Florida Tech College of Engineering faculty members have been awarded about $750,000 in research contracts from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for three projects.
In one contract, Paul Cosentino, Ed Kalajian, Albert Bleakley and Yahya Sharaf-Eldeen have begun work on a 24-month, $225,000 project to develop tools that allow civil engineers to recognize new sites that could cause pile-driving problems. The research team will test soils at specified sites, evaluate the piles driven at these sites and produce information to allows the highway engineers to anticipate and avoid the bouncing or rebounding piles.
In the second contract, Cosentino and Bleakley will determine if ground-up tire chips can be reused by blending them with soils below the asphalt or concrete driving surface. This 24-month, $250,000 contract may allow a percentage of tire waste to be reused to improve drainage, which is critical for a long pavement life and helpful to the environment.
In the third contract, Cosentino and L. Daniel Otero will help the FDOT bridge and light mast pole inspectors improve their efficiency during a 24-month, $273,980 project. The contract is a “proof of concept” for using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for underside inspections of bridges over water and light mast poles.
Graduate doctoral and master’s program students, assisted by undergraduate research assistants, are also working with Cosentino on these projects. The final reports will be reviewed and approved by FDOT and disseminated nationwide to all 50 states.
PHOTO: From left: L. Danny Otero, principal investigator; Doug Schockley, FDOT bridge inspector; Paul Cosentino; and Nicolas Gagliardo, graduate student.