Description: Barbara-croppedQingli Dai, Ph.D.



Assistant Professor

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michigan Technological University

Office: Dow 862
Phone: 906-487-2620






1.    Computational analysis for material research: multiscale modeling, finite element analysis, discrete element analysis, Multiphysical modeling, fracture-healing simulation and molecular dynamics

2.    Properties and performance of asphalt mixtures

3.    Microstructure, property and durability of concrete

4.    Self-healing construction materials, alternative and emerging materials

5.    Active material actuation, structural vibration reduction

6.    Acoustic and ultrasonic sensing and measurement, X-ray and neutron scattering charaterization


Research Group


          Current Ph.D. Students:

Xiao Sun (to graduate in 2016)

Zigeng Wang (to graduate in 2015)

Shuaicheng Guo (to graduate in Dec 2017)


           Graduated graduate Students:

                        Ryan Lemmens, PhD, graduated fall 2014

Kenny Ng, PhD, graduated fall 2012

Jun Zhou, M.S., graduated in spring, 2011

Xiao Sun, M.S., graduated in spring, 2014


            Current Undergraduate Students:

                        Jacob Kurtz, spring 2015

Wanbing Bai, spring 2015

Autumn Storteboom, fall 2014 & spring 2015

Derek Waldorf, summer & fall 2014


We like to invite the Graduate research assistants to join our research group.  My current research interests are computational modeling of infrastructure materials such as asphalt mixtures and concrete, self-healing materials, fracture or damage mechanism, chemo-physical properties, and advanced experimental techniques, as well as smart-material actuator design and wind-structure interactions.  My goal is to develop integrated numerical and experimental techniques for sustainable infrastructure applications. Sound experimental and computational mechanics background is preferred. Please send your C.V. and transcripts to me ( if interested. You also need apply Ph.D. program in Civil Engineering at MTU.


We also like to welcome the visiting scholars to join our research group. The research background in various topics related to materials, structures, sensing and computation can fit into our on-going research activities.




Year 2015

Sun, X., Zhang, B., Dai, Q. and Yu, X. (2015) “Investigation of Internal Curing Effects on Microstructure and Permeability of Interface Transition Zones in Cement Mortar with SEM Imaging, Transport Simulation and Hydration Modeling Techniques”, Journal of Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, Volume 76, Pages 366–379.

Yang, X., Dai, Q., You, Z., Wang, Z. “Integrated Experimental-Numerical Approach for Estimating Asphalt Mixture Induction Healing Level through Discrete Element Modeling of a Single-Edge Notched Beam Test”, ASCE's Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, in press.


Year 2014

Lemmens, R. J., Dai, Q., Meng, D.D. (2014), “Side-Groove Influenced Parameters for Determining Fracture Toughness of Self-Healing Composites Using a Tapered Double Cantilever Beam Specimen”, Journal of Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics, Elsevier, Volume 74, December 2014, Pages 23–29

Sun, X., Dai, Q. and Ng, K. (2014) “Computational Investigation of Pore Permeability and Connectivity from Transmission X-Ray Microscope Images of a Cement Paste Specimen", Journal of Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, volume 68, 15, October 2014, pages 240-251.

Dai, Q. and Ng, K. (2014). “2D cohesive zone modeling of crack development in cementitious digital samples with microstructure characterization”, Journal of Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, Volume 54, 15, March 2014, Pages 584–595.

Ng, K. and Dai, Q. (2014) “Numerical Investigation of Internal Frost Damage of Digital Cement Paste Samples with Cohesive Zone Modeling and SEM Microstructure Characterization", Journal of Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, 50(15), 266–275.

Yang X., You, Z, Dai, Q., Mills-Beale, J. (2014) “Mechanical performance of asphalt mixtures modified by bio-oils derived from waste wood resources”, Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, 51(31), 424-431

Dai, Q. and Ng, K. (2014). “Transmission X-Ray Microscope Nanoscale Characterization and 3D Micromechanical Modeling of Internal Frost Damage in Cement Paste.” the Special Issue on: Mechanics of Nanocomposites and Nanostructures, ASCE Journal of Nanomechanics and Micromechanics, 4(1).

