Professor Markus Buehler named a 2018 Materials Horizons Outstanding Paper Prize winner

April 22nd, 20192019 News in Brief

McAfee Professor of Engineering and Department Head Markus Buehler was named a 2018 Materials Horizons Outstanding Paper Prize winner, awarded by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The award was given for his paper titled “Bioinspired hierarchical composite design using machine learning: simulation, additive manufacturing, and experiment” that featured his former students Grace Gu, Chun-Teh Chen and undergraduate researcher Deon Richmond. The papers are evaluated by various factors such as article downloads, altmetrics, and citations, and shortlisted based on the science presented and potential future impact. Read more here.

McAfee Professor of Engineering and Department Head Markus Buehler was named a 2018 Materials Horizons Outstanding Paper Prize winner, awarded by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The award was given for his paper titled “Bioinspired hierarchical composite design using machine learning: simulation, additive manufacturing, and experiment” that featured his former students Grace Gu, Chun-Teh Chen and undergraduate researcher Deon Richmond. The papers are evaluated by various factors such as article downloads, altmetrics, and citations, and shortlisted based on the science presented and potential future impact. Read more here.

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Postdoctoral associate Sarah Fletcher publishes research in Nature Communications

April 22nd, 20192019 News in Brief

Sarah Fletcher, a postdoctoral associate in Bacardi Stockholm Water Foundations Professor Dara Entekhabi’s lab, published research in Nature Communications called “Learning about climate change uncertainty enables flexible water infrastructure planning.” The researchers designed a new planning framework that provides information about regional climate change overtime in order to evaluate the necessity of the implementation of flexible approaches for water infrastructure planning in order to efficiently target a wide range of vulnerable communities. Read more here.

Sarah Fletcher, a postdoctoral associate in Bacardi Stockholm Water Foundations Professor Dara Entekhabi’s lab, published research in Nature Communications called “Learning about climate change uncertainty enables flexible water infrastructure planning.” The researchers designed a new planning framework that provides information about regional climate change overtime in order to evaluate the necessity of the implementation of flexible approaches for water infrastructure planning in order to efficiently target a wide range of vulnerable communities. Read more here.

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Professor Ali Jadbabaie wins Multiuniversity Research Initiative (MURI) award from US Department of Defense

April 16th, 20192019 News in Brief

JR East Professor Ali Jadbabaie won the Multiuniversity Research Initiative (MURI) award from the US Department of Defense for a 5-year basic research program. The award aims to support research efforts that contain more than one traditional science and engineering discipline. Jadbabaie’s project topic included the development of a unified theory of rational decision-making with behavioral and computational constraints. Read more here.  

JR East Professor Ali Jadbabaie won the Multiuniversity Research Initiative (MURI) award from the US Department of Defense for a 5-year basic research program. The award aims to support research efforts that contain more than one traditional science and engineering discipline. Jadbabaie’s project topic included the development of a unified theory of rational decision-making with behavioral and computational constraints. Read more here.

 

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Jeremy Gregory and researchers outline new pavement maintenance model

April 16th, 20192019 News in Brief

Executive director of the Concrete Sustainability Hub Jeremy Gregory outlines a new pavement maintenance model accounting for future uncertainties in cost and deterioration. Gregory and researchers proposed a new approach to long-term infrastructure preservation, called simulation optimization life-cycle analysis (LCCA). This method factors in the cost of future maintenance to an overall project, considering uncertainties related to timing, and treatment methods used to repair pavements. Read more on MIT News.

Executive director of the Concrete Sustainability Hub Jeremy Gregory outlines a new pavement maintenance model accounting for future uncertainties in cost and deterioration. Gregory and researchers proposed a new approach to long-term infrastructure preservation, called simulation optimization life-cycle analysis (LCCA). This method factors in the cost of future maintenance to an overall project, considering uncertainties related to timing, and treatment methods used to repair pavements. Read more on MIT News.

