Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Halil Ceylan

Second Advisor

Kasthurirangan Gopalakrishnan


Ice and snow accumulation on airport paved surfaces has the potential to cause fatal accidents and monetary loss due to associated flight delays and cancellations. Traditional de-icing methods involving the application of chemicals or salt, and deployment of large machines can create negative environmental and structural impact on airport infrastructure systems. Such methods are also considered to be both labor-intensive and safety hazards, especially in congested areas such as aprons.

In recent years, hydronic and/or electrically conductive concrete (ECON) heated pavement systems (HPS) have been receiving attention for mitigating problems associated with the presence of ice/snow on roadways and paved areas of airfields. In this study, the system requirements of electrically-conductive concrete (ECON) heated pavement systems were identified for their potential with respect to achieving cost-effective performance. A prototype small-scale ECON heated concrete slab was designed, constructed, and tested using an optimized ECON mixture recently developed at Iowa State University (ISU), to obtain the efficiency and performance results. This prototype ECON slab provided the lowest energy consumption and lowest energy cost among the electrically-heated pavement systems developed so far. The two-layer approach utilized in design and construction of the prototype ECON slab is cost-effective in terms of construction cost, energy consumption, and operational cost savings. Given the promising results from the ECON slab research studies, both the airport owner and the FAA have demonstrated interest in providing assistance and support in taking this technology developed in-house and implementing it full-scale on-site at the DSM airport, representing the first full-scale ECON-based HPS conducted and tested at a U.S. airport. Two ECON slabs were designed and constructed in 2016 at the General Aviation (GA) apron at the Des Moines International Airport (DSM), Iowa. Systematic design components were identified and construction procedures were developed and implemented for ECON-based HPS. Using sensor data collection, the performance of the remotely-operated ECON slabs was evaluated under real weather conditions at DSM during the 2016-2017 winter season, with results demonstrating that ECON-based HPS offer promising deicing and anti-icing capacities for providing uniform heat distribution and preventing snow and ice accumulation on the entire area of application under various winter weather conditions.

Going forward, there is an imperative need to investigate and/or develop new technologies to best automate and accelerate the construction of large-scale heated pavements at airports. This study attempted to partially fulfill that need by conducting a detailed review of advanced pavement construction techniques and practices and evaluating their efficacy and applicability to construction of HPS at airports. System requirements of ECON and hydronic HPS were identified and laboratory experimental investigations were carried out to study their efficiency and performance results, leading to the development of a design procedure for large-scale HPS at airports. Advanced construction techniques and workflows for precast concrete (PC), two-lift paving, and concrete overlays for heated pavements were demonstrated using 3D visualizations to provide design and construction guidance for large-scale heated airport pavements. A 3-D finite element (FE) model was developed for ECON which can be used as a cost-effective evaluation tool for examining the effects of various design parameters on the time-dependent heating performance of ECON HPS design optimization.


Copyright Owner

Hesham Abdualla



File Format


File Size

233 pages

Included in

Engineering Commons