Center For Structural Engineering Research: Dr. Abolmaali along with Dr. Bill Carroll, Dean of the College of Engineering, and Dr. Nur Yazdani, the Chair of the Civil Engineering Department, has been working on the development of the UT-Arlington Center for Structural Engineering Research (UT-Arlington-CSER). This Center is being developed by the majority of the funds from the Hanson Pipe and Products in Grand Prairie, Texas. Richard Manning, Hanson’s North American President, Clifford Hahne, a UT-Arlington Alumni and Hanson’s Regional President, and Joe Lundy, Hanson’s Chief Structural Engineer are those who are making the funding for the Center to be possible by donating the 3.27 acres of land and most of the building materials. Matthew Childs, a UT-Arlington Alumni and the President of the American Concrete Pipe Association, has been actively involved in the fund raising activities for the Center. The UT-System recently approved the gift of the land to the UT-Arlington.
The 80,000 ft2 UT-Arlington CSER will be constructed on approximately 4 acres of land with 18,000 ft2 of reaction floor, two 50 ft tall reaction walls, two 50 ton cranes, 30,000 ft2 of office spaces, etc. This facility is expected to be the largest structural testing facility in the nation with state-of-the-art equipment with nano-sensors and laser instrumentations to accommodate modern full-scale testing of structural/mechanical components and systems subjected to loads such as dynamic, blast, fire, etc. The UTA-CSER is expected to be completed within the next three years. The research expenditure for the UTA-CSER is expected to reach approximately $5,000,000 annually within the first five years from the date of its establishment.
Structural Simulation Laboratories (SSL): was
developed by Dr. Abolmaali using an externally funded grant from NSF
and is located in Nedderman Hall (NH) 240. SSL is equipped with a super
computer server Power Edge 2600, Intel Xeon 4GHz/512k Cache. This
server contains a 6GB DDR SDRAM (6x1GB) of memory. This supercomputer
is capable of compiling and executing finite element source codes with
large degree-of-freedoms with reduced compilation time. SSL has a
conference room, library, and graduate student offices to house 12
students. Each graduate student is provided a new high capacity
personal computer personal computer with software programs such
TECHPLOT, MATLAB, MATCAD, STADD-PRO, ANYSIS, and ABAQUAS. In addition
several new basic personal computers were purchased for graduate
students. SSL’s library provides a variety of structural
engineering and mechanics journals and thesis/dissertations which are
accessible to students.
This laboratory is used to bring emerging technologies to undergraduate and graduate students. For example, students in the elementary undergraduate statics and dynamics course (CE 2312 at UTA) are using STAAD-PRO at SSL to verify their homework problems on trusses with the STAAD Pro software and take advantage of its graphical and animation capabilities to animate truss deflections with different applied loads. This was tried out for the first time this semester, and students are excited about it. Also, graduate students in courses such as matrix method in structural analysis, finite element method, and structural dynamics (CE 5303, CE 6352, and CE 6353 at UTA) are utilizing SSL to verify their source code written for their class projects. I believe that this laboratory has been extremely effective in both undergraduate and graduate teaching. The Web-address for this laboratory is: http://www-ce.uta.edu/ssl/index.html
Smart Structural Engineering Laboratory (SSEL): was
developed by Dr. Abolmaali and is located in ELB 113 at UTA. Dr.
Abolmaali formed a multidisciplinary research team for integrated
research at SSEL between Civil, Material Science, and Aerospace
Engineering, SSEL is equipped with a 50 kip MTS dynamic loading machine
and a furnace for thermo-mechanical testing of shape memory alloys as
components of structural and mechanical systems. This laboratory is
currently being used by Drs Abolmaali, Aswath, and Lu to produce shape
memory bolts for use in structural steel connections.
SSEL is intensively used by Dr. Abolmaali’s NFS research experience for undergraduate students to: (1) produce super-elastic shape memory bolts; (2) fabricate test specimens; and (3) conduct cyclic tests on steel connections. SSEL can also be used for the undergraduate material course to introduce students to the behavior of novel materials for the use in civil infrastructure.
Web-Based Virtual Real-Time Structural Laboratory: was developed by Dr. Abolmaali to analyze steel frames with semi-rigid joints. This laboratory was funded from the Course Curriculum Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program from the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation. The laboratory’s aim is to introduce " What-if" type problems to undergraduate students in CE 3341 (Structural Analysis) and CE 4348 (Structural Steel Design). For example, in the steel design course, the effect of connection stiffness can be investigated on the lateral sway and member forces of the frame, which would govern the frame design. Web-address for this laboratory is: http://enterprise.uta.edu/3dframe/frame.htm.