The Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment supports research on a spectrum of hazards including hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and human-devised threats as part of the broader study of civil infrastructure and lifeline performance. Research is primarily conducted in the:
- Coastal Laboratory (hurricane storm surge and waves)
- Powell Family Structures & Materials Laboratory (earthquake, hurricane winds and rain, impact and blast)
- Reed Laboratory (geotechnical hazards)
- Weil Hall Laboratory (materials testing, student group support, geotechnical hazards)
In addition to these facilities, our researchers have access to other major facilities at the University of Florida, including the:
- A^2 Fab Lab
- Major Analytical & Particle Analysis Instrumentation Centers (MAIC)
- Nanoscale Research Facility
Common Facility Services
Data Archival and Curation. The facility is co-located with the UF Data Center, which houses a high performance computing center and long-term replicated storage. All hardware connected via a 10 Gbps Science DMZ network architecture, which is a dedicated high-volume data transfer network exclusively operated to support experimental and computational research. Data archival can be fully automated. The data acquisition systems (e.g., PXI units) save data to local storage that continuously backs up data to long-term replicated storage at the data center through an ownCloud platform, which is a Dropbox-like interface based on the Globus GridFTP platform.
Staging, Transport, and Disposal of Specimens. Five indoor and two outdoor staging areas are available to stage experiments and store specimens (1122 m2, 12,077 ft2). The BLWT has a dedicated model shop that is locked when in not in use. Specimens for the MAWLS are generally constructed in the reaction frame, however space is available for construction of at least two additional specimens (7 m X 1 m) on the adjacent lab floor. Two 25 ton overhead cranes will lift and place them in the reaction frame. MAWLS and DFS specimens may also be constructed and left to weather in dedicated areas outdoors (606 m2). Project staff will either use the lab’s 4X4 Lull Highlander II telescoping forklift or a crane rental (if warranted) to transport specimens to the test sections. The lab will also maintain four multiuse bays that will be allocated as needed to support testing in the HAPLA and SPLA. Specimens can be transported using a custom-built air caster cart with integrated lifts to safely transport < 2000 kg specimens on the lab floor. C&D / metal dumpsters and satellite collection area for hazardous materials are also available.
Live Inventorying. The labs use a real-time barcoding system to track the location and status of hardware and materials (specimens) to expedite asset management and to track calibration. Sensors and control hardware are stored in numbered bins in the instrumentation room; larger components are kept in storage rooms. Hardware is checked out to users as it leaves the instrumentation area, and is re-scanned to the experimental resource upon arrival. Hardware and materials provided by offsite PIs can be palletized, given barcodes, and scanned upon arrival (or stored until there is confirmation of ownership).
Live Monitoring. Major testing apparatuses have at least one high-definition IP camera system (the BLWT has six) accessible by the internet or third-party apps that can be deployed on computers, tablets and smart phones. We are currently testing out (three) Oculus Rift DK2 virtual reality headsets and 360° cameras to enable offsite users and stakeholders to view staging and experimental testing.
Security and Safety. Safety glasses, hardhats, first aid kits, PPE stations, lockout tagout kits, eyewash stations are available throughout facilities, and the facilities maintain their own ID badging system. Staff and visitors are required to wear identification at all times that lists name, affiliation and training credentials. Site managers maintain the keying system for each laboratory, which is locked during off-hours.