The ICI Chennai Centre has recognized that the large number of civil engineering students and faculty in many colleges need guidance to identify and define their academic projects at B.Tech. and M.Tech. and Ph.D. levels. It is anticipated that this portal will promote the purpose-driven research and industryacademia interactions. See below for a list of various project titles and a brief write-up on the problem statement (i.e., what is the problem to be solved?). The projects are listed in the following three areas: (i) Construction Materials and Concrete Technology, (ii) Structural Design and Analysis, and (iii) Construction Technology and Management. Also, the contact information of the person, who provided the project ideas is given - for further guidance.
If you or your company are interested in providing a project topic for this list, please feel free to contact Dr. Radhakrishna G. Pillai (pillai[at]iitm[dot]ac[dot]in) at IIT Madras or the ICI-CC Office (icichennaicentre[at]gmail[dot]com).
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Valorization of agricultural biomass ash in construction materials
Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) extensively rely on agricultural residues (rice husk, sugarcane bagasse, etc.) for meeting their energy requirement. In this process (i.e. incineration of agricultural residues), significant amount of biomass ash is generated. To reduce the environmental impact associated with landfilling of biomass ash, its beneficiation in construction materials is the need of hour. Please contact Dr. Piyush Chaunsali (IIT Madras) for more details.
Design of high-performance concrete for extremely cold regions
Mountainous region of North and North-East India often undergo sub-zero or near-zero temperatures each year. Development of infrastructure in these regions is essential for the national security and the mobility of people. Hence, there is a need to develop high-performance concrete mixtures for building infrastructure in these extremely cold regions. Please contact Dr. Piyush Chaunsali (IIT Madras) for more details.
Reducing thermal cracking in mass concrete
High-rise buildings have become a norm to address the housing need for growing population of India. Thick concrete elements used as foundations of these high-rise buildings require the knowledge of mass concrete. Excessing temperature rise within thick concrete element may lead to thermal cracking, posing a serious risk for the safety of structure. Please contact Dr. Piyush Chaunsali (IIT Madras) for more details.
Evaluating the role of curing compound on concrete properties
Many regions in India have shortage of laborers and water. Curing of concrete is essential for its strength development and durability. Hence, preventing evaporation from concrete surface using curing compounds offers an interesting proposition for these regions. Please contact Dr. Piyush Chaunsali (IIT Madras) for more details.
Use of non-potable water (seawater, brine, etc.) on concrete properties
India has many regions which are water-stressed. Increasing population and limited availability of drinking water has necessitated the research on the use of non-potable water in concrete. It is crucial to investigate the influence of saline water on concrete properties and suggest possible application areas. Please contact Dr. Piyush Chaunsali (IIT Madras) for more details.
Properties of concrete containing marble sludge
Marble stones are extensively used in many buildings. In the process of cutting marble stone, significant amount of marble sludge is produced. Hence, utilization of marble sludge in concrete will reduce the environmental impact associated with its disposal. Please contact Dr. Piyush Chaunsali (IIT Madras) for more details.
Internal curing of concrete using light-weight aggregate
Curing of concrete is essential for making it strong and durable. Curing concrete internally using light-weight aggregates has shown to be beneficial for concrete mixtures which suffer from self-desiccation. Utilization of light-weight aggregates in concrete opens an opportunity to address issues with internal drying in low w/c ratio mixtures.
Development of alkali-activated cement using low alkalis and ambient temperature curing
Alkali-activated cements, although extensively researched worldwide, have found very limited field application due to the use of alkaline solution in their manufacturing. For successful adoption by industry, it is important to develop a user-friendly alkali-activated cement with low alkalis and near-ambient temperature curing.
Mechanical characterization of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement and its impact on concrete performance
Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) is the waste obtained from distressed flexible/bituminous pavements. There could be significant variability in the quality of the RAP predominantly due to coated asphalt film (thickness, content), milling technique and agglomerated particles, etc. that need to be mapped before deciding their suitability for a particular grade/layer of concrete mix/pavement.
Mechanical performance of concrete containing waste from construction activities
Around 716 million tons of C&D waste is generated in India from various sources (building, footpaths, pavements, piles, etc.) that needs to be recycled for inducing sustainability in civil infrastructure. There could be significant variability in these aggregates that may subsequently affect the performance of concrete and thus, needs to be considered while deciding their applicability.
Use of superabsorbent polymers for internal curing of concrete
The presence of moisture within the concrete is essential for complete hydration and development of its properties. Surface barriers are available, but they are not fully effective. In this context superabsorbent polymers are an effective option to internally cure the concrete and there are impressive claims on improving the resistance of concrete to cracking.
