Shihui Shen, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, a professor in the Department of Rail Transportation Engineering at Pennsylvania State University–Altoona, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Shen studies pavement and railway materials and structures for better durability, energy efficiency, and sustainability. Her research has been funded by NSF, NCHRP, USDOT, FRA, state DOTs, and private companies. Many of the research results are now implemented by roadway agencies and industries. Shen co-developed the Ratio of Dissipated Energy Change approach and applied it to study the fatigue-related properties of asphalt mixtures. This approach is now adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration in the airport pavement design manual for evaluating the fatigue behavior of the airport pavement.
The use of warm mix asphalt (WMA) technology has dramatically attracted the pavement industry’s interest in the United States and the world; however, before Shen’s study, questions remained about the long-term performance and durability of WMA pavements. Shen and her team studied and concluded that the long-term performance of WMA is comparable to the conventional hot mix asphalt pavement, a result of immediate interest to material engineers and highway agencies.
Shen has been an active contributor to a variety of ASCE services. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering and has been guest editor and technical reviewer for many prestigious articles, such as those in ASCE’s Journal of Transportation Part B: Pavements and Journal of Engineering Mechanics. Shen has also served as a session chair for ASCE conferences, including International GeoShanghai 2010 Conference and Geo-Florida Advances in Analysis, Modeling & Design Conference in 2010, and organized the special issue of the ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, Asphalt Pavement Technologies: Innovation and Sustainability in 2019. She has also published many peer-reviewed technical papers, reports, and book chapters of her own.
She is a member of the TRB AKM40 and ASCE’s Bituminous Materials Committee and is a technical review panel member for NSF, NCHRP, and state agencies. She was awarded ASCE’s Fellowship of Excellence in Engineering Education (ExCEEd) in 2008 and the NSF Excellence in Science and Engineering (EXCELinSE) Center External Mentoring Program in 2009. She received best paper and best poster awards at TRB and ASCE conferences. She was also an outstanding STEM Volunteer Presenter at Washington Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Middle School Conference three times, and organized a Women in Engineering design competition in 2019 and 2020 to promote female student involvement in railway engineering. She was also named an Outstanding Faculty Advisor by Washington State University to acknowledge her outstanding mentorship to students.
Shen is a registered professional engineer in the state of Pennsylvania. She is one of the founding faculty members of the nation’s first and only ABET-accredited bachelor’s degree program in rail transportation engineering. She received her doctorate degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and her master’s and bachelor degrees at the Southeast University in Nanjing, China.