Materials Cluster

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A fundamental understanding of the chemistry, materials science, and engineering of infrastructure materials, which include asphalt, concrete, composites, masonry, polymers, wood, and steel, is critical for a sustainable and resilient built environment. The amounts of such materials used are almost unimaginable. For concrete alone, global production is greater than 10 billion tons/year. Due to the volumes used, consumption of natural resources, the resulting carbon emissions, and construction and reconstruction costs associated with such materials are substantial. There is a strong potential for improving the design and performance of such materials, which can then result in a significant improvement in the built  infrastructure, but also to the American public.

Current CAE Focus related to Cluster: CAE faculty have been working to understand and improve the sustainability and resilience of infrastructure materials, primarily concrete and composites. Faculty have used both applied and fundamental experimental and modeling approaches, and research has spanned several length and time scales. Research areas have included increased use of novel materials to increase concrete sustainability, bio-inspired and self-healing concrete materials, dissolution and reaction kinetics of calcium aluminosilicate glasses, long-term durability of glass fiber reinforced polymers and concrete, deployment of non-corrosive rebars in infrastructure, advanced concrete repair materials, and design and monitoring of resilient coastal infrastructure. Faculty also collaborate with the surrounding community and have worked on increasing community resilience in the face of sea-level rise. Faculty also work on enhancing enhancing engineering education and increasing diversiy of under-represented communities.

Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Collaboration: CAE Faculty have established research collaborations with other COE faculty and faculty from Arts & Sciences (A&S), the Miami Herbert Business School (MHBS), the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), and the School of Architecture (SoA). Collaborations are particularly strong in the topics of materials science, materials characterization, material chemistry, bio- and bio-inspired materials, and  coastal resilience. One opportunity for increasing Cluster impact lies in expanding materials characterization and imaging capabilities through the establishment of a central facility, which will enhance fundamental understanding and interdisciplinary studies with faculty in Chemistry, Biology, and RSMAS.

COE Thrust Supported: Advanced Materials, Sustainability and Resilience

Graduate Courses Offered:  Graduate courses in Materials include CAE 711 (Theory of Elasticity), CAE 716 (Fracture Mechanics), CAE 790 (Concrete Materials Science), and CAE 790 (Computational Modeling of Molecular and Nanoscale Materials). Courses at the interface of Materials include CAE 660 (Sustainable Construction), CAE 712 (Structural Reliability), CAE 744 (Risk Management and Resilience), CAE 766 (Forensic Engineering), and CAE 781 (Advanced Building Energy Modeling and Simulation).

PhD Students and Research Personnel (non-faculty): 9 PhD students (E. Baffoe, N. Hosseinzadeh Nanekaran, N. Kiani, C. Morales Mangual, S. Ramanathan, H. Roghani, C. Steputat, B. Vafaei, and Y. Wang); 8 scientists, technicians and visting scholars (F. de Caso, A. de Diego, J. Palacios, M.G. Quero, R. Solis, J. Tian, H. Lee and J.C. Patino).

Faculty Participants

  • Coordinator: Suraneni (proposed)
  • CAE Members: Ghahremaninezhad, A. Nanni, L.R. Pestana, and P. Suraneni.
  • Other Department & Schools Participants: Coakley (MAE), E. Dauer (BME), D. Kelly (MHBS), M. Knecht (A&S), J. Lamere (SoA), D. Lirman (RSMAS), B. Lynn (A&S), R. Molina (RSMAS), W. Pestle (A&S), G. Po (MAE), K. Sullivan Sealey (A&S), and Q. Wang (MAE).