Ng, K., Sun, Y., Dai, Q., and Yu, X. (2014) "Investigation of Internal Frost Damage in Cementitious Materials with Micromechanics Analysis, SEM Imaging and Ultrasonic Wave Scattering Techniques,” Journal of Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, 50(15), 478–485.


Year 2013

Dai, Q., Wang, Z. and Mohd Hasan, M. (2013) “Investigation of Induction Healing Effects on Electrically Conductive Asphalt Mastic and Asphalt Concrete Beam through Fracture-Healing Tests,” Journal of Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, 49, 729–737

Yang, X. You, Z., Dai, Q. (2013) “Performance Evaluation of Asphalt Binder Modified by Bio-oil Generated from Waste Wood Resources.” International Journal of Pavement Research & Technology, 6(4).

Dai, Q., Ng, K., Liu, Y., and Yu, X. (2013) "Investigation of Internal Frost Damage in Concrete with Thermodynamic Analysis, Micro-Damage Modeling and Time-Domain Reflectometry Sensor Measurements." Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, ASCE, 25(9), 1248–1259. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0000761.


Year 2012

Dai, Q. and Ng, K. (2012) “Investigation of Electromechanical Properties of Piezoelectric Structural Fiber Composites with Micromechanics Analysis and Finite Element Modeling”, Mechanics of Materials, Elsevier, 53, 29–46.

Dai, Q., Ng, K., Zhou, J., Kreiger, E.L. and Ahlborn, T. M. (2012), “Damage Investigation of Single-Edge Notched Beam Tests with Normal Strength Concrete and Ultra High Performance Concrete Specimens using Acoustic Emission Techniques,” Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, 31, 231-242.

Ng, K. and Dai, Q. (2012), “Tailored Extended Finite-Element Model for Predicting Crack Propagation and Fracture Properties within Idealized and Digital Cementitious Material Samples,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, 138 (1), 89-100,


Year 2011

Ng, K. and Dai, Q. (2011), “Investigation of Micro-Crack Behavior of Infrastructure Materials with EXtended Finite Element Method and Image Analysis,” Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 23 (12), 1662-1671.

Dai, Q., Yu, X., Ng, K. and Liu, Z. (2011), “Development of Micromechanics Models and Innovative Sensor Technologies to Evaluate Internal-Frost Damage of Concrete,” Journal of the Transportation Research Board, National Academies, No. 2240, 50-58.

Dai, Q. (2011), “A Three-Dimensional Micromechanical Finite Element Network Model for Damage-Coupled Elastic Behavior of Stone-Based Composite Materials,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, 137, 6, 410-421.

Liu, Y., You, Z., Dai, Q., and Mills-Beale, J. (2011). "Review of advances in understanding impacts of mix composition characteristics on asphalt concrete (AC) mechanics." International Journal of Pavement Engineering, 12(4), 385-405.

You, Z., Liu, Y., and Dai, Q. (2011), "Three-dimensional Microstructural-based Discrete Element Viscoelastic Modeling of Creep Compliance Tests for Asphalt Mixtures." Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, ASCE, 23, 1, 79-87.


Year 2010

Dai, Q. (2010), “Two- and Three-Dimensional Micromechanical Viscoelastic Finite Element Modeling of Stone-Based Materials with X-Ray Computed Tomography Images,” Construction & Building Materials, Elsevier, 25, 1102-1114.

You, Z., Mills-Beale, J., Foley, J. M., Roy, S., Odegard, G. M., Dai, Q., and Goh, S. W. (2010). "Nanoclay-modified asphalt materials: Preparation and characterization." Construction and Building Materials, 25, 1072-1078.

Dai, Q. (2010), “Micromechanical Viscoelasto-Plastic Models and Finite Element Implementation for Rate-Independent and Rate-Dependent Permanent Deformation of Stone-Based Materials,” International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, Wiley InterScience, 34 (13), 1321-1345.

Dai, Q. (2010), “Prediction of Dynamic Modulus and Phase Angle of Stone-Based Composites using Micromechanical Finite Element Approach,” Journal of Material in Civil Engineering, ASCE, 22 (6), 618-627.


