Current Civil Engineering News and Events

Current Civil Engineering News and Events, Civil Engineering News Articles.
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Controlling deflection in construction beams
In civil engineering, flexural beams are used to control the effect of vibrations that can cause cracks to appear in surfaces (concrete slabs) and beams. This is particularly important in buildings that require high tensile strength and where the use of machinery can cause a lot of vibrations that can disturb structural integrity. (2021-02-22)

Can bacteria make stronger cars, airplanes and armor?
Biological systems can harness their living cells for growth and regeneration, but engineering systems cannot. Until now.Researchers are harnessing living bacteria to create engineering materials that are strong, tolerant, and resilient. (2021-02-22)

In response to Stephen Colbert, FAU professor says 'spice it up'
A research professor gives a ''shout out'' to comedian Stephen Colbert. His motivation? Colbert previously referred to mathematical equations as the devil's sentences and an unnatural commingling of letters and numbers - the worst being the quadratic equation - an infernal salad of numbers, letters and symbols. In response, the professor suggests that mathematics education needs to be enlivened so that students will recognize that this discipline is not merely a necessary evil, but a vibrant, exciting and fascinating subject. (2021-02-17)

Climate change and suppression tactics are critical factors increasing fires
Both climate change and forest management have been blamed for wildfire hazards increasing across western North America, but the relative influence of these drivers is still heavily debated. The results of a recent study show that in some ecosystems, human-caused climate change is the predominant factor; in other places, the trend can also be attributed to a century of fire suppression that has produced dense, unhealthy forests. (2021-02-17)

Delayed medical treatment of high-impact injuries: A lesson from the Syrian civil war
Researchers report that patients injured in the facial bones by high-speed fire and operated on approximately 2-4 weeks after the injury suffered fewer post-operative complications compared to those wounded who underwent immediate surgical treatment. They hypothesize that this is due to a critical period of time before surgery, which facilitates healing and formation of new blood vessels in the area of the injury and, subsequently, an improvement in the blood and oxygen supply. (2021-02-16)

A groundbreaking solution? Polymers can protect buildings from large fault ruptures
University of Technology Sydney researchers have developed a solution to protect buildings sitting on deep foundations from earthquakes resulting in surface fault ruptures. Their findings show a composite foundation system using inexpensive polymer materials can significantly improve the safety of infrastructure and substantially decrease fatality and damage due to large ground deformations. (2021-02-15)

Origami powered by light
Some man-made materials can mimic plants' slow but steady reaction to light energy, usually triggered by lasers or focused ambient light. New research from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University has discovered a way to speed up this effect enough that its performance can compete against electrical and pneumatic systems. (2021-02-10)

Samara Polytech scientists proved the anti-cancer properties of a number of plant extracts
The composition of some extracts obtained from plant raw materials was studied at Samara Polytech, and their anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties were assessed. (2021-02-09)

Samara Polytech chemists simplify crystal structures
Samara Polytech scientists have developed new methods of modelling the crystal structure of chemical substances, which makes it possible to obtain additional information about the object under study, unknown in the initial experimental data, and also to find regularities determining its structure and properties. (2021-02-09)

Researchers use hot nano-chisel to create artificial bones in a Petri dish
In research in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, a team at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute (NYSF) detail a system allowing them to sculpt, in a biocompatible material, the exact structure of the bone tissue, with features smaller than the size of a single protein -- a billion times smaller than a meter. (2021-02-09)

The pandemic lockdown leads to cleaner city air across Canada, Concordia paper reveals
Researchers at Concordia University found that emission levels dropped dramatically over the course of the pandemic. They measured downtown air quality monitoring station data from eight Canadian cities and compared their concentration levels of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide between February and August 2020 to the figures recorded over the same period in 2018 and 2019. They also used satellite imagery and urban transportation fuel consumption figures to investigate emissions traffic congestion data provided by tracking technology embedded in phones and cars worldwide. (2021-02-09)

Civil engineers find link between hospitals and schools key to community resilience
Health care and education systems are two main pillars of a community's stability. How well and how quickly a community recovers following a natural disaster depends on the resilience of these essential social services. New research published in Nature Scientific Reports has found hospitals and schools are interdependent, suggesting their collective recovery must be considered in order to restore a community in the wake of disaster. (2021-02-05)

