The ever-increasing world population and growth of urban environments has resulted in an unprecedented number of structures and infrastructure systems being built in regions that are exposed to natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, wind storms, flooding and fire. The increased risk associated with building in these areas, coupled with society’s demand for an enhanced level of performance of the built environment, calls for the development of new multi-disciplinary analysis, design and fabrication approaches for a wide spectrum of structural systems and materials.
Meanwhile, the building revolution of the last century has resulted in a huge inventory of deteriorating structures and infrastructure systems, the continued usability of which must be guaranteed for an economically and environmentally sustainable future. Investment in innovative sensing systems for structural health monitoring and new technologies for the effective retrofitting of existing structures is therefore crucial. The greater awareness of the world’s limited resources and the desire for state-of-the-art systems requires new materials to be adopted in design and retrofitting of structures. This realization is spearheading efforts towards the development of new higher-performing materials.
The Structural and Materials Engineering Group brings together a unique mix of experimental and computational modeling expertise over a wide range of scales to find solutions to these challenges. In reaching these goals, the Group relies on state-of-the-art computational simulation facilities as well as some of the nation’s most versatile and best equipped large-scale structural engineering, advanced sensing, materials, and concrete pavement laboratories.
Research areas of interest in the Structural and Materials Engineering Group include: