Construction Materials and Management Group (CMMG)

This research group specializes on the study of the properties of concrete and its derivatives at nano- to macroscale and how they relate to the mechanical and durability properties, with the goal of predicting the future performance and enhancing the sustainability of structures. The group is also involved in studying factors that improve the quality and sustainability of construction practices.

Members: Dr. Marish S. Madlangbayan, Dr. Ariel Miguel M. Aragoncillo, Asst. Prof. Emel Ken D. Benito, Engr. Harvey S. Maunahan, Engr. Justine Anne E. Mendoza, Engr. Maricel A. Eneria

Research: Reinforced concrete and steel corrosion, nanosilica, agri-industrial byproducts as supplementary cementitious material, recycled concrete aggregate (RCA), self-compacting concrete (SCC), lightweight concrete, fiber-reinforced concrete, masonry products, sustainable construction, workers skill-set, project quality control

Structural and Geotechnical Engineering (SaGE)

This research group focuses on structural assessment under extreme events, structural health monitoring using non-destructive tests, geotechnical hazard assessment, and soil improvement.

Members: Dr. Richelle G. Zafra, Asst. Prof. Carmina B. Borja, Engr. Bien Dave B. Papasin, Engr. Judie Ann A. Ramos, Asst. Prof. Andre C. Cruz, Asst. Prof. Jedidiah Joel C. Aguirre (on study leave), Engr. Ron Gabriel O. Navarro (on study leave), Asst. Prof. Mark Joel B. Uaje (on study leave)

Research: Geotechnical Engineering – Soil improvement using agricultural and construction wastes and biocomposite materials, machine learning in soil classification and field tests, ground movement hazards; Structural Engineering – Fire damage of concrete structures, operational modal analysis, non-destructive tests in structural health monitoring, seismic assessment of structures


Transportation Innovations and Mobility Group (TIMoG)

This research group focuses on transportation engineering studies including transportation planning, traffic simulations and forecasting, evacuation modeling, mode shift behavior, geometric design of roads, blackspot identification and accident prevention, and trip scheduling

Members: Dr. Marloe B. Sundo, Dr. Ma. Bernadeth B. Lim, Asst. Prof. Crisaulo M. Reynoso, Engr. Alvin Joseph S. Dolores

Research: Transportation planning, Traffic simulations and forecasting, evacuation modeling, mode shift behavior, geometric design of roads, blackspot identification and accident prevention, trip scheduling

Sustainable Water and Environment Solutions (SWanS) Group

This research group is dedicated to providing sustainable solutions and strategies to protect and restore water resources while maintaining environmental and public health balance.

Members: Dr. Perlie P. Velasco, Engr. Alvin Joseph S. Dolores, Engr. Kale Ashley P. Carurucan, Engr. Leiuq B. Lapastora, Engr. Joseph Angelo R . Sabio, and Engr. Ma. Hazel T. Castillo

Research: Flood Control and Drainage, Water Supply and Groundwater, Coastal Engineering, River and Flood Modelling, Nature-based Solutions, Water/Wastewater Treatment, Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste Management, and Environmental Sustainability/LCA


Featured Undergraduate Thesis Abstracts


Jami Grace D. Aguilar

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, 2nd Semester AY 2023-24

Rubber aggregate offers a sustainable alternative material to mineral aggregates. This material has been used in the past as fine aggregate replacement in concrete and mortar, where a reduction in the compressive strength was consistently observed. To address this strength reduction, the current study focused on modifying the rubber fibers through vulcanization and chemical treatment using one molar of NaOH solution. Four types of recycled rubber fibers (RRF) were studied, namely, untreated RRF (URRF), vulcanized RRF (UVRRF), unvulcanized RRF with NaOH treatment (TRRF), and vulcanized RRF with NaOH treatment (TVRRF). Each of the four rubber types was incorporated in mortar samples as replacement of fine aggregate at 0.5%, 1%, and 2% by volume. Mortar cubes measuring 50 mm on one side were prepared and subjected to compressive strength test after 28 days of lime-curing. It was found that all mortar groups obtained a compressive strength higher than the minimum required for Type M mortar specified by ASTM C270. The NaOH fiber treatment improved the strength of mortars containing unvulcanized and vulcanized RRF by about 27% and 15%, respectively. This effect was due to the modified surface properties of the rubber, resulting in an improved adhesion between the rubber surface and the cement matrix. Furthermore, the vulcanization of rubber was found to be effective in minimizing the strength reduction caused by incorporating RRF in mortar mix due to the improvement in the stiffness of the rubber particles. However, statistical analysis showed that the stiffness provided by the vulcanization becomes insignificant when the rubber fibers are subjected to NaOH treatment. These results suggest that the effect of vulcanization is evident only when rubber fibers are untreated. Finally, the findings revealed that replacing 1% of fine aggregate volume with TRRF or TVRRF maintains the compressive strength of conventional mortar and can therefore be explored for structural mortar applications.


