VISION 2000: College of Engineering 1995 Annual ReportCIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
VISION 2000: College of Engineering 1995 Annual ReportHR

Associate Professor Craig H. Benson's research team is completing a five-year study on final covers for landfills. The study is providing new insights into cost-effective methods of constructing covers with earthen materials. Benson's work is focused primarily in three areas: waste containment systems, groundwater protection and remediation, and geotechnical applications of waste materials. He is examining whether landfill liners can be designed to treat leachate as it passes through the liner and is investigating an in situ method of cleaning groundwater near the water table, where gasoline and other light petroleum products commonly exist. Benson is also working on a method to assess the integrity of seals surrounding monitoring wells. In addition, his team is completing a large project for the EPA on reuse of shredded waste tires and is looking at beneficial uses of papermill sludges for the paper industry.

In a new course offered by Professor Kenneth W. Potter, 25 graduate students participated in a field study of how, when and where to make hydrologic measurements. Students not only gained a better grasp of surface and groundwater interactions, but also discovered new information about the spatial distribution of groundwater recharge in Madison area watersheds. This kind of information is important to protecting water resources in fast-growing communities. For example, Potter and his students found that some of the rain that falls near Badger Mill Creek actually ends up in the upper Sugar River. With better understanding about how groundwater resources are recharged, communities can make more informed decisions about where and how to allow development in order to best protect those resources.

Assistant Professor José A. Pincheira and Associate Professor Michael G. Oliva have been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to research the seismic behavior and design of double-tee panel precast systems. The three-year project was funded only months after the Northridge, California, earthquake severely damaged several precast double-tee floor systems. The investigation will examine the ability of double-tee floor and wall panel systems to transfer wind and seismic forces, and develop improved flange-to-flange connections. Research results will provide experimental evidence and analytical techniques for a rational design and will help in writing new code provisions for precast systems to resist in-plane forces from wind and earthquakes.

Safer, longer lasting roads and highways will be the result of the college's new construction materials lab. The lab includes state-of-the-art asphalt testing equipment, which complements equipment in WI Dept. of Transportation (DOT) labs. Visiting Prof. Hussain U. Bahia and Assoc. Professor Peter J. Bosscher are working with the DOT to evaluate new specifications for selecting and designing asphalt mixes. The new, stricter specifications will be implemented in phases starting in 1997. The lab was also used to teach a new graduate course in advanced bituminous materials and to give a short course to paving contractors, transportation agency staff and educators through Engineering Professional Development.

Copyright © 1995 University System Board of Regents

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Date last modified: Wednesday, 29-Nov-1995 12:00:00 CST
Date created: 29-Nov-1995

1995 Annual Report Contents