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Civil and Environmental Engineering

Environmental Materials & Materials Durability

At the forefront of infrastructure and environmental materials development and assessment, Vanderbilt researchers address challenges related to the conservation of natural resources and the development of a sustainable environment and infrastructure. The research encompasses both experimental and computational approaches that span the molecular to the macroscopic scales and is at the intersection of environmental chemistry, materials science, engineering, mechanics, and computational science. The Materials Durability and Environmental Research Facilities Hub provides core facilities in support of research on the performance and durability of natural and engineered materials and systems exposed to a wide range of environmental conditions.

Environmental Materials & Materials Durability

Graduate students work alongside faculty researchers who are pursuing topics such as:

  • Use 3D printing technology and nano-engineering for the development of sustainable and more-durable materials with reduced environmental impact.
  • Develop novel materials and membrane technologies for water purification, desalination, and energy harvesting.
  • Evaluate long-term performance and durability of cementitious waste forms and cement-based materials exposed to a wide range of environmental conditions (water, carbon dioxide, salts, temperature, and radiation).
  • Develop laboratory test methods and source term models for evaluation of environmental stresses on advanced materials.

What current graduate students are doing within the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering:

  • Jingjing Bu obtained her B.E. in Environmental Engineering from Dalian University of Technology and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Joseph Fourier in Grenoble. Her research interests include the long-term confinement of nuclear wastes and the use of molecular dynamics modeling to study the adsorption mechanisms of radionuclides onto cement phases.
  • Baig Al Muhit obtained his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida, and an M.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Central Florida. His research interests include molecular dynamics simulation of fiber reinforced cement phases and hydroxyapatite and cohesive zone modeling.
  • Zhangxin Wang obtained his B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Xi'an Jiaotong University and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Purdue University. His research focuses on membrane desalination technologies.

What graduates of the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering are doing:

  • Dr. Catherine Stephens is working at the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, MS. Her dissertation was Multiscale Performance of Cement-Based Composites with Carbon Nanofibers.
  • Dr. Josh Arnold is working as a data science application developer at the Vanderbilt University Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education (ACCRE). His dissertation was Aging Processes in Cementitious Materials: Approaches to Experimental Parameter Estimation and Model Validation.