David Lange

David Lange
David Lange
  • Director of the Center of Excellence for Airport Technology
  • Professor Emeritus
(217) 333-4816
2129b Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg

Primary Research Area

  • Construction Materials

Research Areas

For more information


David A. Lange holds a B.S. (Valparaiso University 1981) in civil engineering, MBA (Wichita State University 1984), and Ph.D. (Northwestern University 1991) in civil engineering. He has been on the faculty of the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois since 1992. He is the Director of the Center of Excellence for Airport Technology (CEAT) which is funded by the Federal Aviation Administration and the O�Hare Modernization Program.

Dr. Lange teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in civil engineering materials, repair of civil structures, systems engineering and engineering economics.

Dr. Lange is a fellow of the American Concrete Institute and a fellow of the American Ceramic Society. He served as president of the American Concrete Institute in 2018-19, and also serves on the ACI Board of Direction.

Research Overview:

Dr. Lange�s research interests include the materials science behavior of concrete materials, characterization of microstructure of porous materials, early age properties of concrete, and water transport in repair and masonry materials.


  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Northwestern University, 1991
  • M.B.A., Business Administration, Wichita State University, 1984
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Valparaiso University, 1981

Academic Positions

  • Professor, University of Illinois, Civil Engineering, 2005-Present
  • Director, Center of Excellence for Airport Technology, University of Illinois, 2004-Present
  • Honorary Professor, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia, 2018
  • Distinguished Professor, Jinan University, 2017
  • Guest Professor, Southeast University, Nanjing, China, 2017
  • Visiting Professor, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan, 2010
  • Associate Head, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UIUC, 2004-2010
  • Associate Director, Center for Advanced Cement-Based Materials, UIUC, 2003-2004
  • Visiting Professor, Denmark Technical University, Lynby, Denmark, 2001-2002
  • Associate Professor, University of Illinois, Civil Engineering, 1999-2005
  • Visiting Professor, Tongji University, Shanghai, China, 1999
  • Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Civil Engineering, 1994-1999
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Civil Engineering, 1992-1993

Other Professional Employment

  • Engineer, Boeing Military Airplane Co., Wichita, KS, 1981-1987

Professional Registrations

  • Registered Professional Engineer in Illinois (License No.062-049600), 1993

Research Interests

  • x-ray computed tomography of cement microstructure
  • concrete rail ties
  • airport technology
  • pavements
  • self consolidating concrete
  • bond mechanisms in masonry
  • fiber reinforced concrete
  • early-age shrinkage and creep, fracture behavior of concrete
  • relationships between microstructure and mechanical properties
  • Civil engineering materials

Research Statement

High quality and durable cement based materials are critical for the development of our Nation=s infrastructure. My research program contributes by focusing on topics that lie at the interface between structural engineering and materials science of concrete. My research interests arise from observations that our most thorny problems in the field performance of structures are often associated with fundamental material behavior. By addressing problems relevant to structural and pavement engineers, for example, with the tools of materials science, I have made contributions that are scientifically rigorous and relevant for improving the design-durablility of our infrastructure.

I have developed a vigorous research program to investigate the microstructure and properties of cement- based materials. Funding success is one sign that my research activities are significant and relevant to the civil engineering community. My research has attracted substantial research support from Federal and State Agencies and industry; including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Portland Cement Association and several corporations. I have been recognized for research excellence by being named Narbey Khachaturian Faculty Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (1998), by receiving the American Concrete Institute Wason Medal in 2003, and the UIUC Xerox Award for Faculty Research in 2004. In recognition of my research contributions, I was named Fellow of the American Concrete Institute in 2002.

I have increasingly influenced the agenda of prominent research organizations. In 2003, I was named Associate Director for the Center for Advanced Cement Based Materials (ACBM), an industry supported center that originated as an NSF Science and Technology Center in 1989. In recent months, I played a lead role to develop the Center for Airport Technology X a new center that builds upon the current FAA Center of Excellence for Airport Technology through joint sponsorship by new organizations.

The following paragraphs describe my research accomplishments and goals. My research projects define four related themes: 1) Behavior of concrete at early ages; 2) The modeling drying shrinkage stress; 3) Fiber reinforcement of concrete; and 4) Bond mechanisms of masonry and repair materials.

Behavior of concrete at early ages:

Concrete undergoes slight changes in volume within the first days after casting that can cause high stresses and even cracking of restrained components. The volume change occurs because hydration products are less voluminous than the unhydrated cement and water. There also exists a significant role of external drying and thermal contraction. We developed a unique laboratory experiment to measure restrained shrinkage stress that enables separation of drying shrinkage from creep behavior. Insights from our experiments (and those of other investigators) led to a greater understanding of early age cracking in slabs and prevention through material design.

