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Technical Tours


Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2023 and Thursday, January 6, 2023

Maximum Capacity: 96 participants in total each day, split among 4 technical tracks (24 people per track, per day – see below).

Restrictions: Participants will be able to attend the Georgia Tech tours on both days, however, due to limited capacity they will not be permitted to register for the same track on both days. Attendees should be prepared for a large amount of walking on campus between the different labs.

Tour Cost: $25.00 per person, per day


Wednesday, January 5, 2023
2:00 p.m. Bus departs from the Cobb Galleria Centre
2:30 p.m. Georgia Tech Tours (see technical track information below)
5:35 p.m. Buses depart for the Cobb Galleria Centre
6:00 p.m. Buses arrive at the Cobb Galleria Centre
Thursday, January 6, 2023
2:00 p.m. Bus departs from the Cobb Galleria Centre
2:30 p.m. Georgia Tech Tours (see technical track information below)
5:35 p.m. Buses depart for the Cobb Galleria Centre
6:00 p.m. Buses arrive at the Cobb Galleria Centre


The Georgia Tech tour will be divided into four technical tracks (shown below) that participants can choose from, and several labs will be toured as part of each track.

  1. Energy
  2. Manufacturing and Materials Science
  3. Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, and Robotics & Intelligent Machines
  4. Civil and Environmental Engineering

The labs that will be toured as part of each of these tracks are described below.

Georgia Tech Track 1: Energy

Lab for Advanced Hollow Fiber Membranes for Energy Efficient Gas Purifications
Lab Director: Professor William Koros, Ph.D

The Lab for Advanced Hollow Fiber Membranes for Energy Efficient Gas Purifications is a world leader in the creation of advanced membranes for energy-efficient use and purification of necessities such as fuels and chemical commodities. The laboratories are among the few in the world with the full spectrum of research capabilities that span from basic materials development to actual creation and testing of membrane modules. Many people have heard of reverse osmosis membranes for purification of water, but our membranes go a step beyond and can efficiently separate one gas component, such as O2 from another such as N2 in air. The compact nature of the modules is useful for both aircraft, e.g. producing inert gas blanketing on aircraft fuel tanks for safety, and for natural gas purification in off-shore gas production since CO2 and H2S contaminants can be safely removed from methane at the wellhead prior to sending the gas to a pipeline. The capabilities of these advanced membranes are truly impressive since the size difference between the permeating and the rejected components may be as small as 0.2 Angstrom, or 0.02 nm; however the membranes can achieve such separations easily at high rates due to their unique morphologies and shape. The membranes are made up of hollow fibers with diameters similar to a human hair. The methods used and the rates at which these membranes are manufactured to enable the molecular scale filtration process are impressive. The fibers have a thin layer on the outside that can contain nanoscopic molecular sieving crystals within a polymer matrix. The selective layer on the outside is supported on a porous support. The fibers can be extruded at speeds of up to 100 meters per minute, and after the “spin dope” passes though an adjustable air space to evaporate some of the solvent, the nascent fibers plunge into a water bath that causes them to phase separate to make the porous support. A neutral bore fluid creates the hollow bore in the same process while the selective layer and porous wall are being formed. The tour will show an actual hollow fiber membrane spinning system and describe some of the integrated systems that are used in the lab to enable the practical creation and testing of these devices in cooperation with industrial partners.

The Sustainable Thermal Systems Laboratory
Lab Director: Professor Srinivas Garimella, Ph.D

The research conducted at the Sustainable Thermal Systems Laboratory at Georgia Tech explores the underlying physical phenomena in heat and mass transfer processes at the microscales and exploits this understanding to design innovative, high-heat-flux components and systems ranging in capacity from a few Watts to 100s of Megawatts. Among the prominent applications being served by this research are waste heat recovery, space-conditioning, water heating and refrigeration, automotive thermal systems, carbon sequestration and chemical processing, with the overarching goal of achieving sustainable energy utilization and reduced carbon footprints. The STSL has a comprehensive suite of research facilities for phase-change and single-phase fluid flow and heat transfer experiments in single- and multi- component fluids, dry and moist-air heat transfer, and investigation of thermal systems under controlled ambient conditions. Attendees will get the opportunity to tour through the labs and learn more about each of the key research areas.

