Instructional Laboratories


Engineering Geomatics

Engineering Geomatics is a field laboratory that teaches students basic and advanced geomatics techniques including light detection and range (LIDAR) imaging, georeferencing using total station and differential global positioning system (GPS) equipment, and integration of measurements with LIDAR mapping software and Google Earth. Experiments are conducted on campus.

Environmental Engineering Laboratories

The Environmental Engineering Laboratories are used for the study of basic laboratory techniques for characterizing water and wastewaters. Selected experiments include measurement of biochemical oxygen demand, suspended solids, dissolved oxygen hardness, and other parameters used in water quality control.

Experimental Fracture Mechanics Laboratory

The Experimental Fracture Mechanics Laboratory is used for preparing and testing specimens using modern dynamic testing machines to develop an understanding of fracture mechanics and to become familiar with experimental techniques available to study crack tip stress fields, strain energy release rate, surface flaws, and crack growth in laboratory samples.


Hydrology Laboratory

The Hydrology Laboratory is used for studying basic surface water processes and characterizing a range of geochemical parameters. Basic experiments include measurements of suspended solids, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, sediment distributions, and other basic water quality constituents. The laboratory also includes an extensive suite of equipment for measuring surface water processes in situ, including precipitation, stage height, discharge, channel geomorphology, and other physical parameters.



Soil Mechanics Laboratory

The Soil Mechanics Laboratory is used for performing experiments to establish data required for soil classification, soil compaction, shear strength of soils, soil settlement, and consolidation characteristics of soils. Students visit the Advanced Soil Mechanics Laboratory for demonstration of cyclic soil testing techniques, including triaxial and direct simple shear, and advanced data acquisition and processing.

Mechanical Vibrations Laboratory

The Mechanical Vibrations Laboratory is used for conducting free and forced vibration and earthquake response experiments on small model structures such as a three-story building, a portal frame, and a water intake/outlet tower for a reservoir. Two electro-magnetic exciters, each with a 30-pound dynamic force rating, are available for generating steady state forced vibrations. A number of accelerometers, LVDTs (displacement transducers), and potentiometers are available for measuring the motions of the structure. A laboratory view-based computer-controlled dynamic data acquisition system, an oscilloscope, and a spectrum analyzer are used to visualize and record the motion of the model structures.

Structural Design and Testing Laboratory

The Structural Design and Testing Laboratory is used for the design/optimization, construction, instrumentation, and testing of small-scale structural models to compare theoretical and observed behavior. Projects provide integrated design/laboratory experience involving synthesis of structural systems and procedures for measuring and analyzing response under load.

Reinforced Concrete Laboratory

The Reinforced Concrete Laboratory is available for students to conduct monotonic and cyclic loading to verify analysis and design methods for moderate-scale reinforced concrete slabs, beams, columns, and joints, which are tested to failure.

Research Laboratories

Building Earthquake Instrumentation Network

The Building Earthquake Instrumentation Network consists of more than 100 earthquake strong motion instruments in two campus buildings to measure the response of actual buildings during earthquakes. When combined with over 50 instruments placed in Century City high-rises and other nearby buildings, this network, which is maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the California Geological Survey’s Strong Instrumentation Motion Program, represents one of the most detailed building instrumentation networks in the world. The goal of the research conducted using the response of these buildings is to improve computer modeling methods and the ability of structural engineers to predict the performance of buildings during earthquakes.

Experimental Mechanics Laboratory

The Experimental Mechanics Laboratory supports two major activities: the Optical Metrology Laboratory and the Experimental Fracture Mechanics Laboratory.

In the Optical Metrology Laboratory, tools of modern optics are applied to engineering problems. Such techniques as holography, speckle-interferometry, Moiré analysis, and fluorescence-photo mechanics are used for obtaining displacement, stress, strain, or velocity fields in either solids or liquids. Recently, real-time video digital processors have been combined with these modern optical technical techniques, allowing direct interfacing with computer-based systems such as computer-aided testing or robotic manufacturing.

The Experimental Fracture Mechanics Laboratory is currently involved in computer-aided testing (CAT) of the fatigue fracture mechanics of ductile material. An online dedicated computer controls the experiment as well as records and manipulates data.

Large-Scale Structure Test Facility

The Large-Scale Structure Test Facility allows investigation of the behavior of large-scale structural components and systems subjected to gravity and earthquake loadings. The facility consists of a high-bay area with a 20 ft. x 50 ft. strong floor with anchor points at 3 ft. on center. Actuators with servohydraulic controllers are used to apply monotonic or cyclic loads. The area is serviced by two cranes. The facilities are capable of testing large-scale structural components under a variety of axial and lateral loadings.

Associated with the laboratory is an electrohydraulic universal testing machine with force capacity of 100 tons. The machine is used mainly to apply tensile and compressive loads to specimens so that the properties of the materials from which the speci-mens are made can be determined. It can also be used in fatigue-testing of small components.

Environmental Engineering Laboratories

The Environmental Engineering Laboratories are used for conducting water and waste-water analysis, including instrumental techniques such as GC, GC/MS, HPLC, TOC, IC, and particle counting instruments. A wide range of wet chemical analysis can be made in this facility with 6,000 square feet of laboratory space and an accompanying 4,000-square-foot rooftop facility where large pilot scale experiments can be conducted. Additionally, electron microscopy is available in another laboratory.

Recently studies have been conducted on oxygen transfer, storm water toxicity, transport of pollutants in soil, membrane fouling, removal from drinking water, and computer simulation of a variety of environmental processes.

Soil Mechanics Laboratory

The Soil Mechanics Laboratory is used for standard experiments and advanced research in geotechnical engineering, with equipment for static and dynamic triaxial and simple shear testing. Modem computer-controlled servo-hydraulic closed-loop system supports triaxial and simple shear devices. The system is connected to state-of-the-art data acquisition equipment. The laboratory also includes special simple shear apparatuses for small-strain static and cyclic testing and for one-dimensional or two-dimensional cyclic loading across a wide range of frequencies. A humidity room is available for storing soil samples.

Laboratory for the Chemistry of Construction Materials

Laboratory for the Physics of AmoRphous and Inorganic Solids

The Physics of AmoRphous and Inorganic Solids Laboratory (PARISlab) is used to connect atomistic modeling to macroscopic properties of materials of engineering interest, with a focus on non-crystalline materials (formed by quenching, irradiation, sol-gel, or impurities doping). The laboratory has a strong expertise in computational methods (DFT, molecular dynamics, mesoscale modeling, continuum methods) with an access to dedicated nodes on a state-of-the-art computing cluster. The laboratory also includes equipment for glasses synthesis, structural characterization, and mechanical testing. We work in close collaboration with the Laboratory for the Chemistry of Construction Materials (LC2).