Raj Suhail

School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
David Keir Building, Stranmillis Rd., BT9 5AG
Room 0G.312B
Tel (044) 028 9097 5606


M.Sc. (Structural Eng.), Distinction – University of Surrey, UK

B.Tech (Civil Eng.), Distinction - National Inst. of Technology, Srinagar India

Professional affiliation

Graduate Member of Institute of Structural Engineers (IStructE UK)

PhD Title

Seismic Retrofitting of Non-Seismically Designed Reinforced Concrete using Shape Memory Alloys

PhD project Description

Since the year 2000, the total death toll due to earthquakes has already cumulated to over 699,000 people. One of the major contributing factors to this figure is the fatalities due to structural collapse. ‘Earthquake resistant’ design has only been adopted in late 1970’s and in some countries in early 1980’s. Most of the buildings built prior to these dates were designed only to carry gravity loads and possess limited shear strength, flexural strength and ductility to withstand strong earthquake motions. 

Past research on seismic performance of RC buildings have exposed many deficiencies of reinforced concrete buildings designed prior to 1970’s, such as inadequate shear strength and ductility of columns, inadequate shear strength of beam-column joint etc.

In this project seismic retrofitting schemes for non-seismically designed beam-column joint will be developed using SMA wires. Shape memory alloys (SMAs) have the ability to undergo large deformations with minimum residual strain and also the extraordinary ability to undergo reversible hysteretic shape change known as the shape memory effect. The shape memory effect of these alloys can be utilised to develop a convenient way of actively confining concrete sections to improve their shear strength, flexural ductility and ultimate strain capacity

The performance of the proposed schemes will be experimentally tested under varying levels of seismic demands. In addition, nonlinear finite element analysis of the proposed schemes will be carried out. An Analytical model will be developed to aid engineers for implementation in global analysis.


Dr. Daniel McCrum, Dr. Giuseppina Amato & Prof. Jian-Fei Chen


Suhail R., Amato G., Chen J-F., McCrum D. (2015), Potential Applications of Shape Memory Alloys In Seismic Retrofitting of an Exterior Reinforced Concrete Beam-Column Joint, in Proceedings of SECED 2015 conference on Earthquake Risk And Engineering Towards A Resilient World, Cambridge, 9-10 July 2015. (Accepted).

McCrum D , Amato G., Suhail R. (2015) Development of Seismic Fragility Functions for a Moment Resisting Reinforced Concrete Framed Structure. The Open Construction and Building Technology Journal (Accepted)

Research interests

Seismic retrofitting, reinforced concrete, finite element analysis



von-Mises stress contour and the associated crack pattern in a typical non-seismically designed beam-column joint (FEM)