Mhar Carlvin C. Bactad

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, 2nd Semester AY 2023-24

Constructed wetlands is a green wastewater treatment that utilizes vegetation, and filter media such as sand and gravel to reduce TSS concentration and turbidity. However, the main problem of constructed wetlands is clogging which becomes severe when using it to treat agricultural wastewater characterized by their high concentration of TSS. Studies regarding the effect of the influent together with the operation time of a constructed wetlands were limited, hence, in this study, a vertical flow constructed wetland (VFCW) was operated for 3 weeks under varying influent load concentrations was analyzed. The removal efficiency of the VFCW decreased with the operation time but increased with the influent load concentration. The correlation coefficient between effluent TSS level with run time and influent load concentration being 0.6 and 0.51, both moderately strong correlations, are higher than the TSS removal efficiency correlations of -0.46 with operation time and 0.51 with influent TSS concentration. Effluent turbidity had moderately strong positive correlations of 0.68 and 0.46 with operation time and influent concentration. While there is no significant difference in the removal efficiency before and after backwashing and scraping, the TSS removal efficiency and effluent TSS concentration of the system changed from 92.62% to 97.17% and 46.33 mg/L to 30.67 mg/L while the turbidity removal efficiency and effluent level changed from 89.69% to 98.23% and 79.67 FAU to 40 FAU. Effluent exhibited better correlations with the run
time and influent load concentration than removal efficiency. Essentially, effluent levels are better basis of treatment efficiency as it can be directly compared with the standards.


Mark Adrian R. Dela Peña

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, 2nd Semester AY 2023-24

The Unified Soil Classification System (USCS) is one of the systems used in categorizing soil. The problem with this system is that it is time-consuming and laborious. This study proposed an alternative method wherein image processing techniques and convolutional neural networks (CNN) were used to rapidly classify cohesionless soils based on images. The seven cohesionless soil classifications were collected from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and verified using laboratory tests. Images of these identified soil samples were taken from distances of 30 cm, 45 cm, and 60 cm; with angles of 45°, 60°, and 90° from the surface. The raw images were preprocessed by applying image resizing, image rotation, and filter application. These preprocessing techniques yielded 1512 images and 80 % of these were used in training the model, while the remaining 20 % was used for validation of results. Five models were trained from varying square-sized image resolutions with dimensions of 64, 128, 256, 512, and 1024 pixels to determine the optimal image size. Based on the results, it was determined that the model trained from the 512 x 512 image resolution obtained the highest training accuracy of 100 % with a validation accuracy of 86.24 % which was evaluated as high accuracy. Additionally, it was observed that the images taken from the 90° angle achieved the highest accuracy of 96.83%. While the images taken from varying distances of 30 cm, 45 cm, and 60 cm had insignificant differences ranging from 84.13 % to 87.30 %.


Jedidiah Rosario

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, 2nd Semester AY 2023-24

COVID-19 lockdown made significant impact on the transport system. As a result, the study aimed to compare the various changes at intersection of the Romulo-Highway and
Tibag-San Isidro Road, which is a major intersection in Tarlac City, Philippines, using LocalSim during and after the lockdown in terms of vehicle composition, Level of Service, Average travel time, and Average travel speed. The study simulated actual and optimal signal light designs during peak hours from 6:00 am-9:00 am and 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm. It was found that generally there was an increase in the use of public utility vehicles after the lockdown. Additionally, average travel time significantly increased while travel speed significantly decreased. After the lockdown traffic congestion was still observed at the intersection. A proposed alternative scenario of signalizing the intersection was made. It was found that optimized signal light designs after the lockdown obtained were at 64 seconds per cycle in the morning and 42 seconds per cycle in the afternoon. This would lead to a decrease in the average vehicular volume at the intersection. However, the simulation indicated an increase in travel time of an additional 99 seconds in the morning and 63 seconds in the afternoon. Moreover, the traffic speeds decreased to 11.71 kph in the morning and 20.08 kph in the afternoon. In conclusion, the installation of traffic signal light systems at the intersection of Romulo-Highway and Tibag-San Isidro Road generally resulted in a better LOS, a longer travel time, and a slower travel speed.