CEE at Illinois is one of the nation’s best-equipped programs, with a broad range of facilities for civil and environmental engineering education and research.
Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory
Dedicated in 1967, Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory has been modified and updated several times. In addition to offices, classrooms, and laboratories, the building features a three-story, central crane bay for large-scale experimental research. There is a comprehensive machine shop that is capable of fabricating nearly any item required by faculty who are conducting research. In addition, researchers within CEE at Illinois have access to the resources of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, located just across the street.
The Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory (HSL) is located across the street from Newmark Lab. In service since 1970, the 11,000-square-foot lab features a large, central experimental bay equipped with several flumes, a rainfall generator, a stratified flow tank, and a water tunnel. The largest tilting flume is 161 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 4 feet deep. This flume can be readily adapted to be used as a wave tank and for sediment transport studies. A set of twin volumetric tanks is also available for calibration of flow metering devices. Measuring equipment includes an assortment of current meters, sediment concentration and conductivity probes, a laser-based flow visualization system, a high-speed video camera, and several personal computers and workstations for in-situ data acquisition and analysis.
Located on the fourth floor of Newmark Lab, the Environmental Engineering and Science laboratories are fully equipped for the diverse research conducted here. A $3.3 million, comprehensive renovation of the laboratories was completed in 1997. In addition, a biological-safety, Level II laboratory opened in 2009, enabling research into one of the most significant water-quality issues, that of waterborne pathogens. The new disinfection lab with cold room and microscopy suite occupies 1,700 square feet and includes a mechanical equipment room and additional space for later expansion.
The Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory (ATREL), located in Rantoul, Ill., (15 miles from the Urbana-Champaign campus), has three laboratories and high bay areas which provide considerable space for large-scale testing and research. ATREL's surrounding acreage provides an expansive area for research on full-scale pavement and rail systems under controlled experimental conditions. The lab is the home to the Illinois Center for Transportation.
The Multi-Axial Full-Scale Sub-Structured Testing and Simulation facility is one of the 15 equipment sites nationally that form the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES). This facility provides a total testing-analysis-visualization-display environment that combines the ability to test full-scale subassemblies under complex loading and boundary conditions. The MUST-SIM hub of operations is the User’s Studio that has workstations for visiting researchers, a conference center, and a fully functional, one-fifth scale version of the large testing facility. Prior to using the large laboratory, researchers can test out their ideas and loading protocols in the small-scale laboratory. This has proven to be a great advantage for conducting conclusive and realistic experiments that are made possible by the versatile MUST-SIM equipment and control architecture.
The department’s structural research laboratory has a long history of excellence in large-scale experimental structural research. Over the years, research performed at the lab has contributed greatly to the state-of-the-art in civil engineering. Completed in 1967 and extended in 1971, the structural testing area of the laboratory is a versatile space with a three-story clear height that can be used to carry out a wide range of tests of building materials, components, structural assemblies, and models. It features a central, three-story crane bay with a strong floor and a 28-foot, L-shaped reaction wall.
The Research & Innovation Laboratory (RAIL) was created to provide realistic conditions for conducting experimental laboratory work aimed at improving railway infrastructure design and performance. The 3,500 square foot space provides researchers with the necessary tools to study various infrastructure components at the material, component and system levels. Anchoring the lab is the Track Loading System (TLS), which makes static and pseudo-static experimentation possible on railway infrastructure and its components using a full-depth track substructure. Researchers are able to use resulting data to evaluate existing railway infrastructure designs, develop new designs and validate analytical models.