CEE Professors Receive Grant to Test Structural Slab Assembly

Dr. David Dinehart

Dr. David Dinehart, Dr. Shawn Gross, and Dr. Joseph Yost, all of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, received a $120,000 grant from Girder-Slab Technologies to conduct full-scale and component tests on the Girder-Slab® system, an advanced technology used in multi-story residential structures. This research will lead to innovations that will expand the use of the system beyond its current market. Undergraduate and graduate students will participate in the two-year study.

Girder-Slab Technologies, which received the 2007 Special Achievement Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), developed the system of using precast slabs with an integral steel girder to form a monolithic structural slab assembly. This system allows for more rapid construction and assembly, as well as for variations in floor-to-floor heights. The object of the research will be to further characterize the system's behavior for expanded use of the system in the marketplace.

Dr. Shawn Gross and Dr. Joseph Yost

During the study, which will be carried out in the College's 10,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art Structural Engineering Teaching and Research Laboratory (SETRL), undergraduates will conduct two related research projects, and a paid undergraduate assistant will help in the lab. A graduate student will serve as supervisor and mentor.

In addition, the PIs will incorporate the research into the undergraduate curriculum by inviting an engineer from Girder-Slab Technologies to give a seminar to students enrolled in Advanced Structural Engineering in fall 2008 and fall 2009. In fact, it is the practice of these professors to integrate classroom learning, hands-on lab work, and industry exposure, thus enhancing students’ overall educational experience.

"Our first priority as faculty is undergraduate education," said Dr. Dinehart, who serves as Director of SETRL. "Everything that we in structural engineering do, including research, supports that mission."