University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics Research and Education (UCEP)
Lab Director: Professor Ajeet Rohatgi, Ph.D

Dominant conventional energy sources—oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear power—are accompanied by problems of air and water pollution, resource depletion, and the greenhouse effect, all of which are becoming increasingly unacceptable and unaffordable. In the 21st century, photovoltaics (PV)—direct conversion of sunlight into electricity—can potentially meet the rapidly growing demand for electricity with minimal environmental consequence. The real challenge lies in reducing the cost of solar cells while raising their efficiencies. To address these issues, the Department of Energy (DOE) has established a University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics Research and Education (UCEP) at Georgia Tech, one of two such centers in the United States. The mission of the Center is to improve the fundamental understanding of the science and technology of advanced PV devices, to fabricate record high efficiency solar cells, to provide training and enrich the educational experience of students in this field, and to give the U.S. a competitive edge by providing guidelines to industry and the DOE for achieving cost-effective and high-efficiency PV devices. The tour will follow the silicon solar cell fabrication process from the pilot production line, which comprises the first three steps of fabrication (wafer cleaning, p-n junction formation, antireflection coating), to the screen-printing and contact sintering facilities, and finally, the characterization lab.

Aerospace Combustion Lab
Lab Director: Professor Ben T. Zinn, Ph.D

With current concerns rising over energy sources and efforts to reduce emissions, combustion research is at the forefront of emerging energy technologies. The Ben T. Zinn Combustion Laboratory largely focuses on combustion dynamics and emissions from traditional and alternative fuels for gas turbine engines. Combustion experimental work spans from small, fundamental test facilities to large, full-scale single nozzle test rigs for actual combustor hardware. The laboratory has many diagnostic capabilities including: laser systems (e.g., PIV, LDV), high speed cameras (up to 50kHz), and gas analyzers. Furthermore, CFD simulation comparisons are internally performed on many projects to better understand the combustion phenomena. The tour for this facility will focus on research working in alternative energy work, which provides companies with proper understanding of the combustion parameters in order to design new or retrofit engines. Various sized test rigs, as well as many diagnostic systems will be shown.

Center for Innovative Fuel Cell and Battery Technologies
Lab Director: Professor Tom Fuller, Ph.D

Our society’s power and energy demand is met largely through the combustion of fossil fuels. The world economy relies upon on a limited resource; and trends suggest that global energy use is expected to double in the coming decades. At the same time, concerns about the effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide and criteria pollutants and about energy security continue to mount. Meeting our energy needs in a sustainable manner is a historic challenge that will cause us to diverge from the pattern of the last couple of centuries. Storage and conversion of energy becomes increasingly relevant as we move towards greater reliance on renewable or non-traditional energy sources. Fuel cells are an efficient means to convert chemical energy into electrical energy with little or no emissions. Fuel cells and batteries are therefore expected to be an important energy technology for the future. The Center for Innovative Fuel Cell and Battery Technologies takes a multidisciplinary approach to fuel-cell and battery research, and at Georgia Tech, we have a broad range of expertise in this field. The center serves as a catalyst for revolutionary advances through world-class research integrated across disciplines and spanning from fundamental discovery to application-specific prototypes. Groundbreaking research in these areas will move the world toward more sustainable energy sources. The tour will give attendees the chance to learn more about the research efforts within the center while touring through some of the key facilities.

Georgia Tech Track 2: Manufacturing and Materials Science

Manufacturing Research Center
The Manufacturing Research Center (MARC) is a world-class facility in manufacturing processes, applications, and technological solutions to manufacturing problems. The 120,000-square-foot building maintains state-of-the-art laboratory facilities that support research, education, and technology transfer, including 15,000 sq. ft. of shop bays, 30,000 sq. ft. of research laboratories, 3,800 sq. ft. of Class 1000 Clean Room and 8,000 sq. ft. of electronic packaging laboratories. All of the labs below (except for the high strain rate gas gun facility) are part of MARC.

