Civil and Environmental Engineering Infrastructure Faculty Initiate First Research Project for PennDOT
For the first time, members of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department’s infrastructure faculty have secured a funded research opportunity through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). This $54,000, nine-month grant will fund research into coatings and treatments for beam ends that will be conducted by Dr. Aleksandra Radlinska, Assistant Professor; Dr. Leslie McCarthy, P.E., Assistant Professor; and Dr. Joseph Yost, P.E., Associate Professor and Director of the Structural Engineering Teaching and Research Laboratory.
The National Academy of Engineering has named the restoration and improvement of urban infrastructure one of its 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st century. In Pennsylvania, infrastructure conditions could be greatly improved by restoring or repairing existing components, especially bridges.
The project team, which also includes Francis Nagel CE’12 and James Matzke CE ‘13, will provide in-depth research and analysis of new and existing types of beam end coatings or treatments that have been proven to extend the life of new and existing concrete and steel bridge beams. This approach aligns with recent initiatives regarding bridge preservation, as presented at PennDOT’s “100 Year Bridge Life Summit.”
The research team will seek to determine the best materials and applications for coating and treating existing bridge beams by conducting an extensive study of options and techniques, focusing on:
- Proven and potential materials used for coatings and beam end treatments,
- Proven research results reported through laboratory and field testing, and
- Validation of techniques through field application examples found in industry and other state departments of transportation
Work on this project will begin in April.