Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2024 Recipient – Peifeng Su

Peifeng Su standing outside with Portage Lake Lift Bridge in background
Peifeng Su – Civil Engineering

First and foremost, I express my sincere gratitude to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for their recommendation for this esteemed award. I would also like to extend my appreciation to the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering for their unwavering support throughout my doctoral studies. Particularly, I am deeply thankful to my advisor, Dr. Qingli Dai, whose guidance and mentorship have been invaluable in shaping my academic journey and honing my critical thinking abilities. Without her steadfast commitment and insight, I would not have attained the level of proficiency I possess as a PhD candidate today.

My dissertation focuses on the evaluation and prediction of chloride ingress in concrete and its impact on reinforced rebars. Concrete stands as the most widely utilized construction material globally; however, due to the intricate nature of concrete composition and the variability in exposure conditions, accurately predicting concrete performance presents a significant challenge. Through a combination of laboratory experimentation and numerical simulations, my dissertation enhances the accuracy of predicting chloride penetration depth and rebar corrosion processes, offering valuable insights for concrete design and maintenance.

In addition to my dissertation, I have contributed as a graduate research assistant to two projects: “Build Sustainable and Durable Rubber-Modified Concrete Pavement” and “Evaluation of Conditions Causing Negative Environmental Impacts When Using Recycled Concrete Aggregate.” The former project resulted in the successful construction of the inaugural rubberized concrete pavement in Muskegon, Michigan. The latter project is still ongoing, focusing on evaluating how recycled concrete aggregate materials impact the surrounding environment. These practical project experiences provided valuable knowledge about the concrete industry, which is very beneficial for my future career.