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Mechanics of Materials: Testing Compressive Strength of Concrete

April 3rd, 2019Undergraduate Student Life

By Rayna Higuchi '20 Hi CEE! I’m Rayna, a student in the Mechanics and Materials track, blogging about my experiences in Course 1. Today I’ll be talking about the class Mechanics of Materials (1.035), taught by Professor Ulm, with additional instructors, Stephen Rudolph and Omar Al-Dajani. A couple week ago, our class created several different mixes of concrete by varying the ratios of basic materials. The goal was to see how changing these proportions affect the strength of the concrete. The samples were placed in cylinders to set, them after a week were removed from the molds and covered in water to set for another week. From there, the ends were covered with Plaster of Paris, to even out the bumpy surface on the tops of the concrete so that the applied load is spread over the concrete’s surface more evenly. During this entire 21-day process, our concrete samples were continually hardening. Past studies have shown that the ideal time to cure is 28 days. After this, the change in concrete strength is insignificant, because the amount of unreacted material is so small relative to the total volume of the concrete. Due to timing constraints, our samples were only able to cure for three weeks but that should still be more than enough to get an idea of their relative strengths. Claire Holley (’21) and Luke Bastian (’21) measure the mass of a sample. The white coating on each end is the Plaster of Paris cap. Photo courtesy of Stephen [...]

By Rayna Higuchi ’20

Hi CEE! I’m Rayna, a student in the Mechanics and Materials track, blogging about my experiences in Course 1. Today I’ll be talking about the class Mechanics of Materials (1.035), taught by Professor Ulm, with additional instructors, Stephen Rudolph and Omar Al-Dajani.

A couple week ago, our class created several different mixes of concrete by varying the ratios of basic materials. The goal was to see how changing these proportions affect the strength of the concrete. The samples were placed in cylinders to set, them after a week were removed from the molds and covered in water to set for another week. From there, the ends were covered with Plaster of Paris, to even out the bumpy surface on the tops of the concrete so that the applied load is spread over the concrete’s surface more evenly.

During this entire 21-day process, our concrete samples were continually hardening. Past studies have shown that the ideal time to cure is 28 days. After this, the change in concrete strength is insignificant, because the amount of unreacted material is so small relative to the total volume of the concrete. Due to timing constraints, our samples were only able to cure for three weeks but that should still be more than enough to get an idea of their relative strengths.

Claire Holley (’21) and Luke Bastian (’21) measure the mass of a sample. The white coating on each end is the Plaster of Paris cap. Photo courtesy of Stephen Rudolph.

To test, we place an extensometer on each side of the sample. This helps us to measure the change in length of the sample as the material changes shape under pressure. In concrete, we do not expect a large change in length of our samples, because it is a very strong and very brittle material. Therefore we expect it to take a lot of weight, and then to shatter very suddenly with little warning. We loaded the specimens with a hydraulic press at a rate of 60kN/min, and measured the loading and displacement over time. These numbers, as well as measurements taken of the samples’ dimensions, will help us determine important material properties.

Claire Yost (’21, Course 3) and Foli Amaizo (’20) place an extensometer on their sample. Photo courtesy of Stephen Rudolph.

Sample Cylinder inside the hydraulic press pre-testing. The rubber bands connect to the extensometers on the sides. Photo courtesy of Stephen Rudolph.

My group had the sample with a higher water to cement ratio. We expect this sample to be weaker than the others: there is more available water than the given cement can withstand. Once all the cement is hydrated, going from the powder to what we think of as cement, the leftover water forms pores within the material. These pores decrease the strength. The results reflected this hypothesis, as every one of our samples was lower strength than that of the standard samples.

Labs like these are always interesting because they provide a very tactile method of learning. It’s one thing to know that there will be unreacted water in our concrete because I read it in a book. Opening the samples after we broke them and running our hands over the damp surfaces helped drive that point home more than any paper ever could. Next week, we’ll be designing our own sustainable concrete mixes, as we try to reduce the carbon footprint while increasing the strength. I’m looking forward to it!

CEE you next time!

One of the samples post-testing. Much of the larger aggregates, the gravel, have become dislodged from the cement. Photo courtesy of Stephen Rudolph.

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Tim Roberts ’19 named Google Cloud Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for Men’s Basketball

March 22nd, 20192019 News in Brief

Tim Roberts ’19 is named the Google Cloud Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for Division III Men’s Basketball. Roberts achieved second team honors in 2017-18, and this season had the best shooting season in school history with a 68.6 field goal percentage. Read more here.

Tim Roberts ’19 is named the Google Cloud Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for Division III Men’s Basketball. Roberts achieved second team honors in 2017-18, and this season had the best shooting season in school history with a 68.6 field goal percentage. Read more here.

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