The business of bees
The economic value of insect pollinators was $34 billion in the U.S. in 2012, much higher than previously thought, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University. The team also found that areas that are economically most reliant on insect pollinators are the same areas where pollinator habitat and forage quality are poor. (2021-02-03)

New global 'wind atlas' propels sustainable energy
Wind energy scientists at Cornell University have released a new global wind atlas - a digital compendium filled with documented extreme wind speeds for all parts of the world - to help engineers select the turbines in any given region and accelerate the development of sustainable energy. (2021-02-03)

NTU Singapore team develops portable device that creates 3D images of skin in 10 minutes
A team from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a portable device that produces high-resolution 3D images of human skin within 10 minutes. (2021-02-02)

Recycling face masks into roads to tackle COVID-generated waste
Researchers have developed a new road-making material that mixes shredded single-use face masks with processed building rubble. Their analysis shows making just 1km of a 2-lane road with the material would enable 3 million face masks to be recycled and kept out of landfill. (2021-02-02)

Antarctica's ice melt isn't consistent, new analysis shows
Antarctic ice is melting, contributing massive amounts of water to the world's seas and causing them to rise - but that melt is not as linear and consistent as scientists previously thought, a new analysis of 20 years' worth of satellite data indicates. (2021-02-01)

Failed storage tanks pose atmospheric risks during disasters
Rice University engineers model the hypothetical threats from toxins released when aboveground storage tanks fail during a storm. Using data from hurricanes Ike and Harvey and from the Houston Ship Channel, they illustrate potential atmospheric pollutants during and after a disaster. (2021-02-01)

Even machines need their greens
Image that products could be strengthened with the same living materials that provide nutrients to strengthen trees. Professor Qiming Wang's research lab is one of the first to infuse 3-D printer ink with living material. The material has potential for greater strength, to be flexible and self-heal. (2021-01-27)

Researchers use nanomaterials to make 2D diamond clusters at room temperature
2D hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is a promising material that can undergo transition to strong, super lightweight films. Researchers at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering led by Elisa Riedo have discovered that h-BN in layered, molecule-thin 2D sheets can phase transition to c-BN at room temperature. (2021-01-26)

How does incident solar radiation affect urban canyons?
Toyohashi University of Technology proposed a numerical bead model to predict the upward-to-downward reflection ratio of glass bead retro-reflective (RR) material purposed for urban heat island (UHI) mitigation and reducing energy consumption. These results will contribute to existing research on the absorption or reflection of solar radiation to improve urban thermal and lighting conditions, and to reduce building energy consumption. (2021-01-25)

Abusive bosses 'fake nice' instead of 'make nice'
Rather than take steps to genuinely repair damage caused by their abusive behavior, such as offering sincere apologies, many of the bosses in this study were more concerned about repairing their social images. (2021-01-22)

Sequencing of wastewater useful for control of SARS-CoV-2
Viral genome sequencing of wastewater can detect new SARS-CoV-2 variants before they are detected by local clinical sequencing, according to a new study reported in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The ability to track SARS-CoV-2 mutations in wastewater could be particularly useful for tracking new variants, like the B.1.17 strain that is now widespread in the U.K. and has already been introduced in the US. (2021-01-19)

New COVID-19 model shows little benefit in vaccinating high-risk individuals first
Maurizio Porfiri, Institute Professor at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, led a team that developed a novel theory and simulation platform for modeling COVID spread over the entire town of New Rochelle, located in Westchester County in New York State. The paper, ''High-Resolution Agent-Based Modeling of COVID-19 Spreading in a Small Town,'' published in Advanced Theory and Simulations, details the findings. (2021-01-19)

Methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells underestimated
A recent McGill study published in Environmental Science and Technology finds that annual methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas (AOG) wells in Canada and the US have been greatly underestimated - by as much as 150% in Canada, and by 20% in the US. Indeed, the research suggests that methane gas emissions from AOG wells are currently the 10th and 11th largest sources of anthropogenic methane emission in the US and Canada, respectively. (2021-01-19)