Modeling of shrinkage stress from drying in porous materials:

Water plays a critical role in many aspects of concrete material behavior. Consequently, I have been drawn to study the nature of water in partially saturated pore structures. We developed inexpensive yet accurate embedded sensor technology to measure relative humidity (RH) inside porous materials. Our model uses measured RH as a fundamental parameter to describe the state of Aunderpressure@ in the pore solution that drives drying stresses. When the solid skeleton of microstructure is placed under a state of tension, the material not only elastically deforms but undergoes creep which causes permanent, unrecoverable deformation. Our model predicts the gradient of stress through the cross section of concrete under drying conditions and the tendency for cracking. This work is now receiving attention from other research groups, and we have broadly shared the details of our device via publications and a website to transfer the technology to other users.

Fiber Reinforcement:

Fibers added to concrete often provide dramatic improvements in resistance to cracking and in the fracture energy (toughness). One of the most vulnerable time periods for concrete occurs during the first days after placement when tensile strength is low and thermal and shrinkage stresses may be high. We investigated the use of fibers to reinforce normal concrete slabs, but we have also examined very high performance, specialty materials called Densified with Small Particles (DSP) and Macro Defect Free (MDF) materials. DSP and MDF are made with special processing steps to achieve very low porosity, resulting in extremely strong, but brittle materials. Our work has demonstrated that the machinability of DSP and MDF is improved by addition of the fibers.

Bond mechanisms of masonry and repair materials:

Fundamental issues of interest include: the role of surface roughness of the substrate; water transport between the fresh mortar and the dry concrete or clay brick substrate; the adhesive capacity of hydration products that develop in the near surface pore structure of the substrate; the quasi brittle fracture behavior that arises from masonry and repair bond. One unique accomplishment in this work employed x ray absorption to monitor water movement in masonry materials. This real time measurement supported our development of a model that uses fundamental physical laws to predict the rate of water transfer from a suspension of packed particles (i.e. fresh mortar) into a porous medium (i.e. masonry brick). Our model predicts the influence of mortar design parameters including water content, particle size distribution, and the influence of admixtures.

Impact and Future Direction:

My research is positioned at the interface between civil engineering and materials science, and it impacts both sides of that interface. My work has Adownstream@ impact on transportation engineers (e.g. at the Illinois Department of Transportation) who have used our research to specify better materials for construction of bridge decks, on WR Grace engineers who have used our research to design new fiber-reinforced concrete systems, and on engineers at the Federal Aviation Administration faced with curling on very large airport taxings and runways. My work also creates Aupstream@ impact in its scientific contribution to fracture mechanics modeling, pore structure characterization, and understanding the stresses in porous materials under unsaturated conditions.

Research should have a strong impact on service and teaching. For example, my research has a direct impact on committees at the American Concrete Institute that benefit from my expertise in shrinkage and creep, fiber reinforced concrete, and materials science of concrete. This research also plays a prominent role in my materials courses at UIUC and in shortcourses outside of UIUC.

My future work will continue to focus on solving problems with concrete materials and on building a better, fundamental understanding of the microstructure on material properties. My current work with embedded sensor technology is among the more exciting research thrusts, and will attract sustained, external support. Leadership roles with the Center for Advanced Cement Based Materials and the Center for Airport Technologies provide me with an opportunity to build teams of researchers to address more interdisciplinary problems.


I am attracted to important material issues relevant to the field of concrete construction. My four theme areas define a realistic approach for research on construction materials. The design and performance of novel experiments, focused on areas of widely identified need, have been a successful strategy for building a nationally visible research program at UIUC.

