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Civil engineering graduate student wins Best Paper Award at international conference

Story by
Trisha Radulovich

Anwer Al-Kaimakchi, a civil engineering graduate student at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, received the Best Paper Award for Structural Analysis and Design at the International Federation for Structural Concrete-FIB conference held in Paris, France, in late summer of this year.

Anwer Al-kaimakchi

“I had the pleasure of sharing our research findings on the use of stainless-steel strands in flexural girders with the folks in Europe,” Al-Kaimakchi said. “It was my first time presenting to a European audience.

Al-Kaimakchi’s paper, “Experimental Study on Flexural Behavior of Concrete Girders Prestressed with Stainless Steel Strands” showcased his work with stainless steel strands and is funded by The Florida Department of Transportation. Michelle Rambo-Roddenberry, Associate Professor and Associate Dean at the college, co-authored the paper with Al-Kaimakchi.

“Anwer presented our work at the fib conference and I couldn’t be more proud,” Rambo-Roddenberry said. “We were fortunate to be funded by the FDOT, they are one of the most innovative departments of transportation in the country.”

Unlike carbon steel strands, stainless steel strands are bright and do not hold rust on the surface. Stainless steel strands are an ideal option to tackle the corrosion issues in prestressed concrete bridges in aggressive environments. Although they are more expensive than conventional carbon steel strands, their cost will be offset by low maintenance and longer structure life. 

“Low ductility of stainless-steel strands may control the strength and deformability of stainless- steel girders,” Al-Kaimakchi said. “This behavior was investigated through testing of full-scale stainless-steel girders in flexure, and results showed that although girders failed due to rupture of stainless-steel strands, they provided significant and substantial warning through extensive cracking and large deflection at failure.”

In addition to Al-Kaimakchi’s most recent accomplishment, he is also the recipient of the Three-Minute Thesis Competition Peoples Choice Award, the Global Citizen Award, and the Deans Cup Award in the last several years.