Precision Machining Research Laboratory
Lab Directors: Professor Shreyes N. Melkote, Ph.D; Professor Steven Y. Liang, Ph.D

The Precision Machining Research Center (PMRC) at Georgia Tech targets issues in fundamental engineering technology development and implementation methodologies for the enhancement of productivity, part specification conformance, machine tool utilization, and environmental compatibility of material removal and finishing processes. The Center performs analytical, numerical, and experimental studies addressing topics related to modeling, planning, optimization, monitoring, control, and metrology of precision machining processes and machine tools. Specifically, these areas include process analysis and optimization, open architecture control of machine tools, environmentally conscious machining, machine tool design and calibration, mechanics of materials in machining, on- and off-line characterization of part surface, form, and mechanical properties, and process monitoring and diagnostics. The Center facilitates rapid and comprehensive transfer of technology through extensive interactions with a wide variety of industrial manufacturing facilities. The PMRC is fully supported by the experimental facilities in the Precision Machining Research Laboratory (PMRL) to perform a broad range of machining research operations. The Laboratory houses a plethora of CNC machining equipment and instrumentation (CNC lathes, CNC milling machines, CNC grinders, machining force dynamometers, etc.). During the tour, demos of current research in machining and surface finishing processes will be given, in addition to a general description of the facilities.

Intelligent Machine Dynamics Laboratory (IMDL)
Lab Director: Professor Wayne Book, Ph.D

The opportunities provided by current and future computational power will produce opportunities for intelligent machines of varied nature and application. To affect our physical world these machines must contend with and use to advantage the properties of matter, including elasticity, friction and inertia. The IMDL strives to understand and improve the dynamic behavior of machines for and through the use of control, sensors, and design. Theory must be complemented with experiment and targeted to real world applications to fully achieve this goal. As an example, in some operator-controlled machines, motion of the controlled machine/vehicle excites motion of the human operator, which is fed back into the control device, causing unwanted input and sometimes instability; this phenomenon is termed biodynamic feedthrough. The tour will focus on research that seeks to investigate and develop compensation for biodynamic feedthrough in a haptic backhoe operation, thus providing heavy equipment operators with an interface that is easier to use, while also making equipment operation more effective and efficient. A demonstration with the backhoe utilizing the developed control will be shown.

Advanced Crane Control Laboratory
Lab Director: Professor William E. Singhose, Ph.D

Bridge and gantry cranes are commonly used to move raw materials, large components, and assemblies throughout manufacturing facilities. Such cranes are highly flexible, responding in an oscillatory manner to external disturbances and motion of the bridge and trolley. Payload oscillation has adverse consequences in that swinging of the crane hook (which carries the payload) makes positioning difficult and time consuming, leading to an inefficient material handling process. In addition, when the payload or surrounding obstacles are of a hazardous or fragile nature, the oscillations can present a significant safety hazard. The Advanced Crane Control Laboratory utilizes a combination of Input Shaping, Disturbance Rejection, and Precise Positioning Controls in bridge and gantry cranes in order to eliminate motion- and disturbance-induced vibration. The end result is substantial efficiency gains, reduced need for highly-skilled operators, and safer working conditions when using cranes to move large assemblies throughout the production environment. The tour will focus on a demonstration of a bridge crane in the Manufacturing Research Center that has been retrofitted with control systems to minimize payload swing. Attendees will also get an opportunity to operate the crane.

