Dr. Nabil Grace's specialization is in structural engineering, highway bridges and composite materials. He is the originator and founding director of the Center for Innovative Materials Research (CIMR) at Lawrence Technological University, a multimillion dollar facility dedicated in 2008. Dr. Grace successfully obtained funding for this dynamic facility that offers students a variety of applied research opportunities and, at this time, is primarily devoted to the investigation of the use of composite materials in structural applications and for defense industry.
Dr. Grace's research interests include application of carbon fiber reinforced polymer to structural engineering, assessment of dynamic behavior of composite automobile components, environmentally dependent behavior of composites, and infrastructure rehabilitation using composite materials. Dr. Grace’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center (TARDEC), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Michigan Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Transpiration, Maine Department of Transportation, North Carolina Department of Transpiration, Iowa Department of Transpiration, American Concrete Institute and several private manufacturing organizations.
His research activities have attracted approximately $27.8 million in private, state, and federal grants, and have been implemented in the design, construction, instrumentation, and field testing for the first Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) prestressed concrete highway bridge in United States history. Twenty prestressed concrete highway bridges using these unique solutions have now been deployed in such states as Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Maine. Dr. Grace’s research team has been continuously monitoring the behavior of five of these bridges and will continue to monitor their behavior under a contract with MDOT & FHWA until 2025.
Dr. Grace and his research team developed and issued the first design guidelines for CFRP prestressed concrete bridges and is currently posted on the main web page for MDOT along with design examples for the design calculations of four major bridges. Dr. Grace has been awarded four US patents in innovative bridge design and for advanced composite materials such as ductile hybrid fabric. Dr. Grace has published over 150 papers in national and international journals and for conferences.
Dr. Grace has served as dean of LTU’s College of Engineering since 2012. He chaired what is now the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering 2002-2011. He received his master's and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Windsor, Ontario, and his bachelor's degree from Cairo University.