Skip Navigation

Understanding the Impact of Climate Change on Earth’s Surface Materials

Civil Engineering Professor Receives Young Investigator Award from Army Research Office

Sherif Abdelaziz, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil EngineeringThe College of Engineering and Applied Sciences congratulates Sherif Abdelaziz for receiving the prestigious Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award from the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO).  Professor Abdelaziz will receive a grant for $356K over three years to advance his multi-scale research of freezing-heating effects on clay-rich materials.  

With the ARO funding, Abdelaziz, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering , seeks to cross-link the temperature changes in the clay microstructure to the larger scale behavior to better understand the effect of cycles of freezing-heating on the behavior of saturated clays. This knowledge will foster the development of thermo-hydro-mechanical constitutive models for clays over a complete temperature range, which is significant to predict landslides, levees and dam stability issues, bluff failures, and other transportation infrastructure challenges, in addition to the various other military applications.

According to Abdelaziz, this research will enable better understanding of how extreme temperature cycles, due to climate change for example, alter the behavior of clay-rich materials by determining the changes that occur at the smaller (i.e. micro) scale. “This study would not be possible without the research instruments acquired earlier this year through the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) as well as the state-of-the art facilities at Brookhaven National Laboratory,” he said.  “Our results have the potential to increase the army maneuverability in different battlefields.”

“Sherif’s work on the effect of climate change on the earth’s materials is very timely, and critical to our understanding of the resilience of our infrastructure on extreme events and the evolution of the earth crust,” said Fotis Sotiropoulos, Dean, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  “I am grateful for his contributions to the College, and extremely proud of this high level recognition by the Army Research Office.”

“Sherif has made exceptional contributions to the Department of Civil Engineering as a mentor to our students, and playing a key role in getting our new graduate program off the ground,” said Harold Walker, Professor and Chair, Department of Civil Engineering.  “He has also infused innovative teaching practices into his courses and is disseminating these techniques to our graduate students and faculty.”

The Young Investigator Program Award is among of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the Army on outstanding scientists beginning their independent careers. The objective of the YIP is to attract outstanding young university faculty members to pursue fundamental research in areas relevant to the Army, to support their research in these areas, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. Outstanding YIP projects may be considered for a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).


About the Researcher:

Sherif Abdelaziz joined the faculty at Stony Brook university in 2014. He studies various sustainability applications in civil engineering with special focus on incorporating thermo-active geo-structures in the national transportation infrastructures as part of the "Smart Cities" national initiative.  He received his PhD and MS in Civil Engineering from Virginia institute of Technology.  

Login to Edit