Situated on the west side of the UT Arlington campus, the new $9.8 million Civil Engineering Lab Building replaces labs formerly located in the Engineering Lab Building and provide enhanced teaching and research facilities for civil engineering faculty members, students and staff.
Completed in August of 2008, the 26,000 sq.ft. facility houses areas for the study of asphalt/pavement, construction engineering, materials/structures, and geoenvironmental and geotechnical systems. The new facility provides state-of-the-art laboratories that enhance the learning experience of the students in the rapidly growing department, plus space for areas of high-demand research.
Asphalt/Pavement Lab (Dr. Romanoschi)
The Asphalt/Pavements Laboratory is a combined space for teaching and research. Laboratory sessions for the Civil Engineering Materials undergraduate course will be conducted here, as well as for two new graduate-level courses in pavement engineering. Students will have the opportunity to learn hands-on the most advanced testing methodologies for the characterization of civil engineering materials; such as concrete, asphalt, steel, and timber.
The approximately 3,000-square-foot research area contains the following equipment, which will be utilized in research projects on the design and characterization of pavement materials and structures: Pine Superpave and Texas Gyratory Compactors, a Brohlin DSR II-A and Brookfield Rotational Viscometer RVDV-II+, a Hamburg Wheel Tracking Device, a Cox Rolling Thin Film Oven, a Los Angeles Abrasion machine and MicroDeval apparatus, specific gravity benches, scales, two large ovens, a floor mixer and other miscellaneous lab equipment. A state-of-the-art multimedia environment also will be available in the lab.
Concrete Curing Room
The concrete curing room provides an area to properly produce concrete specimens for the laboratory studies and research testing of undergraduate materials. All aspects of concrete potentially can be studied - materials application to construction issues to structural uses. Abrasion resistance, water permeability, hardness, freeze-thaw, workability, finishability, load capacity, etc. fall under these areas of interest. Construction Engineering Lab (Dr. Najafi)
Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education (CUIRE) Research and Development Facility (www.cuire.org) Computer Lab
The computer lab contains 15 workstations, each supported by state-of-the-art specialty construction software for construction cost estimating, construction planning and scheduling, modeling, the simulation of construction operations, and other construction management-related activities.
Physical Testing Lab
The Physical Testing Lab will be used for research and development in the area of underground infrastructure (freshwater and wastewater pipes, electrical and communications conduits, oil and gas pipelines, etc.) and transportation systems (passenger and freight conveyances, capsule pipelines, tubes/tunnels). Specialized equipment will include boring and jacking machines, and tracking and navigational tools. Experimental Stress Analysis Lab
This is a teaching laboratory for instruction in how to design, measure and analyze data from material testing. Students will receive hands-on instruction on the process of placing and recording instrumentation developed for the measurement of deformation in materials, using equipment and sensors used in most of the testing laboratories in the US. A key part of their learning process includes applying knowledge and tools from the laboratory experience to a real engineering problem.
These data acquisition systems are capable of simultaneously recording data from three or more individual sources that will be available for larger specimen testing. The computer numerical (CNC) machine in this lab is capable of precision control in four axes for the latest in 3-D specimen machining for testing by the students. This will allow the students to design their specimens without constraints or experience, since a computer program can turn any 3-D drawing into a real-life specimen made from any basic material, and will give them freedom to explore new ideas and allow them to concentrate in the concepts, not the mechanics of molding.
The Experimental Stress Analysis Laboratory also will house the Nondestructive Evaluation Laboratory, where ultrasonic inspection, infrared imaging, acoustic emission, impact echo and vibration equipment will be available for instruction.
Geomechanics Research Lab (Dr. Hoyos)
This state-of-the-art facility will facilitate the early exposure of civil engineering graduates to basic and advanced concepts of soil mechanics and its applicability in the analysis/design of geotechnical infrastructure.
The lab will house an array of instruments and devices for advanced testing of unsaturated and expansive soils under simulated foundation, traffic and earthquake loads. A resonant column device, including a dynamic signal analyzer, will be available for measuring dynamic properties of soils. One triaxial setup, with self-contained piezoceramic bender elements, will be available for measuring stiffness properties of soils.
A complete set of tensiometers, psychrometers, and pressure plate extractor devices will also be available for measuring suction potential and water-retention properties of unsaturated soils. A servo-controlled, true triaxial device has recently been installed to test cubical specimens of unsaturated soils under controlled pore-water pressures. A state-of-the-art, ring shear testing device is also being installed to study unsaturated soil response under large deformations.
Geosystems Research Lab (Dr. Hossain)
The Geosystem Research Laboratory will be utilized primarily for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) research. Physical and engineering characteristics of municipal solid waste will be determined by both graduate and undergraduate student as part of "Geotechnical Aspects of Landfill Design" course.
Research projects are expected to include determining engineering characteristics of MSW in traditional and bioreactor landfills, determining landfill gas potential of MSW in laboratory scale and in controlled conditions, understanding the behavior of MSW in landfills under different operational management practices, and comparing resistivity of soil and solid waste materials with field and laboratory measurements.
To accomplish these tasks, the laboratory will house gas chroma-tography, high-pressure liquid chromatography, consolidation cells (8-inch and 12-inch diameters), a direct shear box (12-inch by 12-inch x 12-inch), pH meters, a gas pump, and high resolution resistivity equipment. The facility will also have a 5' x 10' x 5' test pit.
UT Arlington is one of a few universities to offer a graduate course in masonry. The Masonry Lab will be both a research lab and classroom, where students and researchers will conduct standard American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) tests on masonry products, research masonry issues in the existing masonry library and attend graduate class in masonry structures.
Small Specimen Testing Lab
This room will house the equipment to test small specimens such as concrete cylinders, small pieces of steel, plastics and wood. Such testing is typically controlled by ASTM specifications for testing machine requirements and specimen size and conditions.
Structures Lab (Dr. Abolmaali)
This 1,200 square-foot teaching and research facility will be four times larger than the previous lab at the Engineering Laboratory Building, and will be used to conduct static and dynamic tests on much larger structural components and systems than previously possible, particularly reinforced concrete, masonry, timber and steel structures. Bridge components using new and conventional materials will also be tested.
The laboratory will be capable of simulating the effects of earthquake, blast and wind forces on the performance of structures. Students will be fabricating and testing structural components and be able to relate hands-on laboratory testing with theoretical classroom material for a comprehensive educational experience. Research results also have the potential of being employed in national building and bridge design codes.