PhD candidate receives research grant from national association

By Peter Murphy

Published February 26, 2018

Ketan Ragalwar, a PhD student in Civil Engineering receives research grant

A PhD structural engineering student received a research grant of $2500 to partially support his research for the 2017 – 2018 academic year.



Ketan Ragalwar, a PhD student in the department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, received the grant from the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOI). The research grant will provide partial funding for investigating the effect of strain-hardening cementitious composites (SHCC) on Concrete Filled Steel Tubes which are typically used in bridges and piles in seismically active regions. This particular project studies the enhancement in the performance of steel tubes filled with SHCC subjected to lateral cyclic loading. Ragalwar is working with assistant professor Ravi Ranade and professor Michel Bruneau on this project.

“I am hopeful Ketan’s work in this area will provide critical insights into the interaction between SHCC and steel tubes for this novel application,” Ranade says.

Ranade’s research group focuses on the development and structural applications of SHCC. These composites are as strong as typical concrete, but hundreds of times more pliable or ductile. Current SHCC improve the performance of concrete structures (like buildings or bridges) during an earthquake by withstanding high displacements, without a complete collapse. These composites are extremely durable compared to conventional concrete and limit deterioration experienced over the life-span of structures. SHCC are gaining popularity in bridge construction projects, and Ragalwar’s project investigates the application of SHCC in bridge pier systems.

Structural Engineers Foundation, a committee of SEAOI, is dedicated to the advancement of structural engineering, and offers an annual research grant to provide assistance in a research topic selected through a national call for proposals.