Civil and Environmental Engineering

New flumes give grad students cutting edge technology for studying water flow

Minimizing the impact of tsunamis on coastal regions and building sturdier bridges are just two of the outcomes a group of graduate student researchers are aiming for now that they have some top-notch new equipment up and running in the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation.

“It’s really cutting edge,” PhD student Vimaldoss Jesudhas says of the giant flume he works with, one of two of its kind in the new engineering building.

Lecture to offer assessment of urban truck-only lanes

Do truck-only lanes save time and money for transport companies? Do they improve safety?

Two research projects exploring these questions are the subject of a presentation Thursday, February 28, by University of Toronto engineering professor Matthew Roorda.

Engineering students hear from parkway designer

Students in Amr ElRagaby’s graduate course in bridge engineering really dug deep Thursday, as guest lecturer Biljana Rajlic discussed her work as the lead structural engineer and design team project manager of the Right Honourable Herb Gray Parkway.

The 11-kilometre, $1.4 billion project will connect Highway 401 to Interstate 75 in Michigan via a new bridge across the Detroit River.

Rajlic discussed the parkway’s design challenges, providing an overview of the roadways, utilities, geotechnical, structural, traffic management, landscaping and environmental design.

New wind tunnels being installed in CEI

The components for the first of two new wind tunnels to be installed in the new Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation began arriving late last week, much to the delight of the researchers who will be working with them.

Made by Industrial Metal Fabricators Ltd. of Chatham, the elevated 12 meter tunnel will run in a closed loop around the walls of a lab in the north-east corner of the CEI. With a 1.2 meter fan and a 30 horsepower motor, the tunnel will be capable of generating wind speeds of up to about 30 meters per second.

Bridge-building exercise proves educational for engineering students

Learning by practice is always the best, says civil engineering professor Amr ElRagaby.

That’s what makes a contest to design and build a bridge from popsicle sticks a valuable experience for his students.

“They can understand the principles, but when the have a chance to apply the theories, they learn something they will never forget,” he said Wednesday, as members of his class in Finite Element for Analysis and Design tested the load-bearing capacity of their structures.