Tuesday, July 28, 2015

UTSA Civil Engineering professor aids in bridge safety

Arturo

Arturo Montoya

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(July 3, 2013) -- According to a recent report issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers, one in nine of the nation's bridges are rated as structurally deficient. When a bridge collapses, it raises questions about the safety of millions of travelers. How did it pass inspection? What could have been done to prevent it from collapsing?

Arturo Montoya, assistant professor of civil engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), studies the aging of structures, such as steel bridges. This summer, he will embark on a yearlong project funded by a seed grant from UTSA and the Southwest Research Institute to develop a complex mathematical modeling system to determine the rate at which a steel structure deteriorates over time due to environmental factors.

"A bridge's age, design, traffic rate and load size are all currently figured into visual inspections," says Montoya. "However, another important factor that has not been incorporated into bridge inspections is the environmental impact on the structure's components. For example, a steel bridge near the ocean will corrode more quickly due to higher exposure to salt compared to the exact same bridge in San Antonio."

With the start-up funds, Montoya has purchased an accelerated corrosion chamber that he and his students will use to test the corrosion rate of steel under different environmental conditions. This research will help transportation agencies and safety inspectors more accurately predict a bridge's service time based on the probability of deterioration due to environmental conditions.

To learn more about the UTSA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, visit http://engineering.utsa.edu/CE. Connect online with UTSA at www.utsa.edu, www.facebook.com/utsa, www.twitter.com/utsa or www.youtube.com/utsa.

 

Did You Know?

Sometimes you have to see the little picture

UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.

That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.

Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.

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July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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