Professor Li is a Professor of Civil Engineering in the School of Engineering.In addition to his management and teaching commitments, Professor Li devotes his time to innovative research and has gained specific expertise in time-dependent reliability methods and their applications to risk assessment and service life prediction for civil infrastructure.
Key areas of research and consulting
Professor Li’s research areas include risk and reliability analysis of engineering works, service life prediction of civil infrastructure, steel corrosion in concrete and its effects on concrete structures, deterioration of materials and structures, methodology of whole life design and assessment of civil infrastructure, stochastic modelling of loading and structural resistance, and construction management.
Professor Li’s research in risk-based service life prediction of civil infrastructure was rated “international leading” (i.e., 4* - the highest rating) in UK’s 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
Time-dependent reliability method
This is his core theoretical skill that can be applied to many engineering and management problems as long as the problem is defined in such a way that one or more variables is modelled as a random variable changing with time. Majority of his over 180 publications are based on this method for a variety of problems in many areas.
Steel corrosion in concrete and its effects on structures
This is his core application skill of time-dependent reliability methods. With over 60 publications on this topic, he has developed models that cover the whole life behaviour of corrosion affected concrete structures, from corrosion initiation to corrosion induced concrete cracking and finally structural collapse.
This is another one of his core application skill of time-dependent reliability methods. The focus is on prediction of remaining safe life for aged and deteriorated pipes. Pipes can be of any kind and made of any materials, such as cast iron water pipes, concrete sewer pipes. The research on pipes is multidisciplinary, including materials, structures and fractural mechanics.
Whole life assessment and management of civil infrastructure
Professor Li also has expertise in whole life assessment and management of civil infrastructure using time-dependent reliability methods. The focus is on development of a risk-cost optimised maintenance scheme for the asset management of civil infrastructure. Infrastructure can be of any kind and made of any materials. Research in this area is more generic and multidisciplinary.
Professor Li’s skills in this area are analytical, numerical and experimental. Research includes: determining the elastic modulus of concrete both analytically and numerically; simulation of Interfacial Transition Zone (ITZ) which is the core factor that affects all properties of concrete; concrete durability and so on.
This is a generic skill that can be applied to many areas, including structural collapse, process breakdown, natural and man-made disasters, e.g., wind, earthquake, fire, etc.
Professor Li also has great interest in this area. Work carried out includes the reliability of completion time for construction projects, risk assessment for construction process and occupational health and safety on construction sites.
Professor Li has made a series of pioneering and highly original contributions, individually and with collaborators, in the following aspects:
1. Professor Li’s early contribution was mainly in time-dependent reliability theory in which he derived a closed-form solution to first passage probability for non-stationary Gaussian stochastic processes. The significance of this solution is two-fold:
- theoretically any new analytical solution can be considered as a breakthrough due to its extremely intellectual challenging;
- practically it opens the wide application of time-dependent reliability methods to engineering problems, in particular to service life prediction of engineering systems.
2. Most of Professor Li’s work in the last 10 years has focussed on whole life modelling of concrete structural deterioration through reinforcement corrosion, based on practical design criteria of safety and serviceability and using advanced time-dependent reliability methods. Professor Li is one of the first researchers in this research field who has:
- undertaken experiments on specimens with structurally significant size (i.e., not cubes or cylinders) and under real working conditions, i.e., considering the effect of concrete cracks; thereby advancing research from initiation to propagation and from the purely materials perspective (i.e., corrosion only) to the structural perspective (i.e., corrosion effects on structural behaviour);
- developed testing methodology for accelerated corrosion tests using simultaneous natural saltwater spray and application of service loads, and proposed the concept of acceleration factor for calibration of accelerated results, thereby producing more realistic and accurate corrosion and its effects on structural deterioration;
- developed a suite of models, covering the whole process of corrosion and its effect on structural deterioration, including initiation, crack width, delamination, serviceability and safety. Most of these models are the first at the time they were published. For example, the analytical model for corrosion induced crack width is the first at the time it was published in 2006. It has been cited 95 times since then.
