Sustainability and Resilience Thrust Featured Projects

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Next Generation Coastal Structures

Goal: Find innovative solutions that satisfy multiple criteria, and meet the needs of all stakeholders.

CAE Professors take lessons learned in the laboratories and deploy them into the communities. Here, North Bay Village is receiving an innovative new sea wall section that will withstand extreme hurricane conditions. Successful deployment of new innovations can be used to update building codes and protect coastal communities. Over the next several decades both will be necessary for South Floridians to thrive.

Advisers: Dr. Antonio Nanni, Dr. Esber Andiroglu, Dr. Prannoy Suraneni / U-Link Next Gen. Team
PhD Students: Nancy Lewis, Nima Hosseinzadeh

SEAHIVETM System for Coastal Infrastructure Resilience

SEAHIVETM is an engineered marine and estuarine protection system currently under research and development at the University of Miami under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and in collaboration with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The development of the system has been based on morphological considerations and physical tests in the University of Miami SUrge STructure Atmosphere INteraction (SUSTAIN) Facility (see Figure below), auxiliary material and material biocompatibility studies, as well as a series of in-situ deployment projects/installations. The projects/installations include an artificial coral reef design offshore of Miami Beach, a seawall /mangrove-planter combination in Pompano Beach, and a revetment application in North Bay Village.

Leading Faculty: Dr. L. Rhode-Barbarigos, Dr. A. Nanni, Dr. B. Haus, Dr. E. Andiroglu, Dr. P. Suraneni
Ph.D. Students: Mohammad Ghiasian

To see how materials respond to intense stress, researchers shocked a copper sample with picosecond laser pulses and used X-ray laser pulses to track the copper’s deformation.

STEM Education with focus on Environmental Sustainability and Resilience

University of Miami Professors and Students host STEM Summer Camps for local Youth Organizations. Students learn about big picture items like sustainability and resiliency while getting hands on with advanced building materials. Engaging South Floridians from kindergarten classrooms to townhall meetings ensures UM maintains its role as a community leader and a reliable academic resource for everyone.

Dr. Ghahremaninezhad teaches a Summer Camp course for a local Youth Organization about advanced hydrogels. Students learn about the current state of science and what the University has been focusing their efforts on. After these courses, students have a firm understanding of what the University is doing, who is doing it, and what it’s all building towards.

At CAE Summer Camps, students are encouraged to get hands on with the materials. Some lessons can only be learned by doing themselves! Here, one student is manipulating a hydrogel, a hyperabsorbent material.

Advising Faculty: Dr. Ali Ghahremaninezhad, Dr. Esber Andiroglu
Ph.D. Students: Austin James Perry, Elvis Baffoe

Recommendations for revision of AASHTO M295 standard specification to include marginal and unconventional source coal fly ashes

(NCHRP #10-104, Douglas Hooton, Lisa Burris, Prannoy Suraneni, and Christopher Shearer)

Fly ash is the most commonly used cement replacement in concrete, and it is needed for concrete to be sustainable and durable. However, in recent years, supplies of fly ash have reduced due to powerplants shutdowns. In this project, a variety of ‘unconventional’ fly ashes are studied, with the ultimate objective of including these ashes in US fly ash specifications. Work at the University of Miami focuses on fly ash characterization, reactivity and its influencing factors, and the development of new test methods to measure reactivity. We have suggested changes to the current specifications, shown that unconventional fly ashes behave largely similar to conventional fly ashes, explained the behavior of size-fractionated fly ashes, and developed multiple reactivity test methods that correctly differentiate inert and reactive materials.

Bio-Inspired Infrastructure Materials - Genetically Engineered Cementitious Materials

Nature exhibits materials with superior mechanical and functional properties. These properties are enabled through interactions between biomolecules and inorganic phases resulting in the formation of specific phases and structures across multiple length scales in biological materials. C-S-H comprises the primary component of the hydration product and plays a fundamental role in determining the mechanical and long-term characteristics, including strength, ductility, shrinkage and creep, of cement-based materials. The goal of this research thrust is to understand and identify specific biomolecules with an ability to control and tune the formation, microstructure, and properties of C-S-H with the goal of achieving desired performance in cementitious materials.