The ABC-UTC has assembled an experienced, knowledgeable, and engaged group of bridge academics and engineers who will collectively provide the transportation industry with the tools needed to effectively and economically utilize the principles of ABC to enhance mobility and safety, and produce safe, environmentally friendly, long-lasting bridges.
The ABC-UTC consortium members have well-established, working relationships with one another that span decades. Collectively, the consortium has the expertise and synergy to accomplish the Center’s objectives. The ABC-UTC’s research team is particularly well-suited to solving the remaining barriers to widespread implementation of ABC practices and construction of longer service-life bridges: The Center’s director, Dr. Atorod Azizinamini of Florida International University (FIU), is an internationally recognized expert in ABC and bridge design; the University of Nevada, Reno has nationally and internationally recognized programs in earthquake and structural engineering; and Iowa State has long been nationally recognized for its bridge engineering program, which emphasizes ABC. Further, the research team includes Mary Lou Ralls, former State Bridge Engineer of Texas and currently an affiliate of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at FIU. Mrs. Ralls, as Director of Technology Transfer, will ensure an effective and timely implementation of the results developed by the ABC-UTC.
Florida International University
Florida International University (FIU) is a public research university in Miami, Florida. With a student body of nearly 50,000, FIU serves a large number of economically disadvantaged students. Nearly 50 percent of all undergraduate students at FIU receive financial aid, and nearly 60 percent of those recipients come from families with annual household incomes under $30,000.
FIU is a member of Hispanic Serving Institutions, defined by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities as “colleges, universities, or systems/districts where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25 percent of the total enrollment.” FIU is the largest producer of Hispanic engineers in the continental United States. The Titan America Structures and Construction Testing Laboratory is one of the largest full-scale testing facilities in the State of Florida, with a total area of 6375 ft2 of floor space.
University of Nevada-Reno
University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) houses some of the most advanced facilities for structural/seismic testing in the country. The James E. Rogers and Louis Wiener Large-Scale Structures Laboratoryis equipped with four shake tables. This lab received the 2007 Best Experimental Site Innovation Award from the NEES Consortium in recognition of its expertise and innovation in experimental simulation.
Iowa State University
At Iowa State University (ISU), the Bridge Engineering Center (BEC) was established in 1986, with the mission to provide cost-effective bridge engineering solutions to bridge owners at the federal, state, and local levels. The BEC is housed within the Institute for Transportation (InTrans). ISU is also home to two world-class structural engineering research laboratories. The BEC manages several million dollars of bridge research per year. The BEC employs four full-time staff, several part-time staff, and seven ISU faculties who manage and perform bridge related research projects along with approximately 15-20 M.S. and Ph.D. graduate students. It is noteworthy that the BEC has field tested over 300 bridges in the past 15 years in Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.