The Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department laboratories provide students with fully equipped space for education and research opportunities. The estimated size of the department’s total lab space is 40,000 SF.
Structural and Geotechnical Research Laboratory Facilities and Equipment
The geotechnical and structural engineering research labs at Drexel University provide a forum to perform large-scale experimentation across a broad range of areas including infrastructure preservation and renewal, structural health monitoring, geosynthetics, nondestructive evaluation, earthquake engineering, and novel ground modification approaches among others.
The Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department at Drexel University houses the Structural Testing Laboratory within the Frederick O. Hess Laboratory. A reaction floor 20 ft. wide by 50 ft. long and an L-shaped reaction wall 25 ft. high can accommodate biaxial testing of structural frames and wall subsystems.
The Hess laboratory also hosts large-scale geotechnical experimental facilities, including a shaking table, multiaxial tension test device, and a pilot-scale facility for large geotechnical engineering experiments. The lab is also equipped with a 32 channel HBM MGCplus data acquisition system. This system has a 24 bit A/D for each channel to enable synchronous data acquisition and is capable of sampling each channel up to 2.4 KHz. An array of sensors including LVDTs, wire potentiometers, linear and rotational accelerometers, and load cells are also available.
The Woodring Laboratory hosts a wide variety of geotechnical, geosynthetics, and materials engineering testing equipment. The geotechnical engineering testing equipment includes an automated cyclic triaxial testing device, a Geotac triaxial testing device, ring shear apparatus, constant rate of strain consolidometer, an automated incremental consolidometer, an automated direct shear device and a large-scale consolidometer (12” by 12” sample size). Other equipment includes a Fisher pH and conductivity meter as well as a Brookfield rotating viscometer. Electronic and digital equipment include FLIR SC 325 infrared camera for thermal measurements, NI Function generators, acoustic emission sensors and ultrasonic transducers, signal conditioners, and impulse hammers for nondestructive testing.
The geosynthetics testing equipment in the Woodring lab includes pressure cells for incubation and a new differential scanning calorimetry device including the standard-OIT. Materials testing equipment that is available through the materials and chemical engineering departments includes a scanning electron microscope, liquid chromatography, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.
Environmental Engineering Laboratory Facilities and Equipment
The environmental engineering laboratories at Drexel University allow faculty and student researchers access to state-of-the-art equipment needed to execute a variety of experiments. These facilities are located in the Alumni Engineering Laboratory Building and includes approximately 2000 SF shared laboratory space, a 400 SF clean room for cell culture and PCR, and approximately 800 SF shared space in Hess Labs for large/field equipment.
The major equipment used in this laboratory space consists of: Roche Applied Science LightCyclerÔ 480 Real-time PCR System, Leica fluorescence microscope with phase contrast and video camera, Spectrophotometer, Zeiss stereo microscope with heavy duty boom stand, fluorescence capability, and a SPOT cooled color camera, BIORAD iCycler thermocycler for PCR, gel readers, transilluminator and electrophoresis setups, temperature controlled circulator with immersion stirrers suitable for inactivation studies at volumes up to 2 L per reactor, BSL level 2 fume hood, laminar hood, soil sampling equipment, Percival Scientific environmental chamber (model 1-35LLVL), custom-built rainfall simulator.
The Drexel Air Resources Research Laboratory (DARRL) is located in the Alumni Engineering Laboratory Building and contains state-of-the-art aerosol measurement instrumentation including a Soot Particle Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (Aerodyne Research Inc.), mini-Aerosol Mass Spectrometer, (Aerodyne Research Inc.), Scanning Electrical Mobility Sizer (Brechtel Manufacturing), Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (TSI Inc.), Fast Mobility Particle Sizer (TSI Inc.), Centrifugal Particle Mass Analyzer (Cambustion Ltd.), GC-FID, ozone monitors, and other instrumentation. These instruments are used for the detailed characterization of the properties of particles less than 1 micrometer in diameter including: chemical composition, size, density, and shape or morphology.
In addition to the analytical instrumentation in DARRL, the laboratory houses several reaction chambers. These chambers are used for controlled experiments meant to simulate chemical reactions that occur in the indoor and outdoor environments. The reaction chambers vary in size from 15 L to 1 m3, and allow for a range of experimental conditions to be conducted in the laboratory.
Computer Equipment and Software
The Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department at Drexel University has hardware and software capabilities for students to conduct research. The CAEE department operates a computer lab that is divided into two sections; on open access room, and a section dedicated to teaching. The current computer lab has 25 desktop computers that are recently updated to handle resource intensive GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and image processing software. There are a sufficient number of B&W and color laser printers that can be utilized for basic printing purposes.
Drexel University has site-licenses for a number of software, such as ESRITM ArcGIS 10, Visual Studio, and MathworksTM Matlab. The Information Resources & Technology (IRT) department at Drexel University provides support (e.g., installation, maintenance and troubleshooting) to the abovementioned software. It is currently supporting the lab by hosting a software image configuration that provides a series of commonly used software packages, such as MS Office and ADOBE Acrobat among others. As a part of ESRI campus license (the primary maker of GIS applications, i.e. ArcGIS) the department has access to a suite of seated licenses for GIS software with necessary extensions (e.g., LIDAR Analyst) required for conducting research.