Ahmed Faheem
Dr. ahmed faheem Associate Professor Civil Infrastructure And Environmental Engineering

Contact Information
ahmed.mahmoud@ku.ac.ae +971 2 312 5812

Biography

Dr. Faheem is a seasoned researcher.  He has experience in managing and conducting scientific research on roadway engineering projects for more than 15 years. His academic research resulted in over $5 Million in research expenditure and yielded over 50 peer reviewed journal papers and conference proceedings. His research topics include using AI and computer vision in roadway management and repair, waste materials utilization and upcycling, and material production & construction innovations for sustainable roads. This work resulted in graduating over 20 PhD and MSc students. He founded the Temple University chapter of the American society of highway engineers (ASHE). Throughout his academic career, he involved more than 60 undergraduate students in research projects under his supervision. Dr. Faheem was recently awarded the prestigious Fulbright US scholar award among other awards he received. He is an active member of numerous technical societies, panelist for international scientific funding organizations, and reviewer for multiple highly regarded journals. Before working in Academia, he worked in the industry for 5 years. His industrial experience involves consulting services on multiple highway mega projects, development of maintenance and rehabilitation plans for transportation authorities, and value engineering studies.

Prior to joining Khalifa University, he held several positions at different universities in the U.S.-including Associate Professor at Temple University, and Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He also served as the director of research at Bloom Companies of Wisconsin. 

Dr. Faheem holds a Bachelor’s Degree in construction engineering from the American University in Cairo, Egypt, a Master's & PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA


Education
  • PhD Civil Engineering University of Wisconsin Madison
  • MSc Civil Engineering Univerrsity of Wisconsin Madison
  • BSc Construction Engineering American University in Cairo

Teaching
  • Civil Engineering Materials (CIVE336)
  • Pavements Design and Maintenance (CIVE637)
  • Transportation Engineering (CIVE380)


Research
Research Interests
  • Materials Upcycling
  • Digitization of Infrastructure Life Cycle
  • Pavement In-Service Modeling
  • Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Artificial Intelligence Application in Pavement Engineering

Research Projects

This study is focused on understanding the in-service performance of pavements. The research focused on evaluating the performance of 12 pavement projects. These projects contain different test sections that vary in mix design or technology. The evaluation consisted of conducting an on-site distress survey and collection of field cores from the wheel path and between the wheel path. In addition, data regarding construction and construction quality parameters are collected and compiled from the contractors and DOT database. Analysis of the collected data included creating a geo-relational database, mechanical testing of the cores, rheological testing of the extracted binders, and sieve analysis of the recovered aggregate. Statistical analysis of the data resulted in the creation of regression models relating laboratory measurable material properties to specific field distresses. These models are intended to provide a basis for determining the appropriate limits for laboratory performance such that in-service performance is enhanced. The models are proposed as complementing tools for the development of a performance-engineered mix design procedure. In addition, deterioration modeling using artificial intelligence and machine deep learning was conducted using data for 42 roadway paving projects (about 250 miles) within the same network. The modeling is created for pavements thicker than 2 inches.  This model is proposed to assist the DOT in its pavement management process. The resulting models showed a strong ability to predict field performance at any age during the pavements service life. It is highly recommended that transportation agencies start adopting a geo-relational framework for its pavements’ history. This will enhance the strength of the developed deterioration models and expand it to different classes of pavements. One major finding was the discrepancy between the DOT data of pavement in-service performance and that measured from the on-site distress surveying. Incorporation of new technologies for distress evaluation and re-evaluation of the segmentation of the network is highly recommended. In addition, increasing the frequency of surveying may prove beneficial in increasing the accuracy and resolution of the ranking schemes of the pavement network. This report provides information and guidance to evolve towards data-driven pavement life cycle management of its quality pre-construction and its deterioration post-construction

In this research, multi waste materials are incorporated in a synergetic approach to replace a portion of the typical asphalt pavement materials. The wastes include off-spec fly ash, upcycled food waste bio oil, and reclaimed asphalt pavement. Two types of asphalt binders; unmodified and Polymer Modified Asphalt (PMA) are used to develop the synergic combination of these wastes effectivlly as replacement to asphalt materials. Testing of the binders was conducted after the exposure of  two cycles of Pressure Aging Vessel (PAV) aging, rejuvenating after the first aging cycle using two market-available rejuvenators and a newly introduced Food Waste Bio-Oil (FWBO) rejuvenator. Given the reported benefits of using some classes of fly ash with asphalt and promoting high-quality utilization of post-service reclaimed asphalt binders, the main goals of this research are to 1) Evaluate the synergetic influence of the fly ash and rejuvenator combination on asphalt binder aging and 2) Introduce a new FWBO as a promising rejuvenator for asphalt binders. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis was used to evaluate the chemical changes resulting from aging. Loss of ductility in the binders was measured using ΔTc as a measurement of the effect of aging on binder durability. Glover-Rowe (G-R) Parameter and Cross-over Modulus and Frequency (Gc*, ωc) were also used to determine the aging state of the rejuvenated binders. Results showed that some fly ash additives are associated with either reduction or maintaining the oxidation level as that of the neat binder. This indicates a slower aging rate for these fly ash blends compared to the binder alone for both cycles of PAV aging. The use of rejuvenators further improved the aging resistance of the unmodified binder fly ash blends, suggesting high potential synergy for some sources of fly ash.  Moreover, according to this research, FWBO acquires the merit to be utilized as a promising eco-friendly rejuvenator in the asphalt pavement industry, with effectiveness comparable to the two market-available rejuvenators tested. Combining OFA and the FWBO presents an opportunity for establishing circularity within the paving industry. This research a clear example of circulating waste within the this industry through upcycling.


Research Staff and Graduate Students:

Staff
Mohamad Alhalabi PhD Student
Kevin Halique Research Assistant
Students
Homam Ghazal PhD Student