3. Professor Li is one of the first researchers that applied fracture mechanics in reliability analysis of deteriorated cast iron pipes due to corrosion. The significance of this research is that it has considered multi modes of failures of pipes and furthermore it can predict which failure mode would occur first in probabilistic terms. The paper resulted from this research was awarded the best paper at the 12th International Conference on Durability of Building Materials and Components in 2011.
4. Realizing the importance of underground infrastructure and the fact that it has not drawn deserved attention in research community, Professor Li started research in buried pipelines, capitalizing his expertise. His main contribution is systematic investigation of buried pipelines with various materials based on pipe behavior and failure mechanisms under the operational conditions.
5. Professor Li initiated, developed, executed and Chaired the First International Conference On Infrastructure Failures and Consequences (ICIFC) which was held in Melbourne in July 2014. It is anticipated that this conference will run globally every two years.
Professor Li specialises in Civil engineering including risk and reliability assessment and whole life management of physical infrastructure.
- Structural design
- Structural assessment
- Systems engineering
- Materials Science
- Construction project management
- Research methodology
Publications and research grants overview
Professor Li has authored or co-authored around 180 international peer reviewed publications to date including journal articles and conference papers. Professor Li's 10 most recent publications are listed under the Publications section below.
Professor Li in his various leadership roles attracted over $5 million as Lead Chief Investigator (CI) of competitive research grant to date through competitive grants and research contracts.
Selected past projects as lead Chief Investigator (CI)
- Assessing Current State of Buried Sewer Systems and Their Remaining Safe Life, EPSRC (UK) 2011
- Reliability Study on Traffic Congestion for Route Performance, InterRoute (UK) 2008
- Long term performance of concrete modified with various fibres, EPSRC, Atkins (UK) 2007
- Stochastic Modelling of Corrosion Process for Service Life Prediction of Civil Infrastructure, EPSRC, (UK) 2006
- Risk Assessment Modelling for Corrosion Affected Concrete Infrastructure, Australian Research Council 2005
- Development of Risk Assessment Models for Corrosion Affected RC Infrastructure, The Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) 2004
- A time-dependent model for structural resistance in risk assessment for infrastructure, EPSRC, (UK) 2003
- Developing a quantitative risk based maintenance strategy for coastal concrete structures, EPSRC (UK) 2001
- Design and production of self-compacting concrete incorporating fly ash, EPSRC, RMC Readymix Ltd, (UK) 2001
Thesis: Time-dependent structural systems reliability theory and its application University of Newcastle, 1993
- MSc (Structural Engineering)
Thesis: Behaviour of concrete beam-column joints under cyclic loading Wuhan University of Technology, 1985
- BEng H1 (Civil Engineering), Wuhan University of Technology, 1982
- Professor of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering RMIT University, Melbourne Australia, 2016–present
- Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of School; School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne Australia, 2011–2016
- Professor, University of Greenwich, UK, 09/2006–10/2011
- Senior Lecturer, University of Dundee, UK 02/2000–08/2006
- Senior Lecturer, Monash University, Australia 11/1995–01/2000
- Research Scientist, CSIRO, Australia 02/1994–10/1995
- Engineer, T.G. Thomas & Associate, 05/1991–01/1994
- Consulting Structural Engineers Pty Ltd, Australia
- Professor, School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China
- Professor, School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejian University of Technology, Hangzhou, China
- Fellow of The Institution of Engineers, Australia – FIEAust
- Chartered Professional Engineer, Australia – CPEng
- Fellow of The Institution of Civil Engineers, UK – FICE
- Chartered Engineer, UK – CEng
- Member of Editorial Board of the International Journal of Materials and Structural Reliability
- Member of the Steering Committee of International Conference on Durability of Building Materials and Components
- Member of the Task Group CIB/TG22, Environmental design methods in materials and structural engineering
- Member of Working Group ISO/TC98/SC/2/WG10, General Principles on the Design of Structures for Durability, LIFETIME network, EU
- Member of Network for integrating structural analysis, risk and reliability (ASRANet), UK
Award of Best Paper
- Mohebbi, H. and Li C. Q. (2011), “Application of Fracture Mechanics in Reliability Analysis of Corrosion Affected Cast Iron Water Mains”, Proc. 12th Int. Conf. on Durability of Building Materials and Components, 12-15 April, Porto
- An Integrated Probabilistic Approach for Prediction of Remaining Life of Buried Pipes, Li, C.Q. and Ni, Y.L, 11th International Probabilistic Workshop, Brno, Czech Republic, 6-8 November, 2013.
