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Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education

The Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education is a university/government/industry cooperative research center which provides national and international leadership in research, outreach and education activities which enhances cost effectiveness, construction productivity, environmental improvement and renewal of the aging underground infrastructure.

CUIRE's mission and research goals include:

  • Develop a partnership among academe, industry (including manufacturing, engineering and contracting in all areas of gas, oil, water, sewer, communication, electric, etc.) and other organizations participating in the Center.
  • Develop new and cost-effective solutions to construct and renew aging underground infrastructure.
  • Create a better-trained, diverse workforce in the area of underground infrastructure technologies, and to improve the diversity of that work-force through proactive recruiting and innovative web-based cooperative outreach, training, teaching and learning.
  • Create new opportunities for providing interdisciplinary, hands-on education by facilitating exchange of students amongst groups with diverse research capabilities and interests.
  • Formulate cooperative research and development agreements, intellectual property agreements, and personnel exchanges.
  • Develop and implement new modes of technology transfer and entrepreneurship.
  • Create road maps for pipeline inspecting, real-time monitoring, GIS, GPS, and renewal integration.
  • Design, implement, and assess new educational approaches that provide more flexible and accessible career pathways for students.
  • Promote research in design and construction of underground infrastructure
  • Conduct basic and applied research for industry and government agencies
  • Prepare educational and curriculum materials and organize courses to assist university faculty to teach underground infrastructure courses
  • Conduct web-based distance education courses, conferences and workshops
  • Assist industries in developing and evaluating new methods and products
  • Establish and disseminate standard guidelines and specifications
  • Develop contractor, designer and inspector certification programs
  • Work closely with professional and trade organizations/associations and university/research centers

Recent research projects include:

  • Use of Trenchless Technologies for a Comprehensive Asset Management of Culverts and Drainage Structures
  • An Asset Management Approach for Drainage Infrastructure and Culverts
  • Updating of Trenchless Permits: Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
  • Buried Pipeline Performance Forecasting Using Neural Network Models
  • Analysis and Comparison of Traffic Disruption Using Open-Cut and Trenchless Methods of Pipe Installation
  • Development of a Knowledge-Based Decision Matrix for Selection of Trenchless Technology Methods

Funding for CUIRE comes principally from industrial contributions, university support, symposia/seminar proceeds, university/industry consortium contributions, and funded research.

Director

Mohammad Najafi, Ph.D., P.E.

Associated Faculty

  • Josh Beakley, P.E., V.P. Engineering, American Concrete Pipe Association
  • Jeff Boschert, P.E., District Manager – Technical Svcs., National Clay Pipe Institute
  • Gabriel Castelblanco, P.E., Applications Engineer, HOBAS Pipe USA
  • Allen H. Cox, P.E., Regional Director, Ductile Iron Pipe Association
  • Mark Gallucci, General Manager U.S. Customer Service, Digital Control Incorporated
  • Ramsey T. Hemaidan, Business Development Manager, HydroMAX USA
  • Tom Isely, Ph.D., P.E., Director, UNITRACC International and Director, Trenchless Technology Center, Louisiana Tech University
  • Norman A. Joyal, P.E., G.E., Sr. Associate, McMillen Jacobs Associates
  • Tom Marti, V.P. Engineering and Technology, Underground Solutions
  • Josh McIntire, Business Development, Ace Pipe Cleaning, Inc.
  • Rich Mielke, P.E., Director of Engineering, Northwest Pipe
  • Austin Miller, E.I., Project Engineer, Mott MacDonald
  • Bradford Miller, P.G., Senior Specialist – Geology, Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
  • Gerry Muenchmeyer, P.E., Principal, Muenchmeyer Associates, LLC
  • Tennyson M. Muindi, P.E., Lead Associate, McMillen Jacobs Associates
  • Lynn Osborn, P.E., Technical Director, NASSCO LEO Consulting, LLC
  • Jeff Puckett, P.E., President, J.D. Hair & Associates, Inc.
  • Dorairaja Raghu, Ph.D., P.E., CUIRE
  • Shah Rahman, Senior Project Manager, BGE, Inc.
  • Camille George Rubeiz, P.E., Director of Engineering, Plastic Pipe Institute
  • Eric Skonberg, P.E., Technologies Engineering Corporation
  • Niranjan Swarup, Ph.D., P.E., Director General, IndSTT
  • Nick Strater, P.G., Trenchless Practice Leader, Brierley Associates
  • Jim Williams, P.E., Senior Consultant, Brierley Associates

Membership Information

Regular board members contribute $2,000 per year in support of the general activities of the Center. Government agencies contribute $500 per year in support of the general activities of the Center. 

Apply to become a board member

Current Industry Board Members

  • Abu Abraham, P.E., Technical Manager, Instituform Technologies
  • Sam Arnaout, P.E., Sr. Vice President of Engineering, Forterra Pressure Pipe
  • Robert A. Carpenter Editor, Underground Construction Magazine
  • Walter Chiang, P.E., Founder & Director, CP&Y Inc.
  • George H. Davis, R.G., Geotechnical Liaison, Missouri Department of Transportation
  • Bruce Hollands, Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association
  • Julia J. Hunt, P.E., Assistant Regional Manager/Operations, Trinity River Authority of Texas
  • Bruce Jameson, Regional Manager, Ace Pipe Cleaning, Inc.
  • Therese R. Kline, P.E., Flexible Pipe Specialist Special Structures, Bridge Design, Michigan Dept. of Transportation
  • Chad Kopecki, P.E., Assistant Director, Public Works Department, City of Dallas
  • David Marshall, P.E., Director of Engineering and Operations Support, Tarrant Regional Water District
  • Lynn Osborn, P.E., Technical Advisor, NASSCO LEO Consulting, LLC
  • Anna Pridmore, Ph.D., P.E., Vice President, Pipeline Solutions, Structural Technologies
  • Camille George Rubeiz, P.E., Director of Engineering, Plastic Pipe Institute
  • Jim Rush, Editor, Benjamin Media Inc. (Trenchless Technology)
  • Larry Slavin, Ph.D., Principal, Outside Plant Consulting Services, Inc.
  • Harvey Svetlik, Staff Engineer, Water & Energy Georg Fischer Central Plastics, LLC GF Piping Systems
  • Richard Williammee Jr., P.E., District Materials Engineer, Fort Worth District, TxDOT

CUIRE Technical Committee

The goal of this committee is to become the design community’s primary source of technical information for products used for underground infrastructure applications. Focus will be in the following areas:

Product Testing, Evaluation & Selection Guide:

Pinpoint applicable products based on site-specific conditions and design objectives using this on-line selection guide.

Design Guidelines:

Track down relevant specifications, calculation templates, installation guidelines, standards and a list of technical contacts.

Performance History:

Research the history of product, where it has been used, and case studies.

Industry News:

Keep current on the latest developments in the industry, including regulator requirements, specification changes, future meetings and new markets.

Specialty Seminars and Symposia:

Sign up for specialty seminars that focus on specific areas of interest.

Related Industry Links:

Work with professional and trade associations. 

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