Primary Research Area

  • Construction Materials

Research Areas

Selected Articles in Journals

  • K. Pattaje Sooryanarayana, K.A. Hawkins, P. Stynoski, D.A. Lange, "Controlling 3D Printable Concrete with Vibration," ACI Materials Journal, dot: 10.14359/51734150, V. 118, No. 6, Nov 2021.
  • R. Damiani, P. Mondal, D.A. Lange, "Shrinkage-Reducing Admixture Effect on Rubberized Cement Performance," ACI Materials Journal, doi: 10.14359/51730424, V. 118, No. 3, May 2021.
  • Y. Song and D.A. Lange, "Image-based restoration of the concrete void system using 2D-to-3D unfolding technique," Const. and Bldg Materials (Elsevier), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2020.121476, Volume 270, 8 February 2021.
  • J.V. Clark and D.A. Lange, "Optimization of Cellular Concrete Microstructure for Improved Impact Resistance," Transportation Research Record (Ms. No. 20-07822), accepted 2021.
  • F.C. Oliveira, M.P. Kassab, N.V. Silva, L.M. Tavares, D.A. Lange, "Probabilistic functions of mechanical properties of plain cement pastes determined by a reduced-size test," Construction and Building Materials, (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2021.122907), Volume 286, 7 June 2021
  • R. Damiani, P. Mondal, D.A. Lange, "Mechanical performance of rubberized cement paste with calcium sulfoaluminate cement addition," Construction and Building Materials, DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2020.120790, 266, 2021.
  • Y. Silva, D.A. Lange, S. Delvasto, "Effects of the incorporation of residue of masonry on the properties of cementitious mortars," Revista de la Construcción, DOI: 10.7764/RDLC.19.3.407, Vol. 19 No. 3, 2020.
  • P.H.F. Loz, J.P. Monicelli, M.M. Futai, E. Tutumluer, D.A. Lange, S.C. Angulo, "Roughness of Natural Aggregates by Interferometry and its Microstructure" submitted to Cement and Concrete Composites, 2020.
  • Y. Song, Z. Huang, C. Shen, H. Shi, D.A. Lange, "Deep learning-based automated image segmentation for concrete petrographic analysis," Cement and Concrete Research, Vol 135, doi.org/10.1016/j.cemconres.2020.106118, 2020.
  • Y. Song, R. Damiani, C. Shen, D. Castaneda, D.A. Lange, "A 3D Petrographic Analysis for Concrete Freeze-Thaw Protection," Cement and Concrete Research, (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cemconres.2019.105952), Vol. 128, February 2020.
  • S.C. Angulo, N.V. Silva, D.A. Lange, L.M. Tavares, "Probability distributions of mechanical properties of natural aggregates using a simple method," Construction and Building Materials, Vol. 233, p. 117269, 2020.
  • Zhifang Zhao, Kejin Wang, David A Lange, Hougui Zhou, Weilun Wang, Dongming Zhu, "Creep and thermal cracking of ultra-high volume fly ash mass concrete at early age," Cement and Concrete Composites, Vol. 99, pp 191-202, 2019.
  • Y. Song and D.A. Lange, "Measuring Young’s Modulus of Low-Density Foam Concrete Using Resonant Frequency," 2019020207 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201902.0207.v1), 2019.
  • Mohammed T Albahttiti, Ahmad A Ghadban, Kyle A Riding, David A Lange, "Effects of prestressing and saw-cutting on the freeze-thaw durability," Cement and Concrete Composites, Vol. 104, p. 103418, 2019.
  • Y. Song and D. Lange, "Crushing Behavior and Crushing Strengths of Low-Density Foam Concrete," ACI Mat. J., Manuscript ID M-2018-448.R2, accepted, 2019.
  • N.V. Silva, S.C. Angulo, A.S.R. Barbosa, D.A. Lange, L.M. Tavares, "Improved method to measure the strength and elastic modulus of single aggregate particles," Materials and Structures, Vol. 55, No. 77, (https//doi.org/10.1617/s11527-019-1380-7), 2019.
  • Z. Zhao, K. Wang, D.A. Lange, H. Zhou, W. Wang, and D. Zhu, "Creep and thermal cracking of ultra-high volume fly ash mass concrete at early age," Cement and Concrete Composites, Vol. 99, pp. 191-202, 2019.
  • Y. Song and D.A. Lange, "Crushing performance of ultra-lightweight foam concrete with fine particle inclusions," Applied Sciences, V9, No5, p876, ISSN:2076-3417, 2019.
  • Y.F. Silva, D.A. Lange, S. Delvasto, "Effect of incorporation of masonry residue on the properties of self-compacting concretes," Construction and Building Materials, Vol 196, pp 277-283, 2019.
  • J. Koch, D. Castaneda, R.H. Ewoldt, and D.A. Lange, "Vibration of fresh concrete understood through the paradigm of granular physics" Cement and Concrete Research, Volume 115, pp 31-42, 2019.
  • D. Casteneda, K. Riding, D.A. Lange, "Prediction of Freezing Temperature inside Concrete Crossties at the Rail Seat," J. Mat. Civil Eng. (ASCE), doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0002528, Vol 31, No. 1, 2019.
  • Henschen, J.D., Castaneda, D.I., Lange, D.A., Formwork pressure model for self-consolidating concrete using pressure decay signature, ACI Materials Journal, 115(3), pp. 339-348, 2018.
  • C. Sun, J. Xiao, D.A. Lange, "Simulation study on the shear transfer behavior of recycled aggregate concrete," Structural Concrete, DOI: 10.1002/suco.201600236, pp. 1-14, 2018.
  • C. Sun, D.A. Lange, J. Xiao, and T. Ding, "Contact behavior between cracked surfaces of recycled aggregate concrete," J. Construction and Building Materials, (CONBUILDMAT-D-17-01764R1), V 155, 1168-1178, 2017.
  • A. Shurpali, J.R. Edwards, R. Kernes, D.A. Lange, C. Barkan, "Improving the Abrasion Resistance of Concrete to Mitigate Concrete Crosstie Rail Seat Deterioration (RSD)," J. Materials Performance and Characterization (ASTM), doi:10.1520/MPC20170051, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2017.
  • J. Kim, G. Zi, D.A. Lange, "Measurement of Water Absorption of Very Fine Particles using Electrical Resistivity," ACI Mat. J., DOI: 10.14359/51700994, Vol 114, 6, 2017.
  • Y. Song, R. Zou, D. Castaneda, K.A. Riding, and D.A. Lange, "Advances in Measuring Air-Void Parameters in Hardened Concrete Using a Flatbed Scanner," ASTM J. Testing and Evaluation, Vol. 45, No. 5, 2017, pp. 1713–1725, http://dx.doi.org/10.1520/JTE20150424. ISSN 0090-3973.
  • S. Zhao, E. Van Dam, D.A. Lange, W. Sun, "Abrasion resistance and nano-scratch behavior of an ultra-high performance concrete," ASCE J. Mat. Civil Eng.,[DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0001744] 29(2): 04016212, 2017.
  • N.J. Gardner; Keller, L.; Khayat, K.H.; Lange, D.A.; and Ahmed R. Omran, “Field Measurements of SCC Lateral Pressure—Toronto 2014,” Concrete International, Vol 38, No. 6. Pp 42-50, 2016.
  • I. You, J. Choi, D.A. Lange, G. Zi, "Pozzolanic reaction of waste glass sludge incorporating precipitation additives," Computers and Concrete, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp 255-269 (DOI: 10.12989.cac.2016.17.2.000), 2016.
  • H. Wolf, Y Qian, J.R. Edwards, M. Dersch, D.A. Lange, "Temperature-Induced Curl of Prestressed Concrete Monoblock Railroad Crossties," Construction and Building Materials, Construction and Building Materials, 115, pp 319–326, 2016.
  • J. Xiao, C. Sun, D.A. Lange, "Effect of joint interface conditions on shear transfer behavior of recycled aggregate concrete," Construction and Building Materials 105 pp 343–355, 2016.
  • R. Serpell, J. Henschen, J. Roesler, D.A. Lange, "Relative Proportioning Method for Controlled Low-Strength Material," ACI Materials Journal, [DOI: DOI: 10.14359/51687226], Vol. 112, No. 2, pp 179-188, 2015
  • Zhao, S., Lange, D., Sun, W., "Deflection-crack mouth opening displacement relationship for concrete beams with and without fibers," Magazine of Concrete Research, 67 (10), pp. 532-540., 2015.

