Infrastructure Systems

Dead Zone Boat

A lake covered in green, thick algae is not only unpleasant to look at, it can also mean that natural toxins are negatively impacting other organisms in the lake.

To better understand the health of lakes, Assistant Professor Branko Kerkez is developing an autonomous unmanned boat attached with temperature sensors to define hypoxic or dissolved oxygen areas in Michigan's smaller lakes.

Drew Gronewold

Forecasting for the Great Lakes

Great Lakes vacationers who are curious about how and why water levels have changed over the years can take a look at the online Great Lakes Hydro-Climate Dashboard, developed by NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory scientists, including Adjunct Professor Drew Gronewold.

Jeff Scruggs

Ocean Wave Energy Harvesting

When Professor Jeff Scruggs earned his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 2004, he was not focused on renewable energy. Yet when one of his role models, Professor Bob Skelton of the University of California San Diego, contacted him for help in an ocean wave energy harvesting project, Scruggs agreed.

Branko Kerkez

The Internet for Water
Assistant Professor Branko Kerkez is interested in the control and optimization of water grids. He plans to investigate how new technologies can be deployed to mitigate water waste and increase reliability of the existing water distribution infrastructure during extreme events.

NIST TIP Project

NIST TIP Project

Field Testing Technologies for NIST TIP Project

Field testing plays an integral role in the NIST TIP project being led by Associate Professor Jerry Lynch of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. It is necessary to validate the performance of the technologies being developed for the project. These technologies must be able to withstand unpredictable and harsh environmental conditions. The project is focusing on two test sites.

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 monitoring (SHM).

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 electric current regulated by a computer.

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 drizzly days would be enough to mend a damaged bridge made of the new substance.

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