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Department of Civil and Materials Engineering

Friday, October 29th, 3 - 4 PM, ERF 1043

Development and Implementation of Ground Penetrating Radar

Speaker: Dr. Imad Al-Qadi

University of Illinois


The continuous monitoring of transportation infrastructure is necessary to maintain a durable and safe system. Many noninvasive techniques have been used including instrumentation, acoustic emission, infrared, and electromagnetic waves, to name a few. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) technology has been used to assess transportation facilities’ performance for the past three decades. After all this time, the main question remains: “How well does GPR work and under what conditions?” Results show that while GPR works well for some situations, it is not appropriate for others. GPR data interpretation is often difficult because the “images” obtained from the GPR-reflected signals are dependent on a priori unknown dielectric properties of the structural materials. In addition, GPR cannot detect layer interfaces unless a significant contrast in the dielectric constants exists between the two considered materials. GPR data analysis can also be cumbersome and unreliable due to the large amount of data collected during the surveys. However, GPR has been successfully used for bridge and pavement assessment, primarily for layer thickness estimation and moisture accumulation localization within the structure layers. Among his diverse research interests, Dr. Al-Qadi has been working on GPR research for more than two decades. He is currently working on predicting in-situ asphaltic material density with GPR. Various sophisticated signal and data processing techniques have been developed to estimate the dielectric properties of the surveyed structures from the GPR reflected signal. These processing techniques have been successfully used to enhance the accuracy of the GPR data interpretation results and to improve the quality of the GPR signal. Dr. Al-Qadi will discuss the recently developed techniques and their field application for quality control/quality assurance, measuring the layer thickness of transportation facilities, detecting flaws, and assuring quality data.


Professor Al-Qadi holds the Founder Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also the Director of the Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory (ATREL) and the founding Director of the Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT). Prior to that, he was the Charles E. Via, Jr. Professor at Virginia Tech. A registered professional engineer, Professor Al-Qadi is an international renowned authority on pavements. He has authored/ coauthored more than 500 publications and has delivered more than 425 presentations including numerous keynote lectures. He has received numerous awards including the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the quadrennial 2002 IGS Award, the 2007 ASCE James Laurel Prize and this year he was elected as an ASCE Distinguished Member for his exemplary leadership and innovation in the civil engineering profession. Professor Al-Qadi is the TRB’s Preservation and Maintenance Section Chair, a member of the ASCE T&DI Board of Governors, and the Editor-in-Chief of the _International Journal of Pavement Engineering.


Mohsen A. Issa, ERF 2079,
Topic revision: r1 - 2010-10-20 - 21:29:08 - Main.sareva2
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