dynamics of structures continues to steer his PhD program. On a personal note, Wael enjoys traveling around, swimming and is a good cook.

Shaymaa Obayes started her PhD studies in Spring 2020, returning to the University of Delaware after earning a Master of Civil Engineering (MCE) degree in 2017. She has been employed by the general directorate education of Al-Qadisiyyah, Ministry of Education since 2009, where she work on maintaining existing and demolishing old schools as well as supervising the construction of new schools.  She received her BS from University of Al-Qadisiyyah in 2009.  She lives with her husband Isam and their two children. Her native language is Arabic. She enjoys cooking and walking in the morning.

Sajjad Safari is currently a Ph.D. student and graduate research assistant at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Tehran in the Summer of 2015 as a talented student. Directly after that, he started his graduate study by an interdisciplinary subject for his thesis. His research was mainly focusing on tensegrity bridges and evaluating these structures performance susceptible to progressive collapse. In the summer of 2014, he worked in Sazian Consultant Engineers as a designer of runoff collection systems for grade separations, bridges highways, and urban areas of Tehran. From 2018 to 2020, Sajjad worked with three Architectural Design Studios as their Structural Designer, working on different types of projects including steel and concrete structure design, structural rehabilitation for interior design, and a timber pavilion. He is now a member of the Tehran Construction Engineering Organization. His academic interests include bridge engineering, innovative structures, architectural technology, and structural analysis. As for leisure activities, Sajjad is interested in photography and filming, music, swimming and soccer.

Qozeem Abiona earned his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria in 2019. He proceeded to work as a graduate engineer at Jefcon & Associates Ltd. His responsibilities included the design of buildings and storm water management structures. Qozeem also worked as a project engineer to oversee the design and construction of petroleum product retail outlets at Matrix Energy Group. He is currently a master’s student and graduate research assistant in the Head Research Group, working on a UTC project titled, “Determination of Bridge Element Weights based on Data-driven Models,” which is a collaborative project between UD and West Virginia University. Qozeem loves to play and watch soccer games at his leisure time.

Hamed Fathi received a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from IAU in Kermanshah, Iran in 2013. After graduating, he started his M.Sc. in Structural Engineering in University of Qom, Iran. His thesis was titled, “Localization of a Crack in Elastic Medium Using the Dynamic Extended Finite Element Method and Optimization Algorithms.” His was a teaching assistant for a course on Finite Element Method and Concrete Laboratory. Also, Fathi has published two papers in international Journals and has another one in the review process. Since 2019, Hamed started working at Ostovar Beton Sazan Company as a supervisor engineer in Kermanshah. He works as a supervisor of residential building construction in that company. On the subject of hobbies, he enjoys swimming, body building, hiking and traveling, beside this, he is crazy about reading historical books. Hamed is expected to start his doctoral studies at the University of Delaware as a graduate research assistant in Fall 2022.

CURRENT UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHERS – Chair’s Fellows

Madison Gac is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Delaware and plans to graduate in May 2023. Post graduation, she plans to earn a master’s degree in structural engineering and pursue a career in the field of bridge engineering. She is interested in sustainability, especially surrounding what Nordic countries have accomplished so far. She is a member of the University of Delaware’s student chapter of ASCE, and enjoys watching and playing lacrosse, playing videogames, going to the gym, and collecting rocks and minerals. She has been actively involved in the UTC project titled, “Optimized performance of UHPC bridge joints and overlays,” and has been diving into sources to gather more information on the life-cycle costs of the materials. Madison started a new project related to infrastructure and coastal resiliency as a UD Summer Scholar for Summer 2021 and continues to work on it as a Chair’s Fellow.

Kenneth (KJ) Olsen is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Delaware (UD) and was a participant in the 2021 CIAMTIS REU Program at UD. He is a senior, majoring in civil engineering and pursuing 2 sustainability minors. He is co-advised with Prof. Suresh Advani, George W. Laird Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UD. He will be working on the effects of recycled plastics embedded in concrete. KJ has continued his work in this area as a Chair’s Fellow since Summer 2021!

Spencer Toth is a sophomore at the University of Delaware with majors in Environmental Science (BS), with a concentration in Eco-science, and Biology (BS). She is a part of the Honors
College, as well as the World Scholars Program where she spent the spring semester of her freshman year in Madrid, Spain studying at the Madrid Campus of St. Louis University. At UD, she is a Club Coordinator for the Students for the Environment (S4E) club, where she helps lead and plan meetings and events focused on environmental advocacy and education. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors and staying active, such as by playing on the Intramural Volleyball team.

