Dr. Scott Walbridge
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo

Fatigue Behaviour and Design of Shear Connectors in Steel-Precast Composite Girders

The objectives of this research are: 1) to perform laboratory tests to study the fatigue behaviour of pocketed and through-bolt shear connectors in steel- precast composite bridge girders (see “Figure 2” above), and 2) to perform finite element (FE) and reliability analyses to investigate the consequence of failure of these connectors, so that design factors can be established for various bridge girder configurations, resulting in a uniform level of risk that is consistent with the current design provisions for shear studs used in cast-in-place concrete decks.

It is expected that the main outcome of this work will be a significant step forward in the development of steel-precast composite shear connectors, which could have a significant impact on the economy and optimal construction procedures for steel-precast composite rapid replacement bridges.


Dr. Walbridge is an Associate Professor in Civil Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He came to the University of Waterloo in 2006, after completing his doctoral thesis at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Dr. Walbridge’s current research focuses on a variety of areas related to the general theme of “the evaluation and maintenance of existing steel bridges”. He is currently overseeing research projects on the use of peening treatments and advanced composite materials for improving the fatigue performance of existing steel bridges. He also has projects underway on: the evaluation and corrosion protection of weathering steel highway bridges, and shear connections for movable steel-concrete composite bridges.

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