Acopian Engineering Center was renovated in 2003 and houses all the engineering departments. The 90,000 square-foot, five-story structure houses the civil engineering department on the first and third floors.
In addition to a dedicated computer laboratory, the civil engineering department has laboratories in the areas of material testing, fluid mechanics, soil mechanics, surveying, and environmental analysis. A new digital image correlation lab is being developed in which computers and cameras will be used to measure how surfaces react to loads, as well as other equipment for studying physical strains on structures and objects.
In this laboratory, we test the theoretical principles and empirical equations of hydraulics at the bench-top and prototype scale. The fluids lab is equipped with flumes, pumps, piping, and tanks to give students hands-on experience with flow of water through a range of different conditions.
The structures lab is the place where students build structural components and scale models of steel, concrete, timber, and masonry. The lab contains the equipment needed for structural fabrication, particularly in steel and concrete. Some recent student projects include the construction of model steel truss bridges, girder bridges, and suspension bridges, reinforced concrete beams and columns, a concrete floor system, a masonry arch, as well as numerous steel connections. Typically, these models and components are load-tested to failure using either hydraulic or gravity loading.
The structural test lab is the primary place where students test structural components and scale models. The lab consists of a newly constructed structural strong-floor (installed October 2004); four, manual-universal test machines (two hydraulic and two displacement machines); a servo-hydraulic universal test machine; along with numerous servo-hydraulic and manual hydraulic actuators for a variety of strong-floor tests. The first testing program on the strong-floor will be conducted by students in the spring of 2005, devoted to large-scale testing of beam-column, with applications in earthquake-resistant design.
All structures, including buildings, bridges, dams, pipelines, highways, etc., have foundations in soil and/or rock. In addition, the movement of groundwater and contaminants in the subsurface (an important consideration in environmental engineering studies) is a function of the soil/rock type and structure. It is therefore important that all civil and environmental engineers have a background in the nature and behavior of soil materials so that they can understand and communicate information concerning the relative merits and problems associated with different soil/rock conditions. The geotechnical laboratory has equipment for both educational and research purposes. Equipment is available for the engineering classification of soil, studying the compaction properties of soil-fill material, and measuring the permeability, compressibility, and strength of soils. In addition, a 112-electrode resistivity system is available for using in conducting site investigations.
This lab is used in the Introduction to Environmental Engineering (CE 321) course, as well as upper-level electives such as Water Quality, Water Supply and Pollution Control, and Environmental Site Assessment. Together these courses focus on the assessment of environmental pollution and various methods of treatment. In CE 321, we take a “watershed approach” to a variety of point and nonpoint source issues (as is now common in practice), where environmental problems are viewed within the larger context of the watershed. In particular, we focus on assessment of environmental quality and sources of pollution in the Bushkill Creek Watershed adjacent to campus. This involves lab and field-testing, along with field trips to sites of environmental significance throughout the watershed and Easton.
The Civil and Environmental Computer Lab contains 16 new (August 2014 – replaced every three years) computers with dual, tilting-flat panel monitors. Appropriate specialized software, such as current versions of GIS, AutoCAD, are installed on each computer. Computers are accessible to all students and can be used all hours the building is open. There is also a large conference table in the center of the room for use in group projects and collaborative work.
This room contains four dual-monitor engineering computers for use in GIS and CAD-related projects. The room is also the location of a large flat-bed scanner for use in scanning in blueprints, as well as a cutting-edge plotter for creating engineering drawings.
Four computer workstations with dual flat-screen monitors are strategically located across the hall from the two structures labs, to enable students close contact among the areas of computer-aided design, fabrication, and testing.
This room is a work area and lounge for the civil engineering students. There are four computers that can run all engineering programs, a large conference work table, and a relaxing sofa/chair set. The room is used as a meeting place as well as a room for group work.