- Whole Life Care of Infrastructure – A Serious Challenge for Civil Engineers, Li, C Q, 2nd International Conference of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Sustainable Infrastructure, Zhengzhou, China, 13-15 July, 2013.
- Stress Intensity Factors and Weight Function for Internal Surface Faults in Cylindrical Vessels, Li, Y.L, Yang, S.T. and Li, C.Q. International Conference on MEMS and Mechanics, Wuhan, China, 15 – 16 March, 2013
- Time-dependent Reliability Methods and Their Application to Service Life Prediction, Li, C Q, 11th Int. Conf. on Durability of Building Materials and Components, Istanbul, 11 – 14 May, 2008.
- Tan, Y.,Smith, J.,Li, C.,Currell, M.,Wu, Y. (2018). (In Press) Predicting external water pressure and cracking of a tunnel lining by measuring water inflow rate In: Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 71, 115 - 125
- Li, C.,Fu, G.,Yang, W.,Yang, S. (2017). Derivation of elastic fracture toughness for ductile metal pipes with circumferential external cracks under combined tension and bending In: Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 178, 39 - 49
- Li, C.,Fu, G.,Yang, S. (2017). Elastic fracture toughness for ductile metal pipes with circumferential surface cracks In: Key Engineering Materials, 730 KEM, 489 - 495
- Yang, W.,Fu, G.,Li, C. (2017). Elastic Fracture Toughness of Ductile Materials In: Journal of Engineering Mechanics (ASCE), , 1 - 11
- Wang, W.,Robert, D.,Fu, G.,Zhou, A.,Li, C. (2017). Service life prediction of underground cast iron pipes subjected to pitting corrosion In: Proceedings of the12th International Conference on Structural Safety and Reliability (ICOSSAR 2017), Vienna, Austria, 6-10 August 2017
- Mahmoodian, M.,Li, C. (2017). Failure assessment and safe life prediction of corroded oil and gas pipelines In: Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 151, 434 - 438
- Li, Y.,Huang, B.,Li, C. (2017). Hybrid perturbation-Galerkin methods for structural reliability analysis In: Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics, 48, 59 - 67
- Li, C.,Firouzi, A.,Yang, W. (2017). Prediction of pitting corrosion-induced perforation of ductile iron pipes In: Journal of Engineering Mechanics, 143, 1 - 11
- Xia, Y.,Mahmoodian, M.,Li, C.,Zhou, A. (2017). Stochastic method for predicting risk of slope failure subjected to unsaturated infiltration flow In: International Journal of Geomechanics, 17, 1 - 8
- Tan, Y.,Smith, J.,Li, C.,Dauth, J. (2017). Calcium leaching of a concrete tunnel lining under aggressive groundwater conditions In: Proceedings of the 2017 World Tunnel Congress (WTC 2017), Bergen, Norway, 9 -15 June 2017
- Nano science based construction materials manufacturing (Administered by Monash Uni). Funded by: ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub grant 2016 from (2017 to 2022)
- Prediction of mixed mode fracture failures of metal pipelines. Funded by: ARC Discovery Projects 2017 from (2017 to 2019)
- Deterioration modeling of bridge structures using visual inspection data (Administered by Monash University). Funded by: ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub grant 2016 from (2017 to 2019)
- The use of brown coal ash as a replacement of cement in concrete masonry bricks (Administered by Monash Uni). Funded by: ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub grant 2016 from (2016 to 2021)
- Preventing reoccurrence of catastrophic failures of stormwater pipelines. Funded by: ARC Linkage Grant 2015 Round 1 from (2015 to 2018)
1 PhD Completions and 1 Masters by Research Completions10 PhD Current Supervisions