Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Together we bring innovations to the built environment

Xianming Shi, PI








Dr. Shi is a professor and the Chair of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Washington State University. In 2020, he was elected a Fellow of ASCE, for his significant contributions to civil engineering research, teaching and professional service; in particular, his research has resulted in mechanistic understanding of how nanoscience and nanoengineering can benefit infrastructure durability and enable sustainability. In 2024, he was elected a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors. Two of his research projects won the AASHTO 2016 Sweet Sixteen High Value Research Award and the AASHTO 2020 High Value Research Supplemental Award, respectively.  One of his research projects won the ITS America 2007 Best Return on Investment Award.

Dr. Shi is ranked top 1% (216 out of 38,433) among all the scholars in the field of Building & Construction, based on the career-long impact data published by Stanford University and Elsevier in 2023. His research contributions include 180+ journal articles, several books, several patents, and numerous other publications, with H-index of 55 and more than 11,000 citations by peers. He is a winner of the Environmental Leadership Award by the 2021 Salt Symposium, the 2020 Most Cited Paper Award by the Resources, Conservation & Recycling journal, the 2011-2012 Best Paper Award by ASCE Journal of Cold Regions Engineering, and 2012 & 2013 Highly Commended Award at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence. His research has been widely covered in national and regional media, including NPR, Time, USA Today, Washington Times, Scientific American, Science Daily, CBS News, Seattle Times, etc.

Dr. Shi’s work has been sponsored by National Science Foundation, USDA, USDOE, USDOT, more than 20 state departments of transportation (DOTs) and their consortia, FHWA, NCHRP, ACRP, Washington State Department of Ecology, Washington State Department of Commerce, and the private sector, totaling more than $27 million as principal investigator and more than $2 million as co-principal investigator. One of his patents was licensed, another granted and several more are in review.

Research Staff

Yong Deng

Research Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, 2020
M.S., Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, 2017
B.E., Civil Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, 2015
Before joining WSU, Dr. Yong Deng studied at Texas A&M University for five years. His previous research includes laboratory characterizations of pavement materials such as asphalt mixtures and unbound aggregates, numerical simulations of pavement materials and structures, mechanistic-empirical (ME) models of pavement materials and structures, nondestructive testing (NDT) on pavements, etc. His current research focus and interests are finite element (FE) model updating of pavement materials and structures, data-driven models for pavement performance evaluation and prediction, applications of artificial intelligence algorithms, etc.
Jialuo He

Assistant Director
Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Washington State University, 2019
M.S., Chemical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, 2015
B.S., Polymer Materials and Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, 2013
Following his Ph.D. graduation at WSU, Jialuo worked as a postdoctoral researcher on “Understanding the Protecting Mechanisms and Long-term Performance of Soybean based Sealant in Concrete Exposed to CaCl2” at Drexel University, and then worked as a Lab Manager at Capitol Development Design, Inc. in Beltsville, MD. In November 2021 he was hired as the Assistant Director of UTC National Center of TriDurLE. His research interests include concrete durability and maintenance, self-healing cementitious materials, cement chemistry and supplementary cementitious materials, and application of nanomaterials in civil engineering.
Mueed Jamal

Research Associate
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, 2021, Washington State University

M.S., Advanced Metallurgy, 2012, The University of Sheffield, UK.
B.S., Metallurgy and Materials Science Engineering, 2009, University of the Punjab, Pakistan.
Mr. Jamal has two years of experience in a well-established ordnance manufacturing setup as an Assistant Manager, R&D (Technical). He also has one year of experience as a Research Assistant at CEE, WSU, under the supervision of Prof. Xianming Shi, on projects of evaluating several lab-based and commercial deicers by ice melting capacity (IMC) test, freezing point tests (ASTM D1177), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) test, field operating tests (FOTs), and beaker test (in a Sub-zero lab) . He is continuing to support TriDurLE on projects related to new anti-corrosion coating development, corrosion mitigation for deicing vehicles, effects of deicers’ migration through soils, Nano anti-icing coating for pavements and development of green fish waste-based deicers.


Team Members

Jie Zhao (until early 2023)

Ph.D., Civil Engineering, 2022, Washington State University
M.S., Structural Engineering, 2016, Chang’an University, China
B.S., Civil Engineering, 2013, Chang’an University, China
Jie Zhao obtained her master’s degree in Structural Engineering from Chang’an University, China, and studied on structural anti-collapse design under seismic events. Then, Jie completed her Ph.D. study at WSU by extending her direction to the field of risk management and resilience assessment. Her research interests primarily focus on risk and resilience assessment of communities, supply chains, and infrastructure systems, as well as quantitative decision-making methodology to develop effective resilience-enhancing strategies. Her current research is on the life-cycle resilience assessment of RC bridges under the combined effect of chloride-induced corrosion and seismic event.
Ayumi Manawadu

Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Washington State University, 2022
M.S., Civil Engineering, Washington State University, 2019
B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 2015
Ayumi Manawadu is a postdoctoral researcher and a scholarly assistant professor in civil engineering at Washington State University (WSU). Her research interests lie in the general fields of integrated intelligent structural systems; mechanics and durability of novel bi-layer material interfaces; and multiscale characterization of high-performance, sustainable materials. For her master’s study, she has developed a contact mechanics-based testing technique to detect low-velocity collisions on concrete using smart piezoelectric sensors. Her Ph.D. work has focused on the mechanics and durability of concrete-shotcrete interface bonds, for which she has developed a novel fracture mechanics-based test to analyze the quality of cementitious bi-material interfaces. Her current research focuses on freeze-thaw durability and multiscale characterization of more sustainable concrete material.

Zhipeng Li 

Postdoctoral Research Associate, starting Fall 2023
Ph.D., Civil Engineering, 2023, Washington State University
M.S., Applied Statistics, 2023, Washington State University
M.S., Civil Engineering, 2017, Wuhan Polytechnic University, China.
B.S., Civil Engineering, 2014, Wuhan University of Sci and Tech, China.
Zhipeng Li obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Civil Engineering in China, with a focus on sustainable cementitious materials. His research interests include but are not limited to the recycling of hazardous solid waste, the development of nano-modified cementitious materials, and interdisciplinary application in civil engineering. After joining WSU, Zhipeng Li mainly focused on the development, characterization, application, and life cycle assessment of nano-engineered fly ash-based geopolymer composites and nano-modified high-performance concrete sealers. His postdoctoral work is centered on the R&D of carbon-neutral and carbon-negative cementitious materials.
Mehdi Honarvar Nazari

Graduate Research Assistant
Ph.D. Candidate, Civil Engineering, 2017 – Present, Washington State University
Ph.D., Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, 2010, University of Tehran, Iran
Dr. Mehdi Honarvar Nazari worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Laboratory Manager at the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) ‒ Montana State University (MSU) and Washington State University (WSU). He is currently pursuing his second Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a focus on Environmental Engineering at WSU, and his research ranges from bio-based deicers, anti-corrosion coatings, to modeling the environmental fate and transport of roadway deicers and their implications on buried pipes.
Seth Tawiah

Graduate Research Assistant
Ph.D. Candidate, Civil Engineering, 2020-Present, Washington State University
M.S., Geotechnical Engineering, 2019, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Seth Tawiah is originally from Ghana in West Africa and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Civil Engineering with a focus on Geotechnical Engineering. He joined WSU in 2019. Prior to that Seth studied and obtained his master’s degree in the same field from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). His current research is focused on experimental and modeling studies that seek to improve self-healing in cement-stabilized unsaturated soils. In 2022, Seth volunteered as judge for Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity at Washington State University.
Chuang Chen

Graduate Research Assistant
Ph.D. Student, Civil Engineering, 2021-Present, Washington State University
M.S., Business Analytics, 2020, University of Texas at Dallas
M.S., Material Science and Engineering, 2009, Dalian University of Technology, China.
B.S., Material Science and Engineering, 2006, Dalian University of Technology, China.
Prior to joining WSU, Chuang has worked as a R&D engineer with more than 8 years of hands-on experience in developing road materials and industrial scale-up application. His research interests lie in the fields of data-driven modeling of transportation resilience, with particular emphasis on development of climate-change informed preservation strategies for life-cycle sustainability of flexible pavement. The projects that he has conducted focused on modeling the macroscopic effects of winter road maintenance operations on traffic mobility and incorporating connected vehicles technologies into emergency evacuation during winter weather in the Pacific Northwest.
Zhiliang Zhou

Graduate Research Assistant. 
Ph.D. candidate, Civil Engineering, 08/2021~present, Washington State University 
M.S., Materials Science and Engineering, 09/2017~06/2020, University of Jinan, China. 
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, 09/2013~06/2017, University of Jinan, China.
Mr. Zhou focused on the manufacture of smart concrete composites during his master’s program. His topic was incorporating carbon materials into concrete with the purpose of enhancing the electrical properties of the concrete. After joining WSU, his main focus is using sacrificial anodes to provide protection for the cathodic steel rebars in concrete, which are often threatened by chloride ingress. Currently he is trying to solve the potential problems of using sacrificial anodes and increase the stability and durability of the sacrificial anodes.
Ali Mahmoodigahrouei

