Fall 2015 Brings New Research Awards to CEE

Learn about the newest faculty research projects going on at Fritz Lab, STEPS, and ATLSS.

It's been a busy few months for new faculty research projects in the department of civil and environmental engineering. Here are just a few of the major new projects going on at Lehigh:

Kristen Jellison was awarded approximately $330K from NSF for a project titled "Temporal Monitoring of Waterborne Contamination: An Engineered Substrate with Selective Cryptosporidium Adsorption Properties". Her co-PI is Sabrina Jedlicka of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Funding will run for three years with the primary goal being to develop a cheapter and more reliable method for detecting Cryptosporidium oocysts in public water supplies. As part of the project, several education programs will be developed in collaboration with our neighbors at Broughal Middle School. (Click here to view the award abstract.)

Dan Frangopol was awarded a three-year, $474K NSF research grant for "Life-Cycle Management of Civil Infrastructure Considering Risk and Sustainability". This project pursues stochastic and multi-criteria optimization research to provide needed knowledge for the development of an integrated risk- and sustainability-informed decision-making framework for optimum life-cycle management of civil infrastructure systems considering climate change. The outputs of this framework are the risk and sustainability based performance profiles and the optimized life-cycle intervention strategies taking into account conflicting budgetary and safety constraints. The developed framework will facilitate the real-world implementation of life-cycle management methodologies taking into consideration the effects of climate change. (Click here to view the award abstract.)

On top of his recent $5M award to establish and operate a NHERI Experimental Facility at the ATLSS Research Center, James Ricles, alongside co-PI Spencer Quiel, received $300K over three years from NSF for their project "Collaborative Research: Semi-Active Controlled Cladding Panels for Multi-Hazard Resilient Buildings". The focus of this project is to conduct computational and experimental simulations of prototype buildings with prototype semi-active damping devices, installed between the cladding and structural frame, to the varying loading frequencies and intensities from multiple hazards. The semi-active damping devices and cladding are to be engaged as an engineered system to protect the structure and improve its performance against multiple hazards, including seismic, high-to-extreme wind, and blast loads. (Click here to view the award abstract.)

Clay Naito was awarded approximately $200K from NSF over two years for his project "Proof of concept low-cost energy efficient multi-hazard resistant wall system", a part of the larger, collaborative project PFI: AIR Techology Translation, which focuses on developing an innovative building envelope system to provide a cost-effective solution for federal and military building construction where blast protection and energy efficiency are required. Dr. Naito's research in this area will address specific technology gaps in this larger Partnerships for Innovation program. (Click here to view the award abstract.)

Muhannad Suleiman was awarded approximately $800K from Qatar National Research Fund for a project titled "Sustainable Bio-modification of Surface Soils to Resist Erosion due to Wind Loading". Funding will run for three years with the primary goal being to investigate sustainable biological soil stabilization processes to minimize soil erosion from wind loading by studying the behavior at different scales (ranging from particle to field scales). Dr. Suleiman's collaborators include Dr. Nabil Zouari from the Department of Biology and Environmental Microbiology at Qatar University, as well as Dr. Panos Diplas and Dr. Derick Brown from CEE at Lehigh. (Learn more about Dr. Suleiman's other QNRF-funded project, "Long-term Behavior of Geothermal Deep Foundation Systems in Cooling-Dominated Environments".)

By John Gilpatrick

Spencer Quiel NSF

Spencer Quiel, assistant profsesor of structural engineering, will be looking at ways to engineer cladding to improve a building's performance against multiple hazards, including earthquakes, high winds, and blast loads. James Ricles, the Bruce G. Johnston Professor of Structural Engineering, is also leading the project.

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