College of Engineering Earns Funding for Research to Maximize Bridge, Highway Safety
The Department of Civil Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach recently scored big with three research grants from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) totaling $500,000.
In addition to helping state transportation authorities maximize highway safety while minimizing taxpayer cost, the research will give students in Embry-Riddle’s Civil Engineering Department opportunities to participate in real-world work.
Associate professor of Civil Engineering Jeff Brown said at least three graduate students will work on each of the three projects. His hope is for some of the student researchers to base their master’s theses on the projects.
“That’s going to give them an opportunity to really look at these projects very closely and gain a level of understanding that goes beyond the typical classroom experience,” said Brown.
Because the students will be required to write about and present their research, both to the FDOT and to the broader structural engineering community, “there’s just a tremendous amount of growth that occurs for students,” he said.
Researchers will examine alternatives to common construction methods and materials, with the goal of scientifically determining which are better in terms of safety, performance and affordability.
It’s exciting to be a part of helping the Department of Transportation understand what they need to do to make their bridges last longer, and to promote public safety.
The beauty of the research represented by the three projects, according to Brown, is that it can quickly translate into new processes and protocols for FDOT.
“It’s exciting to be a part of helping the Department of Transportation understand what they need to do to make their bridges last longer and to promote public safety,” said Brown.
Because FDOT is considered innovative in its adoption of state-of-the-art technologies, other transportation authorities will likely follow FDOT’s lead.
“If we can justify the benefits of a certain technology, there can be a real impact,” said assistant professor of Civil Engineering Dan Su — “not only at FDOT, but on the whole industry.”