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Missouri S&T

Missouri S&T Poised To Help Address State’s Bridge Repair Needs

in Associations/News
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Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s plan to release bond funds to support bridge repair across the state comes as welcome news to researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology, home to a federal initiative to develop new robotic tools to inspect and preserve bridges and other infrastructure.

Missouri S&T researchers are in the midst of a five-year effort to develop new technologies to inspect and maintain bridges and portions of highway. The U.S. Department of Transportation grant provides $1.4 million a year to fund a University Transportation Center at S&T known as INSPIRE, which stands for Inspecting and Preserving Infrastructure through Robotic Exploration.

“The work underway through our INSPIRE program can benefit similar statewide initiatives to repair our aging infrastructure in the future,” says Dr. Genda Chen, the Robert W. Abbett Distinguished Chair in Civil Engineering at Missouri S&T and director of INSPIRE.

During his State of the State Address Wednesday, Jan. 16, Missouri’s governor announced his proposal to use bond proceeds worth $351 million to repair an estimated 250 smaller bridges across the state.

Many of the bridges are in dire need of repair, says Chen. He points to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Infrastructure Report Card, which gives Missouri’s bridges a score of C. One out of every eight bridges in Missouri is considered “structurally deficient,” the scorecard notes, and the Missouri Department of Transportation has identified 4,800 bridges in need of repair across the state.

The Missouri S&T researchers can help by developing new robotic tools to inspect bridges without disrupting traffic flow. The work involves unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as robots capable of crawling up the side and underside of a bridge to inspect pillars or bridge decks.

“We are developing robotic arms for both flying and climbing unmanned vehicles to inspect and maintain bridges and other transportation infrastructure,” Chen says. “Once this technology is developed and in use, we will not need to close traffic for bridge inspection and preservation.”

In addition to inspecting bridges, the robotic arms could apply sealant or paint to bridge sections, all guided remotely by engineers who monitor the work on a screen and visually verify the results as needed. Chen envisions equipping the robots with sensors and microwave cameras capable of detecting potential issues inside bridge beams and decks before they become problematic.

“With the arrival of the robotic era, we expect bridge inspection to be reinvented and transformed into a faster, cheaper, safer and more consistent process,” Chen says.

Expanded capabilities coming soon

Missouri S&T will soon augment the work underway through INSPIRE through a new research facility: the Clayco Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML). When completed in spring 2020, the ACML will expand Missouri S&T’s infrastructure research capabilities to develop and test new construction materials and methods, which can make the repaired bridges last longer.

“The addition of this premier facility will position Missouri S&T as a global leader in infrastructure research and will help us realize our long-term vision of making civil infrastructure safer, more durable and longer lasting,” says Dr. Kamal H. Khayat, the Vernon and Maralee Jones Professor of Civil Engineering and ACML director.

As an expansion of S&T’s Butler Carlton Civil Engineering Hall, the ACML will combine the university’s infrastructure testing and analysis expertise – a specialty of the current High-bay Structures Laboratory – with development of new infrastructure materials and construction methods in the ACML. The result will be greater collaboration among researchers who specialize in developing the new materials and those who specialize in applying them in infrastructure design, Khayat says.

“The addition of the Clayco ACML to our current building gives our students and faculty a unique facility and capability in the United States, and we certainly plan to pair our expertise with these facilities to improve Missouri’s infrastructure and engineering capabilities for generations to come,” says Dr. Joel Burken, Curators’ Distinguished Professor and chair of civil, architectural and environmental engineering.

Missouri S&T is also home to one other federal University Transportation Center: RE-CAST (Research on Concrete Applications for Sustainable Transportation). This S&T-led consortium of five universities was selected for funding in 2013 at the rate of $1.4 million per year for six years. RE-CAST researchers investigate the use of new materials and structural systems to improve transportation infrastructure durability and sustainability.

“The ultimate goal of the research program is to fast-track the acceptance of these technologies and develop national standards and guidelines for their use for the reconstruction of the nation’s infrastructure for the 21st Century,” says Khayat, the RE-CAST director.

Khayat also leads the Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies (CIES), which brings together faculty and students from various disciplines to develop ways to extend the life span of highways, bridges and other transportation infrastructure.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has been an integral partner with Missouri S&T throughout the years, and the two organizations have worked together on a variety of research projects throughout the state.

