Laboratory Facilities

Civil and Environmental Engineering students

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is constantly creating new and upgrading its existing laboratory facilities that are used in teaching and research. The Department also shares laboratory facilities with the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and, as a result, the laboratories are varied and extensive. The State of Alabama, private industry an the local community work together with appropriations, gifts, donations and discounts to maintain and modernize laboratory equipment. To educate engineers who will be immediately productive in industry, the Department must have the most modern equipment available. The following is a summary of our present undergraduate laboratories and some of the equipment in each.

Computer Laboratory

PC-based Bentley MicroStation units support the College's instructional computing needs for graphical and computational intensive applications. This laboratory contains the latest computers with internet connectivity. Also, the microcomputers have access to the Alabama State Network via the Engineering Local Area Network. Although this facility is used throughout the students' UAH career, its major function is support of the senior design courses (CE 498 and 499).

Geographical Information Systems Laboratory

Located in NSSTC 4085, this computer lab supports CE 411, Introduction to GIS. The lab contains an instructor computer with video projector and is equipped with networked PC computers with ArcVIEW GIS Software.

Hazardous Waste and Environmental Design Treatment Laboratory

This laboratory allows student teams to build and test bench-scale treatment processes to assess environmental remediation screening (CE 458). For example, the students have compared low temperature thermal desorption, stabilization, and soil washing/volatilization methods for cleaning contaminated soil per DOE requirements. The results of these screening tests are used for optimizing their treatment proposals. Students are taught precautions for safe handling of hazardous materials: all work with volatile materials is carried out under fume hoods.

Hydraulics Laboratory

This facility is used to introduce students to the physical concepts of energy, momentum and resistance as covered in the Hydraulics course (CE 441). The lab consists of several open channel flumes that are used to demonstrate such principles as critical depth, hydraulic jumps, controls, weir flow, and sluice gates. A number of sophisticated measurement tools are available including manometers, pitot tubes, and verniers for accurate depth measurements. Students are able to observe the hydraulic principles in real life, take measurements associated with the relevant governing equations, and thus verify for themselves that the equations correctly describe the principles.

Materials Laboratory

This facility is used to introduce students to standard laboratory experiments to evaluate physical and mechanical properties of various Civil Engineering materials. These laboratory exercises are supportive to the lecture material in the Civil Engineering Materials course (CE 380). The laboratory is equipped with: a compression testing machine fitted with digital load monitor, cement mortar mixer, cement mortar molds, Blaine air permeability apparatus, Vicat apparatus, asphalt penetrometer, sieves sets and mechanical shakers, unit weight test sets, specific gravity test sets, concrete vibrator, slump test sets, air content test sets, curing tank, electric water bath, electric programmable oven, rebound hammer, alkali-silica reactivity test set, manual Marshall compaction test set, and digital loading system for Marshall tests.

Soils Laboratory

The primary goal of this laboratory is to introduce junior and senior level undergraduate students to Geotechnical Engineering and the basic principles of soil mechanics (CE 373). Students conduct standard laboratory experiments to classify soil and determine the mechanical properties such as permeability, compaction, consolidation, and strength. The properties of soil are critical for application in the design of foundations, dams, retaining walls, tunnels, offshore structures, and slope stability analysis. This laboratory work is supportive to the lecture material in Soil Mechanics (CE 372) and is a prerequisite to coursework that may include Foundations (CE 485), Earth Structures (CE 459), and more advanced elective courses in Geotechnics.

Surveying Laboratory

Located in Technology Hall S212, this lab supports CE 284 and CE 384, Surveying I and Advanced Surveying, respectively. The lab contains theodolites, levels, range poles, total stations and prisms, and survey quality GPS equipment.

Water Quality/ Unit Operations Laboratory

This laboratory has been recently established to introduce senior-level civil engineering students to the principles of water quality control in CE 455. These laboratory exercises support the lecture material in the environmental stem's required design course, Water Quality Control (CE 456). The laboratory is set up to perform physical, chemical and biological water quality experiments. The students also learn how to implement unit processes (sedimentation, filtration, flocculation/coagulation, and disinfection) to design a treatment train that produces drinking water up to US standards.