Infrastructure, Energy Top CIGMAT 2014 Agenda

May 2014, Vol. 69 No. 5
Professor C. Vipulanandan, PhD, (left) with President David Daniel, University of Texas at Dallas, TX

The second session explored flooding, maintenance and geotechnical issues by guest speakers Mike Talbott, director, Harris County flood Control; Dale Rudick, deputy director of the Houston’s public works and engineering department; and Kenneth Tand from Kenneth Tand and Associates. Topics included the Memorial Park Demonstration Project; funding for and efforts to make better, sustainable streets and drainage systems under the Rebuild Houston plan; and case studies highlighted using the Potential Vertical Rise (PVR) method used to predict the behavior of swelling clay soils.

President David Daniel, University of Texas at Dallas, delivered the ninth Mike O’Neill Lecture on the “Deepwater Horizon Accident.” Presented were the findings from the committee and the lessons learned from the disaster. Dr. Vipulanandan followed with a presentation on “Development of Smart Cement for Real-Time Monitoring of Oil Well Cementing Applications.” The smart cement currently being developed at CIGMAT has high sensing and piezoresistive properties so it can be monitored from the time of placement to the service life. The audience heard out this capability can improve the level of monitoring to minimize the failures that occur due to cement failure, including what happened at Deepwater Horizon.

The final session on “New Technologies for Maintaining and Monitoring” highlighted issues related to in-place evaluation of water pipeline conditions and life expectancy, consideration of Houston’s pavement design standards and extending the lifecycle of storm water culverts utilizing organic/inorganic materials. Speakers included Aldo Ranzani, Public Works and Department, city of Austin; Mike Pezeshki, managing engineer, Public Works and Engineering Department for the city of Houston; and Michael Vargo, technical consultant for Barton Industries, Atlanta, GA.

Vipulanandan, standing center in back row, with CIGMAT graduate students.
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A reception was held in the exhibit area where posters were on view relating to research activities at CIGMAT and in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. A number of grouting, pipe manufacturers, material suppliers, pipe condition monitoring and waste water rehabilitation companies participated in the exhibition.

For conference proceedings, visit cigmat.cive.uh.edu. CIGMAT 2015 will be held on March 6 at the University Hilton, University of Houston.