The Florida Department of Transportation recently awarded civil engineering professor Paul Cosentino a total of $328,000 for two research projects.
The first may help engineers overcome some challenges of building bridges in Florida’s unique sand and silt. Florida soil makes installing bridge piles difficult because of its tendency to “bounce” piles back up by as much as three inches after driven into the ground. Cosentino and doctoral student Brian Wisnom will study soil data from around Florida to develop correlations between FDOT pile data and soil types.
The second grant, with help from co-principal investigators Matthew Jensen in Mechanical Engineering and Charles Bostater in the Department of Ocean Engineering and Sciences, is to evaluate the actual pile movements during impact in Florida sands using accelerometers, lasers and high-speed cameras.