A student utilizes surveying equipment during a Civil Engineering class

Built Environment Research Laboratory

The Built Environment Research Laboratory is divided evenly into communal student office space and a laboratory area. The student office area has desktop and laptop computers, a projector with large screen, and wireless and wired internet access. The laboratory area comprises a 600 square-foot shared space that is primarily used for staging field campaigns, instrument setup and repair, meetings, computer simulations, small-scale chamber testing, and thermal performance measurements using a small-scale hot box test facility.

The Built Environment Research Group (BERG) is dedicated to investigating problems and solutions related to energy and air quality within the built environment. The research team works on projects ranging from measuring exposures, to indoor air pollution, to dynamic building energy modeling.

Built Environment Research Group

Burton and Erma Lewis Construction Engineering and Management Laboratory

The creation and maintenance of the Lewis Lab were made possible through a generous gift by Burton A. Lewis (CE ’48) that was matched by the Krehbiel Challenge and later by the Pritzker/Galvin Challenge. The Lewis Lab features three interconnected rooms that feature study spaces for researchers in construction engineering and management, including postdoctoral visiting researchers from various countries and graduate research students. The laboratory also contains meeting facilities, the GIS lab, and a workspace for research and teaching assistants.

Concrete Structures Laboratory

The Concrete Structures Laboratory is home to courses in the Design of Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete Structures. One of the featured courses taught in this lab is the first course in the Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures in which the students design, construct, and test to destruction a full-size, reinforced concrete beam. The lab’s state-of-the-art equipment includes a computer-controlled 400,000-pound capacity compression testing machine and a 36-by-20-foot steel girder reaction frame for investigating the strength of reinforced or prestressed concrete beams and columns. Also included in the lab is chemical glassware and small-size equipment used to investigate cements and mortars. Research projects executed in this lab include a large-scale study of the creep-deflection of reinforced concrete beams.

Engineering Graphics and Computer Lab

The Engineering Graphics and Computer Lab is used to teach the full range of engineering graphics, from technical drawing through advanced 3D digital modeling. Standards, techniques, and sketching are emphasized at all levels, with all Autodesk engineering tools available in their latest versions. This laboratory has been upgraded with 3D-capable, multiple-monitor, engineering-grade workstations.

Environmental Chamber

The environmental chamber is a new facility that began construction in 2018. The 12-by-12 foot chamber has been designed to provide an enclosed environment where indoor air quality conditions and sequences of operation can be precisely controlled and measured for research and teaching purposes. The system controls internal air heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. 

Air Cleaner Testing

GIS Workstation Laboratory

The GIS Workstation Laboratory is a completely up-to-date and accessible workstation that has access to all of the latest geographic information systems software and supporting tools, as well as several legacy applications. It is used for research, course development, and student projects of a continuing nature. This laboratory was last upgraded with new PC box and ESRI 10.2.2 ArcGIS.

Materials of Construction Laboratory

The Materials of Construction Laboratory houses courses in this subject—the first of which introduces students to the investigation of the mechanical properties of steel and timber by means of hands-on tests on real samples of these materials. This lab houses the following state-of-the-art equipment: three computer-controlled universal testing machines of 60,000-pound, 400,000-pound, and 800,000-pound capacity, respectively; a Charpy Impact Tester; a Brinell Hardness Tester; two R.R. Moore Fatigue Testing Machines; and two Axial Fatigue Testing Machines of 25,000- and 50,000-pound capacity. Research projects executed in this lab include an ongoing study of the origin and inception of fatigue damage in steel.

Models Laboratory

The Models Laboratory houses courses devoted to the experimental study of building and bridge structures, the first of which introduces students to the statistical treatment of experimental data; similitude and the theory of models and the design; and the construction and testing of realistic models of building or bridge structures. State-of-the-art equipment in this lab includes three professional-grade polariscopes, a Moire apparatus, a steel-framed prototyping bench, and computer-aided electric resistance strain gage recorders. A study of the stresses induced in steel rails to evaluate various strategies for in-place rail regrinding used to improve rail longevity. Specifically, a significant and economically important concern of the United States rail transportation industry was recently carried out in this laboratory.

Suite for Testing Urban Dwellings for their Indoor and Outdoor Environments (studioE)

The Suite for Testing Urban Dwellings for their Indoor and Outdoor Environments comprises two unoccupied, adjacent 800-square-foot apartment units in graduate student housing in Carman Hall. One unit is outfitted with a complete central air handling unit and ductwork distribution system representative of typical homes in the United States. StudioE is used for research on the transport of outdoor pollutants indoors; filtration and air cleaning of indoor pollutants; energy simulation, measurement, and verification; energy and air quality test method development; and teaching building science measurements and instrumentation. 


Surveying Equipment Workshop

The Surveying Equipment Workshop incorporates all the modern tools required to perform fieldwork in the Geodetic Sciences. Included are modern Total Stations by Leica and Nikon, as well as Automatic Levels, their supporting equipment (tripods, prisms, measuring rods, tapes, and poles), handheld GPS units, and a GPS Rover. This laboratory was updated in 2014 with new Nikon Total Stations.

Sustainable Transportation and Infrastructure Research Center (STAIR)

The center was formed with the mission of providing long-term solutions to work zone safety-related problems. The center works toward this mission by building a consortium of major work zone stakeholders including transportation agencies, road contractors, the trucking industry, and the insurance industry. By working together through the consortium, the stakeholders can combine their resources and knowledge, and work toward preventing the 50,000 work zone injuries and 1,000 fatalities that occur every year. The initiatives of the center focus on developing highway work zone safety audit guidelines; discovering/developing/transferring new technologies and measures for improving work zone safety, reducing its negative impacts on private industries and the national economy; and providing work zone safety training and education to the transportation community and the public.

Sustainable Transportation and Infrastructure Research Center

Transportation Engineering Laboratory

The Transportation Engineering (TE) Laboratory occupies a 600 square-foot floor space that maintains excellent computing capabilities with multiple personal computers and a variety of software for geometric design (AutoCAD, AutoCivil, MathCAD, 3DMAX); data management and geospatial analysis (MS Access, SQL, ArcGIS 9); traffic impacts studies (HCS, Synchro9.0, CORSIM); high fidelity, large-scale simulation (VISSIM, TRANSIMS); statistical and econometric analysis (SPSS, NLOGIT4.0, GWR4.0); risk and uncertainty modeling (@Risk); and large-scale optimization (XPRESS Solver, GAMS). In addition, this lab also offers comprehensive big data processing, management, and analysis, and computation capabilities for a wide range of research in multimodal transportation infrastructure; dynamic traffic networks; safety and security; and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) applications in support of sustainable transportation development and smart city initiatives. The TE Lab engages graduate and undergraduate students currently attending Illinois Tech in research, and also offers opportunities to high school students for summer internship participation.