The Infrastructure Materials focus area at Oregon State University emphasizes the fundamental understanding of materials and property relationships, microstructural development and its impact on long-term performance, durability and sustainability of civil and construction engineering materials, principles of green construction and materials selection as well as rehabilitation, assessment and repair of infrastructure with a focus on materials aspects. Research opportunities abound and are supported in the suite of world-class Infrastructure Materials Laboratories .
Research at the Concrete Performance Lab focuses on concrete durability, early-age properties of concrete and the pursuit of high-performance civil engineering materials. Concrete, the most widely used building material in the world, is a sustainable material when properly designed and constructed. While new materials may show promise, they are often made from natural resources that are simply not found in quantities abundant enough to compete with or even replace the most used construction material in the world, concrete. It is for this reason that concrete is the most advantageous for further development as an advanced material, and enhancements to concrete to generate special properties or to achieve superior performance may be a central path forward to ensure both long-term durability and sustainability.
Kiewit Materials Performance Lab was designed to carry out sensitive bench-scale experiments to characterize various types of materials and investigate their deterioration mechanisms. Materials of interest involve cement/concrete, metals, alloys, polymers, coatings, asphalt and wood. The laboratory is equipped with grounded bench-top space, two high-performance fume hoods, an environmental test chamber, and electrochemical testing equipment (including potentiostats/galvanostats and FRAs for AC Impedance analysis). Among many other capabilities, the laboratory is fully equipped to conduct sensitive electrochemical investigations to study corrosion phenomena in metals/alloys and to study performance and durability of coatings and composite material.
The Oregon BEST Green Building Materials Laboratory includes research activities from the Schools of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering and Civil and Construction Engineering and the Department of Wood Science and Engineering. Equipment housed in this Oregon BEST Signature Laboratory will allow OSU researchers to characterize, develop and test high performance sustainable materials for a wide variety of applications including buildings and transportation infrastructure. It also enables OSU to continue to recruit top faculty, researchers and students to the OSU campus.
Infrastructure Materials faculty and their specific areas of research are listed below:
Professor Ideker's research interests are in the area of early-age volume change of cement-based materials and concrete durability. His research group is actively investigating ways to reduce early-age cracking in high performance concrete and understanding volume change in alternative cementitious systems. As an internationally recognized expert in alkali-silica reaction (ASR), Dr. Ideker and his team investigate ways to improve and develop new ASR test methods that accurately reflect field performance. The group also develops fundamental knowledge about the mechanisms of ASR mitigation. Dr. Ideker also focuses on providing rapid and effective repair strategies, particularly related to material selection, for the aging infrastructure prevalent throughout the world.
Isgor's research and teaching interests include materials science of cement and concrete, corrosion, electrochemistry, surface science, computational materials science, and non-destructive model-assisted testing of materials and structures. The ultimate goal of his research is to develop integrated numerical and sensory tools for infrastructure owners and operators so that they can better evaluate the state of their assets and make informed decisions on their future. These tools help engineers manage infrastructure by allowing them to schedule maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement operations more efficiently and accurately so that their assets will be resilient against extreme conditions imposed by multiple sources of hazard. To develop this understanding he combines computational techniques and experimental methods to bridge length scales, from atomistic/nano-scale to macroscopic, so that one can include chemistry and physics at a fundamental level into endeavors for modeling and characterization of various material behavior.
Professor Trejo's research focuses on the design and development of materials and systems for efficient construction processes and products. His interests focus on the design and development of systems that allow for accelerated and durable construction. Specific research projects have included development of precast overhang systems for safe, rapid, and durable bridge construction, assessment and modeling of segmental, post-tensioned bridges exhibiting strand corrosion, development of refractory materials for NASA's launch complex, modeling and performance assessment of glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) concrete reinforcement, and many others. His teaching interests include heavy civil methods and processes, cementitious materials and systems, and durability of infrastructure systems. With almost 10 years of experience in the field, Dr. Trejo brings real-world applications into the classroom.
Professor Jason Weiss's research and teaching focus on the development of mixture design procedures to reduce shrinkage, curling and cracking as well as test methods to evaluate the performance of these mixtures. Specifically, his research group is well known for work in the area of shrinkage reducing admixtures and internal curing. His research group has performed substantial research on the freeze-thaw performance of concrete and the durability of concrete exposed to deicing salts. This work has substantial impact on the durability of concrete pavements and the development of performance specifications for concrete pavements. His research group is well known for their use of a variety of test methods to assess transport properties in concrete and the use of these material properties in models that can predict the service life of concrete elements.