“MoDOT and Missouri S&T have a strong and enduring partnership that has led to innovations in science and engineering necessary for Missouri’s roads and bridges,” says David D. Ahlvers, state construction and materials engineering for MoDOT.

Lab Expansion at Missouri S&T Receives $300,000 Gift from St. Louis-Based ARCO Construction Co

in Companies/News

A major lab expansion at Missouri University of Science and Technology has received $300,000 in funding from ARCO Construction Co. Inc., a St. Louis-based general contracting firm. The contribution will support one of the university’s top priorities, the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML).

 

The ACML project marks the final phase of a $10.5 million initiative focused on advancing Missouri S&T’s national leadership in infrastructure engineering. The lab will provide space for research on next-generation construction materials and methods vital to building and maintaining roads, railways and other transportation systems. These advances have the potential to revolutionize traditional construction products and processes, making them stronger, more secure, more cost-effective and environmentally greener.

 

“As a nation, we face aging infrastructure challenges,” says Dr. Joel Burken, Curators’ Distinguished Professor and chair of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Missouri S&T. “Thanks to ARCO’s investment, as well as support from other industry partners, individuals and the University of Missouri System, this lab will extend S&T’s strong legacy and capabilities in the international field of infrastructure engineering.”

 

ARCO was co-founded in 1992 by two Missouri S&T alumni, Dick Arnoldy, retired chairman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and master’s degree in engineering management from S&T, and Jeff Cook, president and chief executive officer, who holds a master’s degree in engineering management from S&T. 

 

Over the past two decades, ARCO has supported many university projects, including the student chapter of Engineers Without Borders and the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center, home of 18 S&T student design teams. The company employs more than 25 S&T alumni.  

 

“ARCO stepped up because Missouri S&T — and the S&T alumni who work at ARCO — have been a large part of our success,” says Arnoldy. “ARCO is a firm believer in giving back, and S&T has helped us achieve what we have as a company.”

 

The research initiative’s first phase was completed with a U.S. Department of Transportation grant that funded $2.5 million in testing equipment. The second phase added new faculty positions in civil, architectural and environmental engineering as well as materials science and engineering. The final phase is the $6.5 million Advanced Construction and Materials Lab, which will add 16,000 square feet of space to the existing High-bay Structures Laboratory in S&T’s Butler-Carlton Hall. 

 

Thanks to financial support from the University of Missouri System, as well as funding from S&T’s College of Engineering and Computing, other industry partners and alumni, nearly $5.5 million has been raised in support of the $6.5 million project. Gifts to the lab are matched through a bequest from James A. Heidman, a 1965 civil engineering graduate.

 

“ARCO is excited to invest in this project,” says John Komlos, company vice president and a Missouri S&T civil engineering graduate. “Over the next several years, we can expect significant infrastructure investments nationwide. We must act now to develop innovative methods and materials for these projects.”

 

For more information on the lab expansion, contact Shannon De Bourg at sbishop@mst.edu or 573-341-4944.

Asphalt Conference Nov. 29-30 at Missouri S&T

in Associations/News

The 59th annual Asphalt Conference will be held Nov. 29-30 at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Registration is $130 per person and is available online here.

Conference presentations will include intelligent compaction projects; basics of plant operation; lift thickness and nominal maximum size of aggregate issues; benefits of increased density; Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) performance tests: cracking, rutting and stripping industry task groups; chip seal design, specification and construction; cape seals; high-volume traffic chip seals; soil cement stabilization and cold in-place recycling; scratch and seal update; scrub seals and matrix slurry seals; Binder 101; MoDOT recycled asphalt pavement/recycled asphalt shingles long-term pavement program update; parking lot design for longevity; pavement design examples with “PaveXPress;” Federal Aviation Administration versus highway spec comparison; MoDOT’s current research; and the Missouri Asphalt Pavement Association update.

Organizers say the conference will be of interest to contractors, public agencies, consulting engineers, testing labs, aggregate producers, asphalt binder suppliers and technical equipment representatives. Conference participants will receive personal development hours credit.