Invited Lectures

  • Eureka!
  • Advances in Concrete Sustainability through Recycling
  • Emerging Materials in Civil Infrastructure
  • The Future of 3D Printing of Concrete Structures
  • The Game
  • ACI State of the Institute
  • Novel Solutions for Recycling Concrete at Airports
  • Innovation in Civil Engineering Materials
  • Durability of Concrete Materials in Middle East Environments
  • Recycled concrete for airfield applications
  • Three-dimensional Study of Concrete Microstructure using X-ray Computed Tomography
  • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Challenges of Field Experiments
  • Advances in Self Consolidating Concrete
  • Low Viscosity Repair Materials
  • Stability of Entrained Air in Concrete under Vibration
  • Invited discussion leader
  • Repair of Civil Infrastructure
  • Infrastructure Crisis in America – Political and Engineering Aspects
  • Measuring and Modeling of Formwork Pressure of Self-Consolidating Concrete
  • Megatrends Affecting Transportation Infrastructure


  • RILEM Materials and Structures Journal, Outstanding Paper of 2019 (2020)
  • Wason Medal Award, (Best Paper of the Institute), American Concrete Institute (2020)
  • Della Roy Lecturer, American Ceramic Society (2019)
  • CIVMIN Distinguished Lecturer, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (2019)
  • Zachry Distinguished Lecturer, Zachry College of Engineering, Texas A&M University (2019)
  • Wason Medal Award, (Best Paper of the Institute), American Concrete Institute (2018)
  • Honorary Professor, Universidad del Valle, Cali (2018)
  • Distinguished Professorship, Jinan University (2017)
  • Fulbright Scholarship from J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB) (2013)
  • College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award (2013)
  • Engineering Council Outstanding Advisor (2012)
  • Stanley H. Pierce Award (2011)
  • Chi Epsilon, Honorary Member (2010)
  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising (2010)
  • iFoundry Fellow, Education Reform at UIUC (2008 )
  • ASCE Glen L. Martin Best Paper Award (2008)
  • American Ceramic Society Fellow (2005)
  • Xerox Award for Faculty Research (2004)
  • Wason Medal Award, (Best Paper of the Institute), American Concrete Institute (2003)
  • American Concrete Institute Fellow (2002)
  • N. Khachaturian Faculty Scholar (1997)
  • NSF Career Award (1996)