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Civil and Environmental Engineering

Environmental Facilities

The environmental laboratories within the civil and environmental engineering department include facilities for characterizing, analyzing and evaluating the fate and transport of emerging contaminants to include pharmaceuticals and engineered nanomaterials in the environment.

Physical and chemical characterization facilities include:

  • a multigas adsorption instrument for surface area and pore size measurement,
  • a high-resolution, thermogravimetric analysis-mass spectrometer (TA Instruments TGA-DSC 2920) and
  • an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS, Perkin Elmer ELAN 6000 Series DRC-II) with a laser ablation system.

Imaging and analysis equipment includes:

A state-of-the-art, high-resolution, environmental scanning electron microscope (FEI Quanta 650 FEG) allows for imaging and analysis of pressure sensitive samples such as nanomaterials and other environmental materials, including wet samples. A key feature of the system is the integration with energy dispersive spectroscopy for elemental analysis and electron-backscattered diffraction for mapping of nanomaterial agglomeration site recognition.

The environmental laboratory also includes a dedicated, rack-mounted, 64-bit, quad-core, Dell server class computer with 16 gigabytes of RAM running Materials Studio 6.0 from Accelrys, a software environment for execution and visualization of molecular dynamics simulations with parallel processing capabilities.