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Geotechnical Mobile Lab captured on Google Earth...again!

Geotechnical Mobile Lab achievements

Google Earth map with Geotechnical Mobile Lab inset.

The CEER Geotechnical Mobile Lab was captured on Google Earth while field testing various pavement foundation stabilization technologies in partnership with the Iowa Department of Transportation at the Central Iowa Expo Site in Boone, Iowa in July 2012. Additional details about the research project are available on the project web page.

Intelligent construction technologies for road foundations could enhance levees

CEER's mobile earthworks lab at a work site

Geotechnical Mobile Lab at a work site

The same technologies that David J. White, director of the Center for Earthworks Engineering Research, is developing to build better roads and foundations could also be used to build better river levees. In these days of prolonged flooding causing Missouri River levees to fail, White says, the same techniques and instruments that lead to better roadbeds and foundations could also be applied to the construction and monitoring of earthen levees, including testing the levees for stability. Read the full article from Iowa State University's News Service.

First ever "Compaction Roadeo" SHRP R02 project held in Jacksonville, FL

Compaction Roadeo participants

Participants in the first ever Compaction Roadeo

With funding from Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) R02, the CEER Geotechnical Mobile Lab team partnered with several universities, public agencies, and private companies to hold the first ever "Compaction Roadeo" in Jacksonville, Florida, May 15-20, 2011. The event attracted more than 40 participants to evaluate new technologies capable of developing rapidly built, long-lived geotechnical infrastructure. Partners included the University of Kansas, Virginia Tech, the University of Florida, Iowa State University, Florida Department of Transportation, Christopher Consultants, The Collin Group, the Israeli company PRS Mediterranean Ltd., and Caterpillar.

CEER Geotechnical Mobile Lab holds K-12 Engineering Day

Lewis Central High School students learn about civil engineering

Lewis Central High School students learn about civil engineering

The CEER Geotechnical Mobile Lab introduced highschoolers to civil engineering at Lewis Central High School's Engineering Day, April 13, 2011. A key component of the ISU College of Engineering's K-12 recruitment and outreach efforts, this event engaged more than 200 students in the Council Bluffs/Omaha area in the basics of civil engineering. The event was funded by the Waldo Wegner Professorship in Civil Engineering.

Geotechnical Mobile Lab captured on Google Earth!

Geotechnical Mobile Lab on Google Earth

Google Earth map with Geotechnical Mobile Lab circled in red

The CEER Geotechnical Mobile Lab was captured on Google Earth while field testing new machine integrated technology in partnership with Caterpillar and Kiewit. The specific location remains undisclosed due to the proprietary nature of the technology, but the satellite image above was accessed on June 1, 2011. The project was managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Five-year-old Geotechnical Mobile Lab reaches key milestones

Geotechnical Mobile Lab achievements

Geotechnical Mobile Lab at a project site

In just five years, the CEER Geotechnical Mobile Lab has racked up several notable achievements:

  • The lab has visited 22 states and interacted with the respective state departments of transportation.
  • Research partners have included 20 Iowa State University researchers, 8 universities, 14 consulting companies, and 19 manufacturing companies.
  • CEER staff estimate that more than 2,000 individuals have interacted with the lab during research and demonstration activities.
  • As far as CEER staff or their research partners know, the lab remains the only geotechnical mobile laboratory in the world.

CEER director David White invents stronger, more sustainable sewer pipe

Geotechnical Mobile Lab achievements

Professor David White (left) accepts recognition of his U.S. patent from Interim Engineering Dean Mufit Akinc.

David White, the Richard L. Handy Endowed Associate Professor in geotechnical/materials engineering and CEER director, has invented a sewer pipe made of recycled plastic soda bottles, plastic fibers and fly ash.

See the full story on the ISU College of Engineering website.

CEER researchers assess flood damage to roadways in Pottawattamie County, Iowa

Flood damage to I-29 in Pottawattamie County

Flood damage to I-29 in Pottawattamie County

Secondary roads are still topped by flood waters, yet the recovery continues.

Pavana Vennapusa and Kelly Miller, researchers with ISU's Center for Earthworks Engineering Research (CEER), visited Pottawattamie County Engineer John Rasmussen to see first-hand the damage to roadways following this summer's flood along the Missouri River. Surveying the damage helped CEER staff understand the problems facing the county engineers.

"Wow!" was Miller's first response as they traveled over the Old Mormon and I-29 interchange bridge and saw the flood damage to I-680 west of I-29 near Crescent, IA. "The force of the water currents that undermined roadway shoulders and moved concrete slabs was amazing."

"Approximately 54 miles of secondary roads were flooded by the event, with two to three miles still underwater," Rasmussen said. Floodwater remains because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is drawing the water down slowly to minimize erosion and prevent failures to levees and roadways.

Engineers in the recovering counties (Woodbury, Monona, Harrison, Mills, and Freemont) continue to evaluate the damage.

According to CEER director David J. White, "This event is unusual in its duration. The impacts are significant in terms of disruption to people in the area and traveling public. From a research perspective, we will be looking at opportunities to use emerging technologies like water-based sonar scanning technologies to improve condition evaluations during and after events like this and innovative geo-infrastructure repair solutions, such as bio-stabilization."

WHO-TV interviews CEER Director David White about importance of compaction in levee embankments

WHO-TV interviewed CEER Director David White about Iowa levee embankments: http://whotv.com/2013/07/11/getting-stronger-levees-improve-after-flood-of-93/.

CEER project selected as an AASHTO 2014 Sweet 16 High-Value Research Project

The Western Iowa Missouri River Flooding—Geo-Infrastructure Damage Assessment, Repair, and Mitigation Strategies research project completed in September 2013 by CEER researchers Dr. Pavana Vennapusa, Dr. David White, and Daniel Miller was selected as one of the 2014 Sweet 16 High-Value Research Project by AASHTO's Standing Committee on Research (SCOR) and Research Advisory Committee (RAC). Each year, RAC collects high-value research highlights from state transportation departments across the nation to showcase projects that are providing transportation excellence through research. This year, more than 100 nominations were received from states to compete for the top spots. Regional RAC committees then selected four from their regions to comprise the Sweet 16. The list of 2014 Sweet 16 projects is available at http://www.aashtojournal.org/Pages/072514Sweet16Projects.aspx.

Proceedings now available for the 2015 Conference on Autonomous and Robotic Construction of Infrastructure

The proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Autonomous and Robotic Construction of Infrastructure are available in both print and downloadable (PDF and EPUB) versions:

Held June 2–3, 2015 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, the first-of-its-kind conference brought together national and international leaders in the development and application of autonomous/robotic process controls in construction of infrastructure. Particpants learned about the state of autonomous/robotic technology development and implementation and helped identify gaps and opportunities for continued innovation and broader application.

The final report of the October 2015 Workshop for Technology Transfer for Intelligent Compaction (IC) Consortium is now available

The final report of the October 2015 Workshop for Technology Transfer for Intelligent Compaction (IC) Consortium is now available.

Hosted by the Kentucky Transportation Center and organized by the Center for Earthworks Engineering Research at Iowa State University, this was the fourth annual (and final) workshop under the FHWA pooled fund TPF-5(233), led by the Iowa DOT with seven other state DOT partners:  California, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The goal of the event was to provide briefings on IC activities in the participating states and identify IC research and technology needs for the future.