UCI researchers: Climate change will alter the position of the Earth's tropical rain belt
In a study to be published Jan. 18 in Nature Climate Change, researchers at the University of California, Irvine describe future changes to the tropical rain belt with expected climate change. The changes will cause droughts in large sections of the globe, threatening biodiversity and food security. (2021-01-18)

Water and gender equality
New Stanford research finds installing piped water in rural Zambian homes frees up time in the daily lives of women and girls, while also promoting economic growth and food security - making an argument for piped water infrastructure investments across rural, low-income areas. (2021-01-14)

Low cost chlorine dispensing device improves tap water safety in low-resource regions
Engineers have developed an inexpensive chlorine dispensing device that improves the safety of drinking water in remote and low resource regions at the point of collection. It requires no electricity and very little maintenance, and provides a quick and easy way to eliminate water borne pathogens. (2021-01-14)

New method helps pocket-sized DNA sequencer achieve near-perfect accuracy 
Researchers have found a simple way to eliminate almost all sequencing errors produced by a widely used portable DNA sequencer (Oxford Nanopore Technologies' MinION device). (2021-01-12)

New climate change study: Number of people suffering extreme droughts will double
Michigan State University is leading a global research effort to offer the first worldwide view of how climate change could affect water availability and drought severity in the decades to come. By the late 21st century, global land area and population facing extreme droughts could more than double -- increasing from 3% during 1976-2005 to 7%-8%, according to Yadu Pokhrel, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in MSU's College of Engineering, and lead author of the research published in Nature Climate Change. (2021-01-11)

First global study shows uneven urbanization among large cities in the last two decades
In the first-ever study on the characteristics of urbanization in large cities around the world, researchers at the University of Hong Kong analyzed cities' urban built-up areas (BUAs) expansion, population growth and greening BUA changes, and revealed a hugely uneven pace of urbanization in those cities in the last two decades. They warn against major challenges posed to sustainable development if the urban problems are not dealt with in a timely manner. (2021-01-06)

Controlling the nanoscale structure of membranes is key for clean water, researchers find
A desalination membrane acts as a filter for salty water: push the water through the membrane, get clean water suitable for agriculture, energy production and even drinking. The process seems simple enough, but it contains complex intricacies that have baffled scientists for decades -- until now. Researchers from Penn State, The University of Texas at Austin, Iowa State University, Dow Chemical Company and DuPont Water Solutions published a key finding in understanding how membranes actually filter minerals from water, online today (Dec. 31) in Science. (2020-12-31)

Desalination breakthrough could lead to cheaper water filtration
Producing clean water at a lower cost could be on the horizon after researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and Penn State solved a complex problem that has baffled scientists for decades, until now. (2020-12-31)

Researchers measure, model desalination membranes to maximize flow, clean more water
A team of researchers -- including engineers from Iowa State University -- have used transmission electron microscopy and 3D computational modeling to quantify and visualize why some desalination membranes work better than others. (2020-12-31)

'Peecycling' payoff: Urine diversion shows multiple environmental benefits when used at city scale
Diverting urine away from municipal wastewater treatment plants and recycling the nutrient-rich liquid to make crop fertilizer would result in multiple environmental benefits when used at city scale, according to a new University of Michigan-led study. (2020-12-15)

Applying compost to landfills could have environmental benefits
Many people think of composting organic matter as a way of keeping solid waste out of landfills, but a new study finds there can be significant environmental benefits associated with using compost at landfills. (2020-12-14)

Benefits of renewable energy vary from place to place
A new study finds the environmental benefits of renewable power generation vary significantly, depending on the nature of the conventional power generation that the renewable energy is offsetting. The researchers hope the work will help target future renewable energy investments in places where they can do the most good. (2020-12-14)

Salt-tolerant bacteria with an appetite for sludge make biodegradable plastics
The United States generates seven million tons of sewage sludge annually, enough to fill 2,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools. While a portion of this waste is repurposed for manure and other land applications, a substantial amount is still disposed of in landfills. In a new study, Texas A&M University researchers have uncovered an efficient way to use leftover sludge to make biodegradable plastics. (2020-12-14)

NUS engineers discover new microbe for simpler, cheaper and greener wastewater treatment
Researchers from NUS have discovered a new strain of bacterium that can remove both nitrogen and phosphorous from sewage wastewater. Their findings offer a simpler, cