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There are several complementary facilities at Auburn University dedicated to structural engineering research and instruction. The primary Structural Research Laboratory occupies 4850 sf of floor space in the Harbert Engineering Center, and has a usable height of 30 ft. The laboratory features a 30 ft x 60 ft reaction floor and a complete servo-controlled MTS closed-loop testing system. There are presently two large structural test frames available. A wide array of hydraulic pumps and actuators are on hand for use. Several Megadac and one Campbell CR9000 data acquisition systems are used in concert with numerous load-, displacement-, and strain-monitoring transducers. The laboratory is equipped with a loading dock and an overhead crane. Housed adjacent to the laboratory are graduate student offices, instrumentation preparation areas, equipment storage, a machine shop, and a carpentry shop.
The Structural Dynamics Laboratory is located next to the Structural Research Laboratory. This 2180-sf facility is particularly well suited for the dynamic testing of high-tension electrical power cables. This laboratory features integral cable anchorages at each end and an overhead crane.
The 1380-sf Structural Engineering Instructional Laboratory is used primarily for the laboratory exercises associated with the required undergraduate Structural Analysis course (CIVL 3610). This laboratory features three 60,000-lb universal test machines, a torsion test machine, and a variety of apparatus for demonstrating the principles of structural mechanics.
Even though the structural engineering facilities are excellent at Auburn University, the faculty often takes much of this equipment "on the road." With the support of the Highway Research Center, the Alabama Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration, Auburn had become a national leader in research involving the field testing and monitoring of existing bridge structures. This research is focused on determining better ways to assess the remaining service life of existing structures and on developing cost-effective methods for increasing this service life. You may have driven across one of our "laboratories" and not known it!