Direct Digital Manufacturing Laboratory
Lab Director: Professor Suman Das, Ph.D

The objectives of the Direct Digital Manufacturing Laboratory (DDML) are to investigate the science and design of innovative processing techniques for advanced materials and to invent new manufacturing methods for fabricating devices with unprecedented functionality that can yield dramatic improvements in performance, properties and costs. The DDML, which is located within MARC, has ongoing projects on direct digital manufacturing of airfoils (DARPA) through large area maskless photopolymerization (LAMP), direct laser manufacturing of oxidation and rub-resistant airfoil tip coatings (Honeywell), scanning laser epitaxial growth for single-crystal airfoil tip repair (Office of Naval Research and DoD DURIP), Direct Digital Laser Manufacturing of Nickel Superalloy Single Crystal Components (Naval Research Laboratory), Selective Laser Sintering of polymer nanocomposites, and laser-assisted large-area micro- and nanofabrication through photopolymerization and photoablation. Attendees will tour through the labs and get an in-depth look at some of the research being carried out in these areas.

Aerospace Manufacturing Laboratory
Lab Director: Professor Steven Danyluk, Ph.D

It is envisioned that aerospace manufacturing in the 21st century will be accomplished in an all-electric, reconfigurable and automated setting that is sustainable, wireless and flexible. New manufacturing processes will need to be developed, including precision motion control of fabrication and inspection tools with repeatable and precise movements. To-be-machined parts and components-for-assembly shall be equipped with sensors that communicate to a central station for optimal design and performance. Energy will be harvested to minimize factory resources. It is within such a planned environment that research is being conducted at Georgia Tech. Identified as the Aerospace Manufacturing Laboratory, innovative manufacturing technologies are being developed for possible application in a wide variety of aerospace products. Housing robotic platforms and overhead cranes, wireless communication and factory information systems, the laboratory provides a unique setting for bringing ideas to fruition. Attendees will get the opportunity to tour the area and learn more about the elements that will contribute to the factory-of-the-future.

High-Strain-Rate Gas-Gun Laboratory
Lab Director: Professor Naresh Thadani, Ph.D

The Georgia Tech high-strain-rate laboratory is equipped with time-resolved interferometric, stress-gauge measurement, and high-speed digital data acquisition instrumentation, permitting material evaluation and testing to be performed at strain rates up of 10^3 to 10^6 s -1 , under a range of multiaxial states of stress through normal and pressure-shear (inclined) plate impact experiments. The facility consists of a single-stage gas gun with an 80 mm diameter, 8 m long barrel connected to a 28.5 liter inert-gas chamber on the breech side and to a large soft-recovery catcher tank on the muzzle side. A wrap-around and double-rupture diaphragm breech is available for firing the gun with helium gas used to launch projectiles weighing 500-2500 grams. Impact velocities between 100 to 1100 ms -1 (reproducible within 5%) can be obtained, and are monitored using four sets of arrival-time velocity pins, connected to a Tektronix Model 640 digitizing oscilloscope as well as digital counters. A 0.3-calibre gas-gun is available for impact experiments at velocities up to 600 m/s. A massive high-strength steel anvil is placed in the experiment tank, which allows rod-on-anvil Taylor impact tests to be performed for developing and validating constitutive strength models over a wide range of strain rates. A 3J Nd-YAG (Continuum) pulsed laser is also available which allows acceleration of thin (25-50 micron thick) foils for impact against sample targets. This is particularly useful for correlations with meso-scale numerical simulations performed using real microstructures with the experiments and simulations performed on the same scale. Time-resolved instrumentation includes use of in-situ stress measurements performed using piezoelectric PVDF as well as piezoresistive manganin stress gauges, and particle velocity measurements using the state-of-the-art four-beam VISAR (Velocity Interferometer System for Any Reflector) interferometry. An IMACON high-speed digital camera (16 frames at 200 million frames per second) is also available for real-time imaging of events with time increments as small as 50 nanoseconds. Various hyrdrodynamic computational codes are available for both design of impact experiments, as well as to correlate, validate, and develop models for high-rate deformation, shock induced phase transformations and chemical reactions, and shock synthesis of materials. Attendees will be given a tour of the facilities highlighting the time-resolved instrumentation available, and the types of experiments being performed.