Chris Metzler was a Chair’s Fellow during the Spring 2022 semester. Chris is from Horsham, PA and is studying civil engineering with a minor in business administration.  After graduation, he would like to continue pursuing a career in structural engineering.  Outside of classes, he enjoys painting, playing basketball, and rock climbing.  



Head Research Group Alumni

David Bydalek graduated from the University of Delaware in May 2020 with his Bachelor   of Civil Engineering degree. He is a resident of Norristown, Pennsylvania, where he   completed his primary education. David expressed interested in engineering at a very     young age, with math being his favorite subject and having a fascination of bridges.   David began conducting research with the Head Research Group in the Spring of 2019    on the UTC project titled, “Bridge Load Rating and Evaluation Using Digital Image Measurements.” His academic interests include bridge engineering, sustainability, and structural engineering.

Drew Huffer graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree in May 2022. He is a resident of Williamsport, Maryland where he completed his primary education. Andrew began to explore engineering in middle school and continued to pursue the interest in high school through course work. He began his research in the Summer of 2020 and plans on continuing until graduation. His academic activities included being a Malawi Project Manager for Engineers Without Borders and running for the Club Track and Field Team. His other interests included sustainable development, bridge engineering, and natural disasters. Drew had an internship for the Summer 2021 and returned in the Fall 2021 semester to pursue another research topic; he was the recipient of the Chair’s Fellowship for several semesters.

Catie Carton graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree in May 2022. Catie is from Rutherford, NJ. Her research involved truck platooning and its effects on bridges. Specifically, she evaluated extreme conditions caused by autonomous truck platooning and extreme events to ensure safe infrastructure.  During Winter Session ’22, she interned with a mentor who primarily designs bridges. She enjoys playing soccer and softball when time permits, but also enjoys some down-time watching her favorite shows–Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders. Catie currently works in NYC as a structural engineer.

Luke Timber was a graduate research assistant in the Head Research Group at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Lafayette College in the Spring of 2017. From 2017 to 2019, Luke worked in the Greater Philadelphia area as a Structural Designer, working on the development of urban and rural highway/transportation projects with structural elements such as bridges, box culverts, retaining walls, and moment slabs. His academic interests include bridge engineering and structural analysis. Luke holds an Engineer in Training (EIT) certification from the National Society of Professional Engineers and is a member of the South Jersey Section of the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE). Outside of academia, Luke enjoys tennis, running, yoga and cheering on his favorite Philadelphia sports teams. His master’s thesis was titled, “Live Load Distribution and Evaluation of Bridges Using Digital Image Measurements.” Luke is currently employed with Hardesty & Hanover in NY as a Bridge Designer 3.

Tyler DuBose was a master’s student and graduate research assistant at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware in the Head Research Group. Born in Christiana, Delaware and raised in Reisterstown, Maryland, Tyler completed his primary education in the Reisterstown area. He received his Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering in the spring of 2020, participating in organizations such as R.I.S.E. and ASCE’s student chapter at the University of Delaware. His academic interests include building design and sustainable practices. Outside of school, Tyler enjoys baseball, traveling, music, videogames, and surfing the world wide web. Tyler graduated in May 2022. His thesis was titled, “Structural Performance Verification of Structural Pipe Liners for Corrugated Metal Pipes.”

Tyler Dennis was a master’s student and graduate research assistant at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. He is originally a resident of Newark, completing his primary education in Newark and Wilmington, Delaware. He received his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the University of Delaware in the Spring of 2017. From 2017 to 2019, Tyler worked in the Greater New York City area as a Civil/Site Engineer in the commercial and residential development industry. His academic interests include bridge engineering and sustainable infrastructure. Tyler holds an Engineer Intern (EI) certification from the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers (DAPE) and is a member of the Delaware Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Outside of academia, Tyler enjoys golfing, snowboarding, and watching his favorite Philadelphia sports teams. His master’s thesis was titled, “Optimized Performance of Ultra-High Performance Bridge Connections.” Tyler is currently employed at HNTB as a structural engineer.

Joey Wham was an undergraduate researcher as a participant in the 2021 CIAMTIS REU Program. Joey conducted research on truck platooning and its live load effects on bridges. Joey graduated with a BCE from the University of Delaware in May 2022.





Visiting Scholars

Victoria Dada was a visiting research scholar at the University of Delaware during the summer of 2021. She is now completing her final year of undergraduate studies in the Department of Civil Engineering at Morgan State University, located in Baltimore, MD. During the summer of 2021, she was a RISE participant at Morgan State University and used drones to monitor displacement measurements during a live load bridge test.

 
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