Graduate Research Assistant
Ph.D. candidate, Civil Engineering, 2022-Present, Washington State University
M.S., Polymer Engineering, 2021, Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran.
The research of Ali Mahmoodi explores bio-inspired materials, dyes, pigments, paints, and organic coatings. His PhD dissertation studies biological approaches to the valorization of waste plastics to use in constructing materials. The project takes the advantage of microbial species such as algae, bacteria, and fungi to enable recycled polymers to be employed in civil engineering materials such as concrete and asphalt pavement. Prior to arriving at WSU, Ali examined bio-based nanopigments and their application in pavement marking paints and protective coatings. He has also worked on other projects including fluorescent chromophores and white-light-emitting compounds.
Amir Ali Shahmansouri

Graduate Research Assistant
Ph.D. student, Civil Engineering, 2022 – Present, Washington State University
M.S., Civil Engineering, 2022, University of Mazandaran
B.S., Civil Engineering, 2016, Shomal University
Before joining WSU, Amir Ali obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering in Iran. His previous research includes laboratory characterizations of concrete elements and materials (CEM) such as natural zeolitic concrete, pozzolanic geopolymer concrete, PET aggregate concrete, rubberized concrete, recycled aggregate concrete (RAC), oil palm shell concrete, steel tube-confined concrete (STCC), concrete-filled steel tube (CFST), fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC), and fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP), post-fire assessment of CEM, durability and life-cycle assessment (LCA) of eco-friendly concrete, machine learning/soft computing modeling of CEM, RC members, and concrete rocking walls. His current research focus and interests are data-driven models for CEM, durability and LCA of engineered cementitious composite (ECC).
Rahman Mohammadkhani


Graduate Research Assistant
M.S. Student, Civil Engineering, 2022 – Present, Washington State University
M.S., Polymer/Corrosion Science Engineering, 2018, Sharif University of Technology
B.S., Chemical Engineering, 2015, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad
Rahman completed his B.Sc in Chemical Engineering at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (FUM). Then, he did M.Sc in Polymer/Corrosion Science engineering at Sharif University of Technology (SUT). His M.Sc thesis was about anticorrosion coatings reinforced by nanoparticles. Synthesis of nanoparticles which have high potential to demonstrate anticorrosion properties along with working on polymer coatings such as Epoxy and Epoxy Ester to improve the corrosion protection performance of steels are some skills have been obtained by him during the former education. Besides, he did some studies about Metal Organic Framework (MOF) which has been considered as a good candidate for nano-carrier or nano-reservoir and investigated their application in smart anticorrosion and selective Dye adsorption. Currently, he is working on the research of rebar corrosion behavior of fire-damaged geopolymer concrete. 
Akinleye Taiwo Olawale


Graduate Research Assistant
Ph.D. candidate, Civil Engineering, 2021 – Present, Washington State University
M.S., Civil Engineering, 2021, Washington State University
M. Eng., Civil Engineering, 2018, The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
Taiwo’s current research is in geomechanics with an emphasis on understanding geochemical interactions and flows in the subsurface while adopting novel experimental and numerical modeling techniques. He also has a vested interest and experience in the testing and characterization of porous engineering materials


Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alpha Cooper Jr 

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 2023, Washington State University
Alpha Cooper has been pursuing a BS in Mechanical Engineering at Washington State University in Pullman. His relevant course work includes both material Science and civil engineering. In the summer, he worked in construction engineering, and his current work in SGI mainly focuses on the structural monitoring of FRP-tube composite filled with geopolymer material.
Jan Mislang

B.S. Civil Engineering,  2023, Washington State University
Jan has been pursuing a BS in civil engineering at Washington state university, Pullman, with an emphasis on structural engineering. From September 2020 to May 2021, he worked as an undergraduate technical assistant focusing on using the mechanical rocker test method for ice melting test (MRT-IMC) and the standard test method for the freezing point of aqueous engine coolants. Currently, he works in SGI and focuses on the mask/textile fiber-concrete project.
Sydney Beauvirage

B.S., Environmental Engineering, Expected May 2024, Washington State University
B.S., Environmental Studies (minor: Geology) 2018, Iowa State University
Sydney is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Environmental Engineering. Before coming to Washington State University, she attended Iowa State University, and she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines for two years as a Coastal Resource Manager.
Ahmad Ali Alnajjar

B.S., Mechanical Engineering (minor: Materials Science), 2019 – Present, Washington State University
Ahmad Alnajjar is pursuing his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and minored in Material Science Engineering and Business Administration at Washington State University. Since January 2022 Ahmad is working as a Teaching Assisting for Integrated CAD Design course. In the summer of 2022, Ahmad had his internship at W. R. Grace & Co. Maintenance and Engineering. Ahmad enjoys outdoor activities and volunteer.
Thy Nguyen

B.S., Civil Engineering, 2019 – Present, Washington State University
Thy Nguyen is a student from Vietnam. He is pursuing his B.S. in Civil Engineering at WSU. His research in the SGI group is related to low-carbon and sustainable cementitious materials.