Georgia Tech Track 3: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Robotics & Intelligent Machines

Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB)
Director: Professor Robert E. Guldberg, Ph.D

The Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience was created to foster an environment where innovative research emerges from the joint activities of bioengineering and bioscience faculty from more than six different departments. The Institute has become an incubator for research teams to tackle complex medical research problems using an interdisciplinary approach, and serves as the headquarters for several related centers such as the Georgia Tech-Emory Center for Regenerative Medicine (GTEC), the Center for Fundamental and Applied Molecular Evolution (FAME), the Center for Drug Design Development and Delivery (CD4), and The Ovarian Cancer Institute. On the tour, attendees will see the IBB Core Facilities which include the Histology lab, Microscopy Lab, microCT Lab as well as related support areas. Demos of specific technologies being carried out in the facilities will also be provided.

Georgia Tech Nanotechnology Research Center (NRC)
Director: Professor James D. Meindl, Ph.D
Associate Director: Dr. Kevin P. Martin, Ph.D

The Georgia Tech Nanotechnology Research Center (NRC) occupies the 190,000 sq. ft Marcus Nanotechnology Building (MNB) and the 100,000 sq. ft Pettit Microelectronics Building (PMB). A complete set of micro- and nano- fabrication and characterization tools are available in the 15,000 sq. ft and 8,000 sq. ft cleanrooms in the MNB and PMB (respectively) and 2,400 sq. ft of optoelectronic and materials testing and metrology labs in the PMB. The NRC capabilities include optical, nanoimprint and electron beam lithography (with sub 10 nm resolution), thin film growth and deposition (metals, oxides, semiconductors), nano structure growth (SiGe and carbon nanotubes, graphene), etching (metals, oxides, semiconductors, polymers), plasma enhanced CVD (oxides and dielectrics), plasma assisted atomic layer deposition (metals, oxides), thermal processing (annealing, RTP), microscopy/imaging (optical, confocal, AFM, sub 1-nm resolution SEMs, dual beam FIB/SEMs, X-ray tomography), thin film characterization (ellipseometery, stress, tribiology), materials characterization (UP-XPS, EDX, confocal Raman, SIMS, FTIR, mass spec, QCM, XRF, XRD, nanotribology) and packaging (dicing, flip chip bonding, wirebonding). Research carried out in the NRC covers semiconductors, electronics, photonics, MEMS, materials, energy generation and storage, biosensors, biomaterials, tissue engineering, cancer diagnostics and treatment, and quantum information processing. The NRC cleanroom and supporting labs are available to users from Georgia Tech and outside institutions (universities, federal labs and companies) through the NSF-sponsored National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (www.NNIN.org). On the tour, attendees will see the NRC cleanrooms and demos will be shown of technologies and products spawned from the research performed at the Center.

Center for Nanostructure Characterization
Lab Director: Professor Z.L. Wang, Ph.D

Building a state-of-the-art characterization facility that extends our eyes to the nano-scale and lets us see what we are making has been a focal area of research at Georgia Tech. Over the years, the Center for Nanostructure Characterization (CNC) has assembled an impressive array of electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction tools and made them available to a wide range of users on campus. The CNC now houses 4 TEMs, 4 SEMs, 1 AFM, 3 XRD, 1 nanoindentor, and a TEM sample preparation facility. In the last 20 years, the CNC has been built up with capital equipment totaling over $15M, which is being used by over 500 users each year, supporting the research of more than a dozen units on campus, including Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering (PTFE), the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), Mechanical Engineering, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS), Materials Science, and Biomedical Engineering. As a result, the CNC is supporting a range of research from energy science, engineering materials and even biological research. In addition to the outstanding contribution to campus research, the CNC has also been actively involved in class teaching in several materials-related courses as well as various recruiting programs for undergraduates and even high school students. Attendees will tour through the facilities and see a demonstration of nanogenerators developed in Dr. Wang’s group for harvesting energy from body motion for powering nanodevices, which is an approach toward self-powered nanosystems.

Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (RIM)
Lab Director: Professor Henrik I. Christensen, Ph.D

The Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at Georgia Tech ([email protected] Tech) serves as the flagship for Georgia Tech’s robotics efforts, coordinating the university’s capabilities in this field under one roof. The study of basic engineering problems in robotics is central to RIM’s work, but equally important is the integration of innovations and discoveries into real-world systems and applications. [email protected] Tech research encompasses more than a dozen laboratories and 30-plus faculty from many different disciplines. Emphasizing personal and everyday robotics as well as the future of automation, faculty involved with [email protected] Tech help students understand and define the future role of robotics in society. In addition, well-established industry relationships provide a path for technology transfer and commercialization—a crucial objective for [email protected] Tech projects. The [email protected] Tech research activities embrace an array of diverse yet related fields including Advanced Sensors, Aerial Robotics, Air Vehicle Navigation and Control, Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous and Mobile Robotics, Behavior-Based Robotics, Computerized Industrial Controllers, Emergency Response Robotics, Human-Robot Interaction, Machine Vision, Modeling Social Systems and Human Activity, Motion Control and Haptics, Multi-Robot Systems, Neurally Controlled Robots, and Wearable Computing. During the tour, attendees will be able to see live demos of several of the robots currently being developed in the lab.

Georgia Tech Track 4: Civil Engineering

Structural Engineering and Materials Research Laboratory
Lab Director: Professor Lawrence F. Kahn, Ph.D

The Structural Engineering and Materials Research Laboratory at Georgia Tech is a modern, efficient and high quality experimental research facility for research, development, test and evaluation of all classes of structures and construction materials. The new 16,000 square-feet of laboratory space includes the a strong floor that is 180-ft. long by 40-ft. wide for testing large-scale model and full-size single and multi-span bridge systems, a 35-ft. tall L-shaped strong wall for testing up to three-story full-size building systems in both vertical and two horizontal directions as well as structures such as towers, cranes, architectural cladding and mechanical components. The facility also houses a 19-ft. long by 13-ft. wide, and 12-ft. high large environment test room with a cyclic temperature range from 160°F to -40°F, 20% to 95% relative humidity, fresh and salt water spray, and UV lighting for all types of exposure and durability testing, a composites preparation facility for manufacture of fiber-reinforced polymeric structural composites, two 30-ton overhead cranes for handling all structural test components, and numerous computer and manually controlled hydraulic actuators having large load capacity and strokes for static, dynamic, and cyclic/fatigue testing. Available test equipment includes an automated data acquisition systems for recording up to 100 channels of load, strain, and displacement, two universal tension/compression testing machines with up to 400-kip and 10-ft. long specimen length capacity, several universal testing machines for cyclic and dynamic materials testing, and a concrete/masonary compression test machine with 800-kip capacity. The lab is also outfitted with a 1400 ft2 concrete mixing and preparation facility with ASTM compliant test apparatus and a NDT/Optics laboratory equipped with multiple lasers, acoustic emission and ultrasonic test apparatus, and electronic instrumentation. A complete tour of the lab in addition to research demonstrations will be provided to the tour attendees.

Construction Information Technology Laboratory (CITL)
Lab Director: Professor Ioannis Brilakis, Ph.D

The automation of civil infrastructure monitoring, assessment and management tasks has been identified as one of the grand engineering challenges of this century. In order to achieve this automation, as-built infrastructure-related elements (e.g. columns, beams, and walls) must first be automatically recognized. The CITL focuses on creating visual pattern recognition (VPR) models that will automate the recognition of infrastructure-related elements. As one example of this VPR model, the demo will show our latest work in detecting concrete columns of a structure through a regular web camera and a laptop. In the demo, a miniature concrete frame structure model will be set up to represent a real concrete building. The web camera will collect live videos of the model and transmit them to the laptop, where the concrete columns in the videos will be located according to their unique visual features. The detected columns will be shaded in red for a user to review.

