Research Highlights

James Wight and Gustavo Parra-Montesinos

Bracing Buildings for Earthquakes

Professors in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Michigan simulated the effects of a large earthquake in the Structural Engineering Laboratory to test their new technique for constructing high-rise reinforced concrete buildings. Their proposed design procedure for coupling beams in a core-wall structural system passed the test, withstanding more lateral deformation than an earthquake would typically demand.

The engineers used steel fiber-...

Concrete Canoe & Steel Bridge Competition

Hands-On Learning, UM CEE, concrete canoe and steel bridge competition

Annually, UM-CEE students put into practice what they learn in the classroom through the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Concrete Canoe Competition and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)-ASCE Steel Bridge Competition. The Michigan Concrete Canoe Team is tasked with designing the hull, developing a concrete mix, and constructing an actual concrete canoe which must float when filled with water. Not only must the members of the team be astute with their knowledge of...

CEE 402: Professional Issues and Design

CEE 402 Capstone Design Course

CEE 402: Professional Issues and Design is the capstone design course in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. The course is a multidisciplinary team design experience that includes consideration of codes, regulations, alternate solutions, economic factors, sustainability, constructibility, reliability, and aesthetics. The course also covers professionalism and ethics in the practice of engineering. Students work with classmates from their own concentration, along with...

Avery Demond & Aline Cotel

In the late 1970's the additive, methyl tert butyl ether (MTBE), was used to oxygenate gasoline mixtures. The comparatively economical solution allowed gasoline to burn more completely, reducing vehicle emissions. However, it was later discovered that MTBE easily polluted groundwater sources when spilled or leaked. Associate Professor Avery Demond ponders, "It seems that... we're heading in the same direction with ethanol. We're all jumping on the band-wagon saying 'This...

Jerry Lynch

"Smart" Bridges Instrumented with Dense Networks of Wireless Sensors

Prof. Lynch in collaboration with researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) explore wireless sensors for bridge health monitoring.

Current sensors available for installation on bridges are expensive due in part to the need to install wires between sensors. A low-cost alternative to tethered sensors is direly needed to advance the commercial use of structural health...

Jerry Lynch & Michael Kane

Structural Controls: Market-Based Algorithm

'Structural Controls: Market-Based Algorithm'

In seismic regions, some buildings are equipped with mechanical systems to help control their behavior when an earthquake strikes. Restricting the deflection of the structure reduces damage and leads to safer, more durable buildings. One type of structural control system uses magnetorheological (MR) dampers that absorb energy to limit the amount of drift that each story undergoes. The dampers' stiffness can be altered using...

NIST Bridge Project

Exciting New Technologies Used for NIST Bridge Infrastructure Project

Many exciting new technologies are being utilized for a project led by Dr. Jerry Lynch and funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The project focuses on bridge infrastructure, and techniques to improve monitoring and maintenance systems. Now it it's second year, the project has participants from various departments in the College of Engineering, and the private sector. Among the...

MMI NSF-Grantees Conference

UM-CEE faculty and students attended the 2009 CMMI NSF-Grantees Conference in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, organized by the US National Science Foundation (NSF). In addition to attending conference sessions and activities, some of them also found time to get together and hike up Diamond Head. According to locals, early seafaring visitors saw the hill glinting in the sun, as if studded with numerous diamonds. Eager explorers were disappointed to find that the scintillations were caused by...

Terese Olson

Associate Professor Terese Olson and PhD student Monica Higgins have determined the environmental impact of two ground water remediation technologies: a traditional technology and a newer method currently being studied by several professors within the Department.

The traditional course of action consists of a “pump and treat” system to mitigate a contaminant such as lead or gasoline that infiltrates a groundwater source. In a more passive technology, Permeable Reactive...

Victor Li

Imagine a bridge that requires no maintenance, a road that never need costly repairs. No traffic jams or tailpipe emissions due to reconstruction activities. Such infrastructure is a step closer to reality if concrete has self-healing ability.

A concrete material invented in the Advanced Civil Engineering Materials Research Laboratory (ACE-MRL) at the University of Michigan can heal itself when it cracks. No human intervention is necessary—just water and air. A handful of...


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