New laboratory to provide stage for civil engineering research, teaching

News Release — 3 September 2008


Media contact: Herb Booth, (817) 272-7075,

ARLINGTON - If roads, pipes and bridges have lives of their own, University of Texas at Arlington civil engineers will be better able to tell how long those structures will live – and when they might die or crumble – once the new Civil Engineering Laboratory Building opens Sept. 12.

The $9.8 million, 27,000-square-foot building will become that living workshop for civil engineering students, professors and engineers from outside UT Arlington’s walls as well.

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house is planned for 2-4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, at the building, which is adjacent to Maverick Stadium on Mitchell Street. All are welcome to the free event.

“This facility will propel UT Arlington into being more of a premier destination for civil engineering students and professors,” UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said. “The research and teaching that will go on between those walls will fuel the minds of our next generation of civil engineers.”

Bill Carroll, UT Arlington dean of the College of Engineering, said the demand for civil engineering space has far outstripped the University’s ability to provide it.

The number of students entering the UT Arlington civil engineering program has more than doubled in just eight years.

“We have a real-world need for this building,” Carroll said. “It puts UT Arlington on the map among the stellar civil engineering programs in the country.”

Nur Yazdani, chairman of the UT Arlington Civil Engineering Department, said, “The world needs civil engineers with all the infrastructure demands now and in the future. Aging civil infrastructure together with various natural and man-made hazards’ effects on them have made civil engineering testing an essential component of infrastructure design and rehabilitation.”

Ali Abolmaali, associate professor in the Civil Engineering Department, said the CELB will attract private companies and their research needs throughout the nation. The facility will be instrumental in attracting top graduate students and research scholars nationally and internationally.

“The CELB is a unique general civil engineering laboratory facility,” Abolmaali said. “I could see businesses and government becoming partners with UT Arlington on numbers of research/educational projects.”

The new building will allow testing of asphalt pavements, full-scale building/bridge components, landfills and foundation structures. It will have a larger structural testing facility than the existing one in the current Engineering Lab Building. The building also will have new asphalt/pavement, underground infrastructure testing facilities and landfill testing capabilities that currently aren’t available.


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