Samuel Labi

Professor of Civil Engineering

Purdue University
Lyles School of Civil Engineering
550 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051

Office: HAMP G175A
Phone: (765) 494-5926


Ph.D., Purdue University, 2001
M.S., Purdue University, 1997
B.S., University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, 1987

Research Interests

Dr. Labi's research is motivated by the current landscape of transportation policy, practice, and management. This landscape is characterized by increasing demand and loading, aging infrastructure, funding limitations, increasing stakeholder participation, climate change, infrastructure vulnerability to natural and anthropogenic threats, need for sustainable development of resilient infrastructure, traveler security, intelligent autonomous operations, and big data challenges.
These continuing and emerging trends have spawned the need to synthesize or adopt enhanced analytical tools, technology, and businesslike approaches for infrastructure decision making. Examples include data analytics, sensing for smart and intelligent infrastructure, and automation of functions, and connectedness of system components. The goal is to ensure that investment decisions are more efficient, transparent and accountable. That way, infrastructure agencies can render a better account of their stewardship of their facilities.
Dr. Labi’s research uses analytical tools in mathematics, physics, economics, finance, operations research, statistics, and econometrics to address the various tasks faced by civil engineers at the different phases of infrastructure development – needs assessment, planning, design, construction, operations, monitoring, maintenance, and end-of-life.

Selected Research Projects

  1. Evaluation innovative infrastructure materials. Dr. Labi has made contributions in the science of self-consolidating concrete; alternative steels for bridge deck reinforcement; and innovative/non-traditional materials for highway construction.
  2. Operational policies and fee structures for vehicle use on highways. Dr. Labi's work in this area was requested by the Indiana House of Representatives and has spawned changes in state law regarding overweight truck operations and highway cost allocation and finance.
  3. Development of tools based constrained multiple-objective optimization of infrastructure resources and investment tradeoffs. This work includes multi-objective optimization for project selection in network-level management of bridges, pavements, safety, and other highway assets, decision support system for optimal scheduling of highway maintenance, and safety improvement programming for rural two-lane highways using constrained optimization at a system-of-systems level.
  4. Derivation of theoretical constructs for assessments of infrastructure renewal effectiveness. Developed theoretical constructs and statistics/econometrics-based methodologies to assess the effectiveness, in terms of the increased longevity or enhanced condition, of emerging classes of treatments applied to highway assets (pavements and bridges).
  5. Development of frameworks for region-wide investment decision-making and impact evaluation. Incorporation of safety in network-level transportation planning; linking interstate pavement preservation investment to performance; accessibility and connectivity assessments; efficiency measurement of highway bridge replacement and rehabilitation and of the operational performance of public transportation agencies.
  6. Project management and cost estimation in highway infrastructure development. infrastructure user cost estimation; asset preservation or replacement cost functions; planning-phase cost estimation; change orders in highway construction; and time and cost overruns in construction contracts.

Teaching Activity

Highway Infrastructure Management Systems
Evaluation of Transportation Systems
Project Management (taught at MIT, 2006-2007)

Introduction to Careers in Engineering
Introduction to Civil Engineering Systems Design
Project Management (taught at MIT, 2006-2007)
Stochastic Concepts and Methods in Civil Engineering
Economics, Ethics and Case Histories in Civil Engineering

Honors & Awards

Bravo Award (College of Engineering of Purdue University) for authoring a textbook on civil engineering systems that will have a profound impact on the civil engineering curriculum at Purdue and other universities, 2014.

Best Paper Award, 10th International Conference of the Institute for Infrastructure Resilience and Reconstruction (I3R2) Conference, 2014. Co-authors include Michelle Dojutrek and Eric Dietz.

AASHTO Award for Best High Value Research Project in Region 3 of the United States, awarded to the research group, by the American Association of State Highway and Transp. Professionals, 2014.

ASCE's Frank Masters Award for outstanding contributions to transportation engineering research, awarded by the American Society of Civil Engineers, 2014.

Roy and Myrna Wansik Award for Research leadership, awarded by the School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 2011.

K.B. Woods Award for best paper in design and construction, awarded by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies (TRB), 2008.

Bryant and Katherine Mather Award for best paper in concrete materials, awarded by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), 2007.

Milton Pikarski Award for Best National Ph.D. Dissertation in Transportation (Science and Technology category), awarded by the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC), 2002.

Selected Publications

Volovksi, M., Murillo Hoyos, J., Saeed, T., Labi, S. (2017). Estimation of Routine Maintenance Expenditures for Highway Pavement Segments: Accounting for Heterogeneity Using Random-Effects Models, ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems.

Labi, S., Chen, S., Preckel, P., Qiao, Y., Woldemariam, W. (2017). Rural two-lane highway shoulder and lane width policy evaluation using multiobjective optimization, Transportmetrica Part A: Transport Science.

Bhargava, A., Labi, S., Chen, S., Saeed, T., Sinha, K.C. (2017). Predicting Cost Escalation Pathways and Overrun/Underrun Severities of Infrastructure Projects using Risk-based Econometric Modeling and Monte Carlo Simulation, Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering.

Murillo Hoyos, J., Volovski, M., Labi, S. (2016). An Econometric Analysis of Purchase Cost for Public Transportation Rolling Stock, Transportmetrica A: Transport Science 12(5), 436-547.

Murillo Hoyos, J., Athigakunagorn, N., Labi, S. (2015). Rural Two-Lane Highway Safety Improvement Programming Using Constrained Network-Level Optimization, Transportation Research Part C Emerging Technologies 50, 106-116.

Khurshid, M.B., Irfan, M. Ahmed, A., Labi, S. (2014). A framework for assessing the consequences of deferred or hastened highway asset interventions, Structure and Infrastructure Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, 11(3), 282-296.

Bai, Q., Labi, S., Sinha, K.C. (2014). A Hybrid Pareto Frontier Generation Method for Trade-off Analysis in Transportation Asset Management, Computer-Aided Civil & Infrastructure Engineering 30(3), 163-180.

Irfan, M., Bilal Khurshid, M., Anastasopoulos, P., Labi, S., Moavenzadeh, F. (2011). Planning-stage estimation of highway project duration on the basis of anticipated project cost, project type, and contract type. International Journal of Project Management 29(1), 78-93.

Labi, S. (2011). Efficacies of Roadway Safety Improvements across Functional Sub-Classes of Rural Two-Lane Highways, Elsevier Journal of Safety Research 42(4), 231-239.

Irfan, M., Khurshid, M.B., Bai, Q., Morin, T.L., Labi, S. (2011). Establishing Optimal Project-Level Strategies for Pavement Maintenance and Rehabilitation, Journal of Engineering Optimization 44(5), 565-589.

Lamptey, G., Labi, S., Li, Z. (2008). Decision Support for Optimal Scheduling of Highway Pavement Preventive Maintenance within Resurfacing Cycle, Elsevier Decision Support Systems 46(1), 376-387.

Pasupathy, R., Labi, S., Sinha, K.C. (2007). Optimal Reconstruction Periods for Stochastically-Deteriorating Infrastructures, Computer-Aided Civil & Infrastructure Engineering 22(6), 389-399.

Labi, S., Rodriguez, M. M., Sinha, K.C. (2006). Assessing Preservation Needs for a Bridge Network: A Comparison of Alternative Approaches, Structure & Infrastructure Engineering 4(3), 221-235.

Labi, S., and Sinha, K.C. (2003). Measures of Short-term Effectiveness of Highway Pavement Maintenance, ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering 129(6), 673-683.