Durability studies on concretes made with recycled concrete aggregate
Indiscriminate mining of natural aggregates and its use in manufacture of concrete is no longer sustainable. Neither is the dumping of debris from demolition of legacy buildings and other construction arisings sustainable. Hence, it is important to use recycled aggregates for making new concrete and the challenge is to make them even more durable to last an intended service life.
Efficacy of processing techniques in the manufacture of recycled aggregates
Developing economies like India and China are seeing huge spend on construction of infrastructure. As the old gives way to new infrastructure, there is a consequent challenge in finding proper use for the demolition arisings. Often for lack of processing facility the debris end up in landfill which is not in the best interests of a circular economy. Cost effective processing facilities are the need of the hour, as consistent quality of recycled aggregates is required for making concrete.
Estimation of residual service life of existing concrete structures
Durability design philosophies keep evolving and there are several analytical models arising from several research works. Several proposed models exist but too difficult to use them as the field behaviour of concrete invariably differs from theoretical considerations. It is important to base models closer to the actual performance of concrete in service and tailor them based on continual field durability test results.
Design of low CO2 embodied concretes
Manufacture of cement clinker is a highly carbon intensive process and therefore, it should be used on a need basis, alongside generous use of supplementary cementitious materials. Further, mining of aggregates also requires considerable energy and the concrete produced could have high embodied carbon content. Whilst control on materials use is a direct route to lower embodied carbon, section sizes could be optimised as well.
Bond characteristics of high-strength rebars in concrete
Service Life of Concrete Protective Coatings under Tropical Climate
Protective coatings are now specified for extending the service life of concrete structures. However, the performance data about these protection systems are mostly available in literature under temperate climate. There is a need to generate test data under tropical climate as well.
Post Fire Transport Properties of Concrete
Concrete structures are generally repairable after a fire accident. Post fire evaluation and retrofitting of concrete structures are generally undertaken in terms of residual strength properties of reinforced concrete. Effect of elevated temperatures on transport properties of concrete, which are important for evaluation of post fire durability of concrete, are generally ignored. In view of this there is a need to understand post fire durability properties of concrete.
Life cycle assessment of alkali-activated cements
Development of alkali-activated cements often requires the use of alkalis and elevated temperature curing. A detailed life cycle assessment of manufacturing alkali-activated cements will be crucial for the future adoption of this technology. Please contact Dr. Piyush Chaunsali (IIT Madras) for more details.
Study of schedule delays and cost overrun in building construction projects
Delay analysis in construction projects
Productivity improvement using lean construction concepts
Enhancing quality management in construction projects
Life cycle cost analysis of roof top solar PV panels
Life cycle energy analysis of residential buildings
Study of embodied energy of flyash brick used in building construction
Study of embodied energy of concrete blocks used in building construction
Comparison of green building ratings used in India
Numerical study of blast and ballistic impact on concrete
Experimental study on impact performance of synthetic fibers in concrete
Experimental study in enhancing impact energy absorption in concrete
Numerical study on impact performance of functionally graded concrete
Mapping the Concrete Pavement behavior at different temperature gradients
Temperature differential between the top and bottom fibres of concrete pavements causes the concrete slab to curl, giving rise to curling stresses. The temperature differential is a function of solar radiation, wind velocity, thermal diffusivity of concrete, the geographical location of the slab, and other features of the slab. There is a significant effect of temperature differential on the required safe thickness of the pavement and thus, contributes substantially towards the economy of the project. In present, we are still using the data for temperature differential recommended by CRRI Delhi in 1974. Between then and now, there has been considerable advancement in the quality of the concrete as well as the changes in the environment (global warming). Please contact Dr. Surender Singh (IITM) for more details.
Relating the NDT with the structural performance of concrete pavements
Testing and quality checkup are important at different stages during the service life of the concrete pavement. The most widely NDT technique to structurally evaluate a concrete pavement is Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD). This technique considers the back-calculation approach to predict the strength characteristics of different layers of a pavement viz. subgrade strength (k-value), slab modulus, and compressive & flexural strength of wearing concrete slab. Since the decision of rehabilitating an existing pavement is mostly affected by the outcomes of the FWD, it is much needed to co-relate the FWD results with the actual properties of concrete pavement. Please contact Dr. Surender Singh (IITM) for more details.
Simulation of Field compaction of Roller Compacted Concrete Pavement Mixes at Laboratory conditions
RCCP is considered to be better and economical than other traditional paving mixes (bitumen/concrete). However, due to the absence of a reliable methodology/procedure to mimic the field compaction conditions in the laboratory, it is not widely used. This could be done by comparing the concrete properties achieved at the field when different compactors are used and relating them to the laboratory specimens that are formulated adopting different mechanisms. Please contact Dr. Surender Singh (IITM) for more details.
Template for mix-design of concretes of grades 60 and above
Statistics of yield and ultimate strengths of rebars of different grades
Distribution of normal strain in deep RC beams (numerical / experimental)
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