Year 2009

Dai, Q. and You, Z. (2009), “Micromechanical Finite Element Framework for Predicting Viscoelastic Properties of Heterogeneous Asphalt Mixtures,” Materials and Structures, Springer Netherlands, Vol. 41(6), pp.1025-1037,  ISSN: 1359-5997 (Print) 1871-6873 (Online), Online  at

You, Z., Adhikari, S., Masad, E., and Dai, Q. (2009), “Microstructural and Micromechanical Properties of Field and Lab-Compacted Asphalt Mixtures,” Journal of Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT), Vol. 78, 2009 (scheduled).

Liu, Y., Dai, Q., You (2009), “Development of a Viscoelastic Model for Discrete Element Simulation of Asphalt Mixtures,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, accepted for publication on 04/22/2008, scheduled for April issue of 2009.

You, Z., Adhikari, S., and Dai, Q. (2009), “Air Void Effect on An Idealized Asphalt Mixture Using a Two-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Discrete Element Modeling Approach,” International Journal of Pavement Engineering, accepted for publication 09/02/2007.

You, Z., Mills-Beale, J., Williams, R.C., and Dai, Q. (2009), “Measuring the Specific Gravities of Fine Aggregates in Michigan: An Automated Procedure,” International Journal of Pavement Research and Technology, Vol. 2(2), pp.37-50, ISSN 1996-6814.

Mills-Beale, J., You, Z., Williams, R.C., and Dai, Q. (2009), “Determining the Specific Gravities of Coarse Aggregates in Michigan Utilizing Vacuum Saturation Approach,” Construction & Building Materials, Elsevier, Vol. 23(3), pp.1316-1322.


Year 2008

You, Z., Adhikari, S., and Dai, Q. (2008), “Three-Dimensional Discrete Element Models for Asphalt Mixtures,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, Vol. 134(12), pp.1053-1063.


Year 2007

Dai, Q. and You, Z. (2007)Prediction of Creep Stiffness of Asphalt Mixture with Micromechanical Finite Element and Discrete Element Methods,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, Vol. 133(2), pp.163-173.

You, Z. and Dai, Q. (2007), “A Review of Advances in Micromechanical Modeling of Aggregate-Aggregate Interaction in Asphalt Mixture,” Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering /Rev. can. génie civ., Vol. 34(2), pp.1519-1528, ISSN: 1208-6029

You, Z. and Dai, Q., (2007), “Complex Modulus Predictions of Asphalt Mixtures Using a Micromechanical -Based Finite Element Model,” Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering /Rev. can. génie civ., Vol. 34(12), pp.1-10, ISSN: 1208-6029


Year 2006

Dai, Q., Sadd, M.H. and You, Z. (2006), “A Micromechanical Finite Element Model for Linear and Damage-Coupled Viscoelastic Behavior of Asphalt Mixture,” International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, Wiley InterScience, Vol. 30(11), pp.1135-1158.


Year 2005

Dai, Q., Sadd, M.H., Parameswaran, V. and Shukla, A. (2005), “Prediction of Damage Behaviors in Asphalt Materials using a Finite Element Micromechanical Model and Image Analysis,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, Vol. 131(7), pp.668-677.

Sadd, M.H. and Dai, Q. (2005), “A Comparison of Micromechanical Modeling of Asphalt Materials Using Finite Elements and Doublet Mechanics,” Mechanics of Materials, Elsevier, Vol. 37(6), pp.641-662.


Year 2004

Dai, Q., and Sadd, M.H. (2004), “Parametric Model Study of Microstructure Effects on Damage Behavior of Asphalt Samples,” International Journal of Pavement Engineering, Vol. 5(1), pp.19-30.

Sadd, M.H., Dai, Q., Parameswaran, V. and Shukla, A. (2004), “Simulation of Asphalt Materials Using a Finite Element Micromechanical Model with Damage Mechanics,” Journal of Transportation Research Board, National Academy of Sciences, No.1832, pp.86-95.

Sadd, M.H., Dai, Q., Parameswaran, V. and Shukla, A. (2004), Microstructural

 Simulation of Asphalt Materials: Modeling and Experimental Studies,” Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 16(2), pp.107-115.