For conference program information, contact Dr. Dave Richardson, Chancellor’s Professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Missouri S&T and conference director, at 573-341-4487 or richardd@mst.edu. For registration information, contact Missouri S&T’s office of Distance and Continuing Education at 573-341-6222 or dce@mst.edu.

Missouri S&T to host Transportation Infrastructure Conference

in Associations/News

Missouri University of Science and Technology, together with the Missouri Department of Transportation, will host the fifth annual Transportation Infrastructure Conference on Friday, Nov. 18, at the Havener Center on the Missouri S&T campus. The program will feature recent findings in advanced construction materials, resilient structural systems, non-destructive testing and structural health monitoring of transportation infrastructure.

The registration fee is $70, and includes a USB device containing the conference materials, a professional development hour (PDH) certificate, lunch and coffee breaks. Conference participants will receive six PDHs.

Register online here.

The conference should be of interest to public transportation agencies, professional and consulting engineers, testing labs, academicians, and undergraduate and graduate students.

Keynote speakers include Dr. Atorod Azizinamini, professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering at Florida International University and the 2015 White House Transportation Champion of Change; Dr. Ghassan Al-Chaar, principal investigator at the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory; Tom Blair, assistant district engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation St. Louis Metro District; and Paul White, bridge engineering manager, Ultra-High Performance Concrete/Ductal at U.S. LaFargeHolcim.

Conference chairs are Dr. Kamal H. Khayat, Vernon and Maralee Jones Chair of Civil Engineering at Missouri S&T and director of the Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies, and William Stone, research administrator for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The conference is sponsored by the Missouri S&T Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies and the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Asphalt Conference Nov. 29-30 at Missouri S&T

in Associations/News

The 59th annual Asphalt Conference will be held Nov. 29-30 at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Registration is $130 per person and is available online at asphalt.mst.edu.

Conference presentations will include intelligent compaction projects; basics of plant operation; lift thickness and nominal maximum size of aggregate issues; benefits of increased density; Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) performance tests: cracking, rutting and stripping industry task groups; chip seal design, specification and construction; cape seals; high-volume traffic chip seals; soil cement stabilization and cold in-place recycling; scratch and seal update; scrub seals and matrix slurry seals; Binder 101; MoDOT recycled asphalt pavement/recycled asphalt shingles long-term pavement program update; parking lot design for longevity; pavement design examples with “PaveXPress;” Federal Aviation Administration versus highway spec comparison; MoDOT’s current research; and the Missouri Asphalt Pavement Association update.

Organizers say the conference will be of interest to contractors, public agencies, consulting engineers, testing labs, aggregate producers, asphalt binder suppliers and technical equipment representatives. Conference participants will receive personal development hours credit.

For conference program information, contact Dr. Dave Richardson, Chancellor’s Professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Missouri S&T and conference director, at 573-341-4487 or richardd@mst.edu. For registration information, contact Missouri S&T’s office of Distance and Continuing Education at 573-341-6222 or dce@mst.edu.

McCarthy Completes New Missouri S&T Residence Hall for Fall Semester

in Companies/News

McCarthy Logo (New Aug 2016)Design-build delivery and innovative construction methods kept the project on schedule

The new 450-bed University Commons residence hall at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Mo., is ready for students to move in this fall. McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and its partners completed the 125,000-square-foot residence hall in about half the time as a typical project of this scope by using efficient construction methods and materials.

“We’re thrilled to have this new state-of-the-art residence hall ready in time for returning students,” said Ted Ruth, director of design and construction management at Missouri S&T. “From the start, the project ran smoothly, and we were excited to benefit from McCarthy’s specialized expertise in higher education construction.”

The design-build project integrates a prefabricated panel system fabricated by Eisen Panel Group in St. Charles, Mo., and transported to the campus. These specialized panels are designed for immediate weather-proof capabilities with the added benefit of quick assembly. Made of cold-formed steel, the pre-assembled panels could be installed much quicker than conventional building materials, allowing for complete enclosure of the building to reduce water infiltration and the potential for mold and mildew.

“Through collaborative teamwork and strategic planning, we were able to complete this project quickly and safely, and we’re eager for students to experience this terrific new facility,” said Jeremy Witts, McCarthy project manager.

KWK Architects and The Lawrence Group collaborated on the design of the project.

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