Dr. Khaled Sennah
Department of Civil Engineering, Ryerson University

Promoting Steel as a Material of Choice in Bridge Infrastrucutres: Current and Future Innovations

With increased prices of steel, bridge owners and design engineers have become more reluctant to using steel in bridge superstructure, as it may be cost prohibitive. In this research, some countermeasures and innovative techniques are proposed that can be considered to (i) reduce the steel material content in bridge superstructure; (ii) enhance the constructability of steel I-girder and box-girder bridge systems in both straight and curved alignments, leading to a significant cost saving; and (iii) increase the awareness of bridge designers to important issues in design of new bridges and evaluation of old ones for rehabilitation, replacement, or retrofit; (vi) erect fully-prefabricated bridge superstructure to rapid construction, with steel as a material of choice. Specific objectives for the first phase of this research are to: (i) establish ready-to-use design tables of steel I- and box-girder bridges based on simplified analysis; and (ii) predict the minimum required cross-bracing spacing to limit warping stresses in compression flanges for both I-girder and box-girder bridges at construction stage. Overall, the aim is to develop steel or composite concrete-steel designs that are cost-effective and easy to design, thereby promoting the use of steel in bridge construction.


Dr. Sennah received his B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. degrees in civil engineering from Alexandria University, Eqypt. He obtained his Ph.D. in civil engineering from University of Windsor, Canada, in 1998. He began his academic career at Ryerson University in 1998 and now he is a full professor. Dr. Sennah’s research has focused on structural engineering with emphasis on bridge infrastructure design, evaluation and rehabilitation as well as full-scale testing. His research interests also include steel and concrete material behavior, seismic behavior of guyed towers, precast concrete construction, Fibre Reinforced Polymers in Bridges and Structures and vehicle crashworthiness of transportation infrastructure (traffic light poles, Barriers and Bridge Piers). Dr. Sennah’s research results in more than 100 papers so far, including journal papers, conference papers and industrial reports. Because of his contribution to the state of the knowledge in bridge engineering, he received two prestigious international awards, namely: the 2002 State-Of-The-Art in Civil Engineering Award and the 1999 Arthur Wellington Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers for the best journal paper published in ASCE Journals. Also, he received the 1998 P.L. Pratley Award for the best journal paper in bridge engineering published in the Canadian Journal for Civil Engineering, in addition to the 1998 Governor General’s Gold Medal from University of Windsor. Dr. Sennah is a registered professional engineer in Ontario and Michigan.

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