Computational Fluid Dynamics Group
Group Leader: Dr. Thorsten Stoesser, Ph.D

The Computational Fluid Dynamics group within the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is engaged in the area of experimental and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applied to hydraulic and environmental flows. The CFD group is particularly interested in detailed numerical simulations of flow, turbulence, transport and mixing processes in the natural and man-made environment. Dr. Stoesser has developed CFD models that are based on the unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes equations (URANS) to simulate practically relevant flows as well as Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) techniques to be able to tackle fundamental research questions. The CFD group is currently working on the flow around bluff bodies, flow and turbulence around free stream turbines, ozone contactor hydrodynamics and transport, UV reactor turbulence, flow through vegetation and flow over rough and porous open-channel beds. The demonstration will include videos and animations from recently completed high-resolution simulations over a pool-riffle sequence, hydrodynamics of an ozone contact chamber, flow through emergent vegetation and from laboratory experiments of a vertical axis free-stream turbine.

Laboratory for Smart Structural Systems
Lab Director: Dr. Yang Wang, Ph.D

Maintaining the safety and reliability of our infrastructure systems is a highly challenging task, because of the large scale and high complexity of typical infrastructure systems. The Laboratory for Smart Structural Systems of CEE at Georgia Tech strives to explore state-of-the-art sensing, control, and information technologies for the development of future smart structural systems. This technical tour highlights our recent research on mobile sensor networks for structural health monitoring. The work is conducted in collaboration with the Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics Research Laboratory led by Dr. Kok-Meng Lee of ME at Georgia Tech. Compared with static sensors, mobile sensor networks offer flexible system architectures with adaptive spatial resolutions. The tour showcases a tetherless mobile sensing node capable of maneuvering on structures built with ferromagnetic materials. The mobile sensing node can also attach/detach an accelerometer onto/from the structural surface. The dense vibration measurement provided by the mobile sensors enables high sensitivity for detecting local structural damage.

GEOtechnical EarthQUAKE Engineering Computer Lab
Lab Director: Professor Dominic Assimaki, Ph.D

Geotechnical engineering has been traditionally an experimental and/or empirical research field, while mathematical models were developed based on curve fitting to typically small amounts of field and laboratory data. Computer simulations using finite elements have enabled the representation of complex problems in geotechnical engineering, and allowed the reproduction of statistically significant datasets using numerical experiments validated by comparison with observations. In GEOQUAKE, we study the soil-foundation-structure interaction of components of the civil infrastructure subjected to dynamic loading conditions such as earthquakes, waves, wind and hurricanes. The tour will focus on computer simulations of problems such as the response of waterfront structures to earthquakes or offshore wind turbines to storms, and will demonstrate how numerical data can be used to develop simplified mathematical models for the design of structures against natural hazards.

Construction Materials Laboratory: Long-term performance of photocatalytic cement
Lab Director: Dr. Kimberly Kurtis, Ph.D

Ambient air pollution is one of the major concerns in urban areas due to its adverse health effects in humans. Nitrogen oxides (NOx=NO+NO2) are classified as one of the major pollutants that threaten humans as well as earth itself by producing photochemical smog which contributes to tropospheric ozone. Various countries have set their own standards to regulate NOx levels, but these are often exceeded especially near roadways. Titanium dioxide (TiO2), a photocatalyst, has been known to effectively oxidize NOx in the atmosphere in the presence of water and sunlight (or other source of UV radiation). This makes TiO2 an attractive material that can be used on road or building surfaces for NOx binding and smog abatement. Cementitious materials have already been used as a substrate for TiO2, and have been proven to be efficient in photocatalytic reaction to reduce NOx. However, the long-term effects of these photocatalytic reactions on the composition, structure, and properties of the cementitous substrate have not been studied in detail. The tour will focus on recent progress in the characterization of TiO2-cement mixtures exposed to NOx in the presence of UV radiation and wet-dry cycling. The UV reaction chamber will be displayed along with TiO2-cement samples. A brief description of the project will also be presented in a poster.

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