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Spring 2015

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.

mi casa

Mastering Disaster

Civil engineering students partner with Spanish mentors to improve disaster response and recovery 

Illustration by Jud Guitteau

Last summer, civil engineering Professor Nur Yazdani and a group of students traveled to Spain to study how engineers there prepare civil infrastructure for natural, manmade, and accidental disasters.

The trip was part of a three-year, $250,000 National Science Foundation grant that gives students the chance to collaborate with the AIDICO Technological Institute of Construction in Valencia, Spain, on projects aligned with UTA’s Disaster Mitigation Group. The 2014 cohort of student researchers included three civil engineering majors from UT Arlington: Ariel Deval, who researched non-destructive testing and wireless monitoring for seismic risk reduction; Kelsey Fort, who studied worker fall protection from temporary construction; and Kavitha Ramaswamy, who examined the fire resistance of building elements.

“Overall the experience was unlike any I have ever had,” Deval says. “I learned a lot about civil engineering in Spain from the mentors at AIDICO and about the country’s rich culture and language from program coordinators, neighbors, store clerks, and even artists we met.”

Ariel Deval (left) and a fellow student test systems in Spain.

Ariel Deval (left) and a fellow student test systems in Spain.

Dr. Yazdani, who leads the Disaster Mitigation Group, says the overseas research program is valuable because it lets undergraduates study and develop quick solutions to the infrastructure and technology problems that arise from natural, man-made, and accidental disasters in a global setting.

“The quicker you get infrastructure and technology operational again, the better off a business or community is,” he explains. “Once our students do research in these areas, they’ll have a professional background. That makes them more marketable once they graduate. They also learn to develop international networking and to appreciate the global nature of engineering and hazard mitigation.

“The hope is to have this collaboration long term,” Yazdani continues. “That way, once they come back, the students will be able to keep collaborating with their Spanish mentors so they get a global perspective of engineering and see how mitigation is done in other parts of the world.”

Illustration by Jud Guitteau

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