CEE Launches Infrastructure Engineering Laboratories Renovation Initiative

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In spring 2015, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) kicked off its Infrastructure Engineering Laboratories renovation initiative.

The initiative will support efforts to equip CEE students with the resources needed to develop comprehensive understanding of the engineering science behind the systems and structures on which society relies.

As part of the renovation initiative, the department will redesign its physical and virtual facilities to provide students greater exposure to modern laboratory- and field-based infrastructure engineering techniques. Students will develop better hands-on understanding of the behaviors of steel, timber, concrete, asphalt, soil composites, and other materials employed in infrastructure design. Additionally, students will master Quality Assurance testing techniques for infrastructure construction and learning cutting-edge nondestructive evaluation approaches for monitoring the structural health of bridges, buildings, and other critical infrastructure assets.

The renovation initiative marks a new era for the department, which has seen student enrollment double in the past decade.

“Generations of civil and environmental engineering students to come will benefit from both hands-on and virtual learning opportunities made possible by the University of Maryland Infrastructure Engineering Laboratories renovation initiative,” said Darryll J. Pines, Clark School Dean and Nariman Farvardin Professor of Engineering. “With improved access to cutting-edge equipment and engineering software, our civil and environmental engineering students will develop the skills needed to design novel solutions to critical engineering challenges impacting society.”

“Direct interaction with the materials, testing techniques, and instrumentation used in the design, construction, and performance monitoring of infrastructure facilities is a critical component of our civil engineering curriculum,” said Charles W. Schwartz, CEE Professor and Chair. “Laboratory and field work complement and strengthen the engineering science concepts that our students learn in their design and analysis courses. The modernized and greatly enhanced facilities in our new Whiting-Turner Infrastructure Engineering Laboratories will help position our graduates as leaders in the engineering of the buildings we inhabit, the roads and bridges on which we drive, the airports via which we travel, and the ports through which our goods are shipped. These all contribute to a better quality of life for all of society.”

The renovated and enhanced Infrastructure Engineering Laboratories will be the home to ENCE 300 Fundamentals of Engineering Materials, a required course for all CEE undergraduates, and to ENCE 444 Experimental Methods in Geotechnical and Structural Engineering, a required course for all CEE undergraduates in the Infrastructure track. The faculty for these courses – Drs. Ahmet Aydilek, Dimitrios Goulias, Sherif Aggour, Yunfeng Zhang, and Brian Phillips – played a major role in the development of the conceptual design for the renovation and enhancement of the laboratories.

Published July 15, 2015