University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Sustainable Design and Maintenance: A Path to Low-Impact Civil Infrastructures
To face the challenges such as climate change and spikes in greenhouse gas emissions, it is necessary to built frameworks for design and development of sustainable and resilient structural systems.
Our research integrates engineering mechanics, computational modeling, and novel techniques from stochastic analysis and data analytics, to investigate civil infrastructures at both component and network level, and minimize their environmental impact. We develop frameworks that link structural and material scale characteristics to the network scale environmental impact. These methods are crucial for making sustainable design and maintenance decisions.
In our research we develop mechanics-based models that quantify the carbon footprint of road transportation systems, and relate this footprint to the structural and surface characteristics of pavements, traffic and climatic conditions. The total GHG emission can be evaluated by integrating these models with Life Cycle Assessment tools.
To devise fully integrated frameworks for sustainable development, the mechanistic models that we develop must be integrated with real world observations via data analytics. To achieve this goal, we use data available to different federal and state agencies such as the data base of Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) Program of FHWA and other available data bases.
NEWS & EVENTS
Dr. Louhghalam's research was featured in MIT news
Research brief, June 2016
Research brief, September 2015
Research brief, August 2015
Dr. Louhghalam was an invited keynote speaker in the 5th Iberoamerican concrete pavement congress in October 2014
Research brief, December 2013
Research brief, April 2013
There is an inverse relation between the durability of structures and their maintenance cost and environmental impact. Durability of civil infrastructures depends on the properties of construction material as well as the design characteristics. One focus of our research is to study the impact of environmental stressors and thermo-chemo-mechanical evolutions across multiple scales on fracture, damage and durability.