U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)-CMMI - Collaborative Research: Nexus of Simulation, Sensing and Actuation for Aerodynamic Vibration Reduction of Wind Turbine Blades;  Principal Investigators: Qingli Dai, and Fernando Ponta. Collaborated with Dr. Xiong Yu,  Department of Civil Engineering, Case Western Reserve University. (Researchers: Xiao Sun and Muraleekrishnan Menon)

The objective of this collaborative research project is to advance the smart blade system through innovations in areas of advanced computational models of fluid-structure interactions, sensors and actuators. Wind energy, an important source of clean and renewable energy, is becoming a major component of the U.S. energy portfolio. The interest in large capacity wind turbines as an economical way to harvest wind energy has significantly increased in recent years. Wind turbine blades are over 100m in length and the trend of increasing the size of the blades continues. However, increases in the size of wind turbine blades means that aerodynamic vibrations need to be managed to prevent catastrophic failures. The collaborative project team takes an innovative perspective to advance the smart turbine blade technology. The hypothesis of this research is that aerodynamic vibrations in wind turbine blades can be effectively mitigated with bio-inspired strategies for flow sensing, surface morphological change and fluid-structure interactions. The specific goals of this research project are 1) to understand blade vibration dynamics with advanced modeling of fluid-structure interactions; 2) to study the mechanism of bio-sensing for flow turbulence determination and to implement a feasible sensor design strategy; and 3) to understand and emulate the functions of "smart fins" and "smart denticles" for aerodynamic vibration reductions. A systematic approach will be undertaken by combining modeling, sensing and actuation strategies. The smart blade system performance will also be validated via simulation-based virtual testing and reduced-scale model experiments. All of these aim to advance the state of art in the smart wind turbine blades.


REF-Research Seed: An Electroactive Multiphase Material System with Enhanced Mechanical Properties and Self-Healing and Energy-Harvesting Functions; Principal Investigators: Qingli Dai (Researchers: Zigeng Wang)


Michigan Dept of Environmental Quality: Low Emission Asphalt Pavements with Crumb Rubber; Principal Investigators: Zhanping You and Qingli Dai (Researchers: Hui Yao)


Michigan Tech Transportation Research Institute: Development of Advanced Ultrasonic Techniques for Air Void Size Distribution in Early-Stage and Hardened Concrete, Principal Investigators: Zhen Liu and Qingli Dai (Researchers: Shuaicheng Guo)


U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)- CMMI – 0900582 Microfluidic Fabrication of Autonomic Healing Microfiber; Principal Investigators: Desheng Meng, Qingli Dai, and Zhanping You (Researchers: Ryan Lemmens and Kenny Ng)

The primary objective of this research is to explore microfluidic encapsulation methods to fabricate self-healing microfibers with unprecedented morphology control and material flexibility. Currently, spherical microcapsules, prepared by emulsification processes, account for the limited availability of healing agent and lack of multi-cycle healing capability. Self-healing microfibers are proposed to provide better healing performance with lower concentration and multiple healing capabilities. Microfluidic encapsulation will be investigated to generate elongated compound droplets as self-healing microfibers and gain better understanding on the control of the fabrication process. The proposed micro-encapsulator is expected to become a fabrication platform to systematically investigate the impact of microcapsule size and morphology on the bulk property of self-healing composite, which hasn’t been adequately supported by the existing fabrication methods. The micromechanical modeling and testing methods are expected to further our understanding on this fundamental issue and provide a guideline for the design of future self-healing systems.





           CE4201: Matrix Structural Analysis

           CE5202: Finite Element Analysis

           MEEM 5150: Advanced Mechanics of Materials

           MEEM 2110: Statics

           MEEM4990 – Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering

           MEEM 4405: Introduction to Finite Element Methods




Associate Editor, ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering

Professional Committee Member

Committee Member, ASCE Granular Materials Committee, Engineering Mechanics Institute, 2010-present

Committee Member, ASCE Bituminous Materials Committee, Construction Institute, 2011-present

Committee Member, ASCE Pavement Committee, Geo-Institute, 2011 - present

Committee Member, ASCE Geophysics Committee, Geo-Institute, 2011 - present

Reviewer for Journals

Mechanics of Materials, Elsevier; Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Elsevier;  International Journal of Pavement Engineering, Taylor & Francis; International Journal of Geomechanics, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, ASCE; Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE; Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering; Geotechnical Special Publication (GSP), ASCE; ASCE GeoFrontier.



Updated 4/2015