Dr. Sadik Khan, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Department Civil and Environmental Engineering, Industrial Systems & Technology at Jackson State University has received the prestigious NSF CAREER Award. The NSF CAREER grant is awarded to promising young investigators with high potentials to succeed. Through this Grant ($ 540,000.00), Dr. Khan will develop a climate-resilient design concept for slope maintenance using Vetiver grass. The goal of this research is to understand the vetiver grass root-soil interaction as a bio-inspired and climate-resilient solution to stabilize shallow slope failures in expansive soils. Model tests and field studies will be performed under different rainfall conditions to investigate the water balance within a slope covered with deep-rooted vetiver grass. The understanding from the model tests and field studies will be extended through numerical analyses to evaluate the coupled action of vetiver grass as reinforcement and vertical path for evapo-transpiration under different rainfall and weather conditions. A climate-adaptive design protocol for repairing and maintaining slopes using vetiver grass will be developed.
In many cases, agencies cannot perform repairs of shallow slope failures due to limited budgets, which often leads to more expensive deep-seated failures. On the other hand, a slope showing early signs of failure, such as cracks, could be repaired and strengthened using low-cost, environment-friendly deep-rooted Vetiver grass. This study will transform the slope repair paradigm from reactive to proactive enhancing safety and resiliency of infrastructure through a bio-inspired, sustainable approach. At Jackson State University (JSU), one of the nation’s leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the project will be creating numerous opportunities for African American students to participate in research and explore careers in engineering.
Dr. Khan received his bachelor’s in Civil Engineering in June 2007 from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). He received his Master’s in Civil Engineering in summer 2011 and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in fall 2013 from the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Khan worked for more than 12 years in different projects on advanced site investigation and instrumentation and conducted numerous FEM analyses to understand the different geo-structural system components and develop the sustainable and innovative remedial design. Dr. Khan is a technical member of ASCE GI Unsaturated Soil, ASCE GI Shallow Foundation, AKG-20 TRB Standing Committee on Soil and Rock Properties and Site Characterization, and AKG-40 TRB Standing Committee on Mechanics and Drainage of Saturated and Unsaturated Geomaterials. He coauthored 2 technical books and more than 50 peer reviewed technical publications in the prestigious Journals and Conference Proceedings. Dr. Khan was awarded 2018 Engineer of the Year from MS ASCE section and 2019 Engineer of the Year from ASCE Region 5. Dr. Khan is a licensed engineer in the State of Mississippi and the State of Texas.