Dr. Seyedali Abolmaali

Dr. Seyedali Abolmaali is a Tseng Huang Professor of structural and applied mechanics and the Chair of the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). He is the Founding Director of UT‐ Arlington Center for Structural Engineering Research, Simulation, and Pipeline Inspection, and the Professor‐in‐Charge of the Structural Simulation Laboratory at UTA.

Professor Abolmaali has intensive research experience and ongoing research projects in underground structural systems including field inspection and life prediction for sanitary sewer and gravity pipelines. As a Principal Investigator, Dr. Abolmaali has secured over $30M in research and development funds from states, federal and private agencies. These funding agencies include but not limited to the National Science Foundation, departments of transportation, Federal Highway Administration, mega corporations, and others to conduct basic and applied research in structural engineering and mechanics.

Professor Abolmaali’s ongoing research projects focus on developing standard specifications for gravity and sewer pipeline systems through coupled nonlinear finite element algorithms and full‐scale experimental testing to simulate the nonlinear behavior of structural pipes subjected to static and dynamic loadings up to collapse. Dr. Abolmaali currently has over $2M grants in structural health monitoring of gravity and pressure pipe systems from state and federal funding agencies including Water Research Foundation.

Dr. Abolmaali has developed several ASTM and ASSHTO specifications related to pipeline systems. For example, for the first time in the World, Dr. Abolmaali developed the ASTM 1818 on “Standard Specification for Synthetic Fiber Reinforced Concrete Culvert, Storm Drain, and Sewer Pipe.” In addition, Dr. Abolmaali developed ASTM 1765‐16 for the first time in the United States on “Standard Specification for Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete Culvert, Storm Drain, and Sewer Pipe.” Texas Department of Transportation has funded Dr. Abolmaali to implement.

Dr. Abolmaali has been developing computer models and has conducted pipeline field inspection for large diameter pressure pipelines for the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) for the multi‐billion‐dollar Integrated pipeline Project delivering water from Lake Palestine to Dallas/Fort Worth in the State of Texas. The results of Dr. Abolmaali’s research is anticipated to be implemented in the national design specifications.

Dr. Abolmaali’s research spectrum includes but not limited to pipeline service life prediction through: prediction of crack width, locations, initiation, and propagation; delamination in composite pipes; deflection and other failure modes in plastic pipelines; corrosion in steel reinforced and fiber reinforced underground structures subjected to complex loading; prediction of plastic hinge formation and cracks propagation in ductile metal civil underground structures by including cyclic plasticity algorithms; response prediction of thermoplastic underground and super structures with time dependent material properties; and development of numerical algorithms for nonlinear solution of dynamic equation of motion for underground structures.
Dr. Abolmaali in partnership with the City of Arlington (CoA) has completed laser and sonar inspections of 46 miles large diameter sewer lines and has established service life prediction parameter to assist CoA with the information required to repair or replace the critical pipeline segment (s) rather than replacing the entire pipelines. This will lead to significant savings for the City of Arlington.

Dr. Abolmaali has conducted several high‐profile failure investigation research projects for the National Transportation Safety Board examples of which are the Boston Tunnel collapse (Big Dig Tunnel), Minneapolis Bridge collapse, and Big Spring’s Nebraska Bridge collapse.

Dr. Abolmaali is the author and co‐author of over 100 refereed technical journal papers and conference proceedings in structural pipes and finite element method. Dr. Abolmaali has given over 150 technical presentations nationally and internationally.