By Peter Murphy
Published June 18, 2018
UB’s Institute of Bridge Engineering (IBE) is part of a team of researchers selected by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to become a University Transportation Center (UTC) for DOT Region 2.
IBE has identified three ongoing projects relevant to the goal of the funded UTC. Each project supports one PhD student to be supervised by two junior faculty members. The faculty member teams include assistant professors Anthony Tessari and Negar Elhami Khorasani; assistant professor Teng Wu and associate professor Mettupalayam Sivaselvan; and assistant professors Ravi Ranade and Pinar Okumus.
This DOT initiative will support the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, and the three UTC selected will focus on improcing and extending the life of transportation infrastructure.
Example projects that may be conducted at UB as part of this UTC include investigations of life cycle, advanced materials, performance-based engineering of bridges for multiple hazards, soil-structure interaction for bridges and other transportation structures such as tunnels and their infrastructure’s resilience against natural and man-made hazards. Through these projects, IBE’s teams will address two important topics associated with the research areas: improving the durability and extending the life of transportation infrastructure and preserving the existing transportation system.
“We are excited to sustain the significant impact IBE has on bridge engineering research through this transportation center,” says Okumus, a member of the IBE board of directors, “IBE and UB will contribute to the consortium with unique skill sets in research and workforce development. The UTC grants will accelerate UB’s creation of new knowledge and technology transfer efforts.”
Okumus is the co-principal investigator on the project. SUNY Distinguished Professor and IBE director Andrew Whittaker is the principal investigator. Okumus joined UB in 2013 after receiving her PhD in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 2012. Her research focuses on precast prestressed concrete structures – a prevalent material in bridge structures – under service and extreme event loading.