From left, Department of Civil Engineering professors Andrew Brahms, Rick Kaufman and Michele Barrie.
Three civil engineering department faculty members were recently awarded a $1.9 million grant from the US Army Corps of Engineers to investigate and enhance existing pavements and evaluate their structure for military infrastructure problems. Professors Andrew Brahm and Rick Kaufman, and Associate Professor Michelle Barrie, along with undergraduate and graduate students from the All U of Civil Engineering Department, will work to develop rapid methods for evaluating and improving roadways for military operations.
The 18-month project, titled Pavement Enhancement and Structure Evaluation, will see the team from Arkansas work in conjunction with the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center. One of the associate researchers at the center is U of A graduate, Sadie Casillas, who earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering.
Braham’s research group in Fort Worth, Texas at the 2019 Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists Annual Meeting
Depositing of asphalt samples in the laboratory.
Asphalt mix samples are being tested.
The site of this project, an approximately 11,000-square-foot space located at the Engineering Research Center in South Fayetteville, will benefit greatly beyond the scope of this project, thanks to the equipment that will be incorporated into the lab. The resources of the Engineering Research Center allow faculty and students to manufacture and test asphalt pavement materials and quantify soil characteristics both in the laboratory and in the field.
Brahms and his team will be conducting trials and research that very few institutions across the country will be able to conduct, thanks to the center’s facility and this grant. With research conducted on the Fayetteville campus, students will be able to present research findings at state and national conferences, as well as visit the Engineering Research Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
This pavement enhancement and structure assessment project will consist of six works, all related to pavement infrastructure:
- Build a portable pavement maintenance laboratory and conduct preliminary field tests to provide a template for a deployable maintenance laboratory for military applications.
- Identify two to three promising surface treatments capable of withstanding the unique and variable loads of military vehicles to increase the life of deteriorated pavements.
- Develop an easy-to-use matrix to quickly identify the type and amount of stabilizing agent for full depth reclamation.
- Develop a quick and easy test for moisture content and soil density in place.
- Develop a quick and easy test for the hardness of pavement materials.
- Develop a quick and easy test for in-place material layer thickness.
Most of the project targets military applications. However, given the many things we take for granted in society today, this work is expected to apply to most civilian infrastructure as well. Pavement materials and roadways are an integral part in today’s society.
“I always enjoy telling students that not only are 94% of our roads surfaced with asphalt mix,” says Brahms, “but if you add up all the paved roads in the United States, that’s about 9.4 million.” have equal surface area. American football field including end zones.
For more information about the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, please visit: erdc.usacc.army.mil
About Civil Engineering Department: The Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Arkansas was established in 1897 when the College of Engineering clarified the separation of civil and mechanical engineering degrees. The department holds an accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and ranks in the top 10 percent of civil engineering schools nationwide best engineering news, The department earned more than $7 million in research awards for fiscal year 2022, while our graduates earn an average starting salary of $68,000. To learn more about the Department of Civil Engineering, please visit our website.
About University of Arkansas: As the flagship institution of Arkansas, U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy by providing training for professional disciplines along with discovery through new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, research and creative activity Is. The Carnegie Foundation classifies U of A among some of the US colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. US News & World Report Ranks U of A among the top public universities in the country. See how U of A works to create a better world in Arkansas Research News.