Areas of Research
Faculty and students in CME perform world class research in disciplinary areas of importance to the society including:
Computational and Solid Mechanics
Energy and Infrastructure
Geotechnical and Geo-environmental engineering
Materials (Nanotechnology, Ceramics, Corrosion)
Structural Engineering and structural health monitoring
Water Resources engineering
Transportation planning and engineering
Research in CME has been interdisciplinary in nature and involves collaborative work with researchers from various departments, centers, institutes, and universities. Some of the multidisciplinary research activities are being conducted in collaboration with the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy (IESP) encompassing various colleges and departments including civil engineering, environmental and health sciences, economics, and the social sciences.
Environmental research activities include: Eco-hydrology, Sustainable Environmental Restoration and Applied Environmental Biotechnology; Environmental chemistry; pollution source apportionment; sediment active capping technologies; Development of separations technologies; solid phase extraction, solvent extraction, soil washing, soil flushing; and Biodegradation of PCBs in sediments. Faculty members also conduct research in Geo-environmental engineering with specific emphasis in polluted site assessment and remediation, sediments, groundwater, brown fields, electro kinetic remediation, chemical oxidation/reduction, and related issues.
Research in Water Resources engineering is funded by various agencies including the Department of Energy, and the Us Departmental of Agriculture. Some of the representative research activities include: Hydrological, Biochemical Processes Impacting Water Dynamic; Hydromechanics; Hydraulic Engineering and Structures; Fate and Transport of Contaminants in the Environment
CME faculty members conduct innovative research in Transportation planning and modeling, including: Travel Behavior Analysis; Activity-Based Travel Demand Modeling; Micro-simulation Modeling Methods of Urban Activities; Integrated Land-Use and Transportation Models; Intelligent transportation systems; Sustainable transportation systems; Public transit planning and operations; and Goods movement analysis. In addition researchers also collaborate with the Urban Transportation Research Center (UTC) to provide solutions for urban transportation problems.
Materials engineering research in CME encompasses multidisciplinary subjects in nano sensors, corrosion detection, advanced ceramics and development of sustainable energy efficient systems. Examples of funded projects include: early detection of corrosion in steel cables; Lead induced stress corrosion cracking of pressure water nuclear power plants; Nano materials, Surfaces and Interfaces; Energy Harvesting and Conversion at the Nanometer Scale.
Research in Computational Mechanics covers a broad spectrum of topics including: Coupled-physics problems, i.e. thermal-fluid-mechanical systems such as earthquake faults; Evolving discontinuity methods for capturing fracture, shear banding, and other forms of localized deformation; Faulting and earthquake engineering, including soil-structure interaction; Geo-mechanical issues in energy production, including hydrocarbon reservoirs, carbon sequestration, and heat pumps; Computational plasticity, damage and constitutive modeling; Finite elements and other computational techniques.
In the area of Structural Engineering, the department is involved in cutting edge research in all areas of analysis, and design including reinforced and prestressed concrete, and concrete materials research. With major contracts from Shell Oil, the fracture mechanics and durability laboratory conducts research in developing efficient approaches for fracturing and drilling of rocks. In addition, CME researchers conduct pioneering research in fiber optic sensors, acoustic emission sensors, structural health monitoring, and nondestructive testing. Under a grant from NIST, CME faculty members are involved in developing the next generation of wireless acoustic emission sensors for monitoring of bridges. In addition they are using these technologies to develop algorithms for real time damage detection of the eye bars in Bay Bridge. CME faculty members have also received a multi-million dollar NIST contract to develop the next generation of “Fiber Sensing System for Civil Infrastructure Health Monitoring.” Results from this research will replace the existing point sensor measurements with single sensor distributed measurements of large structural systems.
Synergistic Funded Project
Faculty members involved in research have been successful in receiving support for graduate student researchers through prestigious multi-million dollar NSF grants entitled:
– LEAP – Landscape Ecological & Anthropogenic Processes -improving the integration of human activities with those of native species, natural communities, and ecosystems.
– CTS – Computational Transportation Science – aimed to educate specialists in the Information Technology aspects of Transportation Science.
– PIRE – US-Asia network of centers to pursue basic research and education in the area of Intelligent Structural Health Management (ISHM) of Safety-Critical Structures.
Students performing research under this grant will be able to travel and perform research in partner organizations in China, Korea and India.