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Advancing the Strategic Plan 2020 - Spring 2018


SUSTAINABLE URBAN COMMUNITIES “UTA will foster sustainable urban communities through a focus on the natural, built, economic, cultural, and social environments. Learning from the past and present to ensure a sustainable future, UTA will understand and interpret demographic change and the broad spectrum of human capital.” SLOWING SETTLE- MENT : Anand Puppala and Xinbao Yu are using giant lightweight geofoam blocks to bolster the earth between roads and bridges and slow its settling. MANAGING AIR TRAFFIC: Yan Wan is developing ways to model and control tasks in large-scale dynamic networks and cyber-physical systems, with applications to air traffic management and airborne networking. MONITORING TRACKS: A team from Civil Engineering and UTARI is using unmanned aerial vehicles to collect data on the condition of railroad tracks and crossings. CROWDSOURCING FLOODS: D.J. Seo launched a cellphone app to encourage the public to report flooding on streets, helping to increase the safety of motorists during flash flooding. HELPING CITIES: Steve Mattingly is developing ways to help local governments improve safety, health, air quality, and access in their regional transportation plans. REINFORCING ROADS: Sahadat Hossain is using modified moisture barriers to improve sub-base repair of roads and reduce cracking, as well as recycled plastic pins to stop shifting in retaining walls along highways. WARMING BRIDGES: Xinbao Yu is testing concepts to use geothermal energy to make Texas bridges and overpasses safer during winter weather. TESTING PIPES: Ali Abolmaali is testing fiber-reinforced concrete pipes used in culverts in highway projects in Texas and Florida to see how they work in wetdry conditions. PLANNING AND POLICY Building a sustainable urban megacity starts with a cogent, livable plan that ensures quality of life issues are secured. Led by Director Shima Hamidi, researchers in the Center for Transportation, Equity, Decisions, and Dollars (CTEDD) are creating an innovation index, building transportation policies that encourage electric vehicle adoption, and testing and developing an RFID system for effective maintenance of existing transportation infrastructure. Additionally, through a CTEDD grant, Diane Jones Allen, director of UTA’s landscape architecture program, and Arne Winguth, earth and environmental sciences professor, are assessing transit desert communities after extreme weather events. The two will build a vulnerability assessment that combines storm surge and extreme rainfall projections with transit deserts. Their work can be seen at CTEDD’s website, 4 THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON

SUSTAINABLE URBAN COMMUNITIES RECENT PROGRESS PLANNING FOR NATURAL DISASTERS Civil engineering Assistant Professor Nick Fang’s radar-based flood warning system proved instrumental in keeping Houston’s medical district above water during Hurricane Harvey and its flooding aftermath. He is continuing to develop and refine the technology for Rice University and Texas Medical Center and is working with the cities of Grand Prairie and Carrollton to develop similar systems. Dr. Fang was appointed to chair the academic council of the Interagency Flood Risk Management team to assist federal agencies like FEMA and the National Weather Service in identifying flood risks and providing technical recommendations. Fellow civil engineering faculty member Samantha Sabatino is building computational platforms to enable performance monitoring of large structures under various hazards and levels of climate change. ASSESSING EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE Several College of Engineering researchers are using innovative models and technology to assess infrastructure damage after natural disasters. Anand Puppala, the college’s associate dean for research, has spent the past several years using data taken at the Eagle Mountain Lake dam to create a framework that future investigators can employ to determine if a dam has sustained damage from earthquakes. He and Junzhou Huang, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, also recently received an NSF Rapid Response Research grant to use unmanned aerial vehicles to create highly accurate 3-D and profile maps of the storm debris left from Hurricane Harvey so officials know the full extent of what needs to be removed. ASSESSING DURABILITY AND REHABILITATION NEEDS Civil engineering Professors Ali Abolmaali, Nur Yazdani, Melanie Sattler, and Mo Najafi are working on projects that assess the condition of pipes, manholes, and bridges for various public agency partners. Dr. Abolmaali, who is also chair of the department, is investigating the behavior of large-diameter water transmission pipes in different soils to establish modeling standards that can be used by the industry in future infrastructure projects. Dr. Yazdani received a contract to inspect and evaluate new and existing concrete bridge components using nondestructive methods. Dr. Sattler is inspecting concrete manhole shafts f or corrosion in the City of Arlington to help officials develop a method to prioritize which need protection. Six state transportation departments and a national cooperative awarded Dr. Najafi a grant to develop design methodologies for lining storm-water pipes with a sprayed polymer or cement-like material coating that can extend their design life. BOLD SOLUTIONS GLOBAL IMPACT 5