Zhengyu Liu


Research Engineer, BEC





InTrans, BEC

About Zhengyu

Dr. Liu is a research engineer for the Bridge Engineering Center and the Timber Bridge Program. He provides analytical expertise and project oversight for BEC projects. Dr. Liu has been involved in the conduct of bridge-related research for over six years. Dr. Liu received his master’s degree in civil engineering in 2014 and doctorate in structural engineering in 2018 from Iowa State University. Following the completion of his PhD, he continued his work at the Bridge Engineering Center as a research engineer. In total, he has contributed to more than 15 bridge-related research projects for numerous federal, state, and local agencies. His current research is in the general area of bridge engineering with specific interest in accelerated bridge construction (ABC), precast bridge element design and connection detailing, time-dependent bridge superstructure behavior, structural health monitoring, and highly nonlinear bridge structure simulation, etc.


  • PhD, Civil Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 2018
  • MS, Civil Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 2014
  • BS, Civil Engineering, Shenyang University of Technology, China, 2012

Professional Experience

  • Research Engineer, Institute for Transportation, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 2018–present
  • Student Research Assistant, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 2013–2018

Selected Research Projects

  • Concrete Box Culvert Earth Pressure Monitoring, Co-PI, Iowa DOT, 2019–present
  • Experimental Validation of a Rapid Assessment Tool for Pile Capacity and Stability in Response to Scour Situations, Co-PI, Iowa DOT, 2019–present
  • Evaluation of Galvanized and Painted-Galvanized Steel Piling, Co-PI, Iowa DOT, 2018–present

Selected Publications

  • Liu, Z., B. M. Phares, B. Shafei, and W. Shi. 2020. Full-Scale Evaluation of the Innovative Joint Design between Adjacent Box Beams. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board.
  • Liu, Z., K. Freeseman, and B. M. Phares. 2019. Evaluation of the Need for Negative Moment Reinforcing in Prestressed Concrete Bridge. Engineering Structures,
  • Liu, Z., and B. M. Phares. 2019. Use of Shrinkage Compensated Concrete in the Joint between Adjacent Box Beams. Materials in Civil Engineering,
  • Phares, B. M., and Z. Liu. 2019. Determination of U-Bolt Connection Load Capacities in Overhead Sign Support Structures, No. IHRB Project TR-902.
  • Liu, Z., and B. M. Phares. 2019. Small-Scale Investigation on Wide Longitudinal Joints Filled with Shrinkage-Compensated Concrete for Adjacent Box Beam Bridges. Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 24, No. 12.
  • Shi, W., Z. Liu, B. Shafei, and B. M. Phares. 2019. Early-age performance of longitudinal bridge joints made with shrinkage-compensating cement concrete. Engineering Structures, Vol. 197.
  • Phares, B. M., L. F. Greimann, Z. Liu, and K. Freeseman. 2017. Context Sensitive Design: Testing of Multi-Performance Level Box Beam Standards, No. IHRB Project TR-681.
  • Liu, Z., B. M. Phares, and L. F. Greimann. 2016. Use of Longitudinal Expansion Joints in Wide-Bridge Applications to Reduce Deck Cracking. Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 21, No. 10.
  • Phares, B. M., L. F. Greimann, and Z. Liu. 2015. Evaluation of the Need for Longitudinal Median Joints in Bridge Decks on Dual Structures, No. IHRB Project TR-232.

Research Interests

  • Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC)
  • Precast bridge element design and connection detailing
  • Connection detailing for steel structure
  • Time-dependent bridge superstructure behavior
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Highly non-linear bridge structure simulation