HajjarPortraitProfessor Jerome Hajjar of Northeastern University’s department of Civil and Environmental Engineering states:

“In civil engineering, anything that is expected to take any reasonable level of stress and strain or be subjected to elevated temperatures or to a lot of moisture needs to be tested and characterized.”

Northeastern’s CEE department is part of the university’s College of Engineering and shares the university’s three key focuses: security, health, and sustainability. Within CEE, three research “thrusts” reflect these themes.

  • Civil Infrastructure Security focuses on integrity and resilience of the built environment such as buildings, bridges, and roadways as well as wind, blast, and earthquake engineering.
  • Environmental Health combines environmental engineering and public health, and includes research of clean water systems and habitat restoration.
  • Sustainable Resource Engineering focuses on new approaches for developing built and natural environments to minimize new resource and energy consumption.

One of the challenges in civil engineering is that while engineers design structures not to collapse in major events, “we’re not very good at mimicking collapse in simulated environments,” says Hajjar. Whereas tension or shear failures can be quantified using standard test procedures, many forces are at play during a major event such as an earthquake or tsunami. Helping to meet this challenge is the profession’s increasing capability to simulate at the atomic and molecular level, which in turn helps characterize and design materials. The more microscopic the understanding of how material behaves, the greater the likelihood engineers can design new materials and associated structural systems appropriate to withstand extreme loadings.

At ADMET, we engineer microsystems that are adaptable to a variety of high magnification imaging, thus, enabling simultaneous measurement of macroscopic mechanical properties while viewing microscopic material behavior. With force capacities up to 5kN and a wide variety of grips, fixtures, heating and cooling chambers and fluid baths, the eXpert 4000 MicroTest systems are well suited for testing small sized samples needed to further . ADMET’s advanced controllers allow for static tension and compression tests plus more sophisticated sinewave and complex cyclic fatigue tests

To read more insight from Professor Hajjar, please see our newly released educational sector report.

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