Facilities for applied research in civil transportation systems and structural health monitoring of civil infrastructure are housed in the Civil Engineering Infrastructure Laboratory. The space is currently used in support of student projects, undergraduate research projects, and faculty-led research.
As the nations’ bridge infrastructure continues to deteriorate, novel applications of composite materials are needed to extend the life of in-service bridges. In addition to evaluating the near-term strength gains that can be achieved with these systems, the lab is focused on monitoring their long-term performance and durability after deployment. To evaluate and monitor civil infrastructure, the laboratory uses thermal imaging to assist students and faculty researchers in identifying defects and evaluating bond in composite systems applied to reinforced concrete structures. In the near future, laser acoustic ultrasound equipment will be available for student projects in testing concrete materials and structural elements.
Demonstrations for undergraduate courses in solid mechanics and civil structures are also performed in this lab using a 60-Kip Tinius Olsen hydraulic testing machine. This machine is also used in basic civil engineering materials research. These labs demonstrate concepts — such as flexural deformations, shear flow, and column buckling — to provide students with the opportunity to make physical connections between traditional solid mechanics computations and physical behavior in structural systems.
Medium-scale specimens made in this lab space can be tested in the main Structures Lab, also located in the Lehman Building. The lab is key to the instructional and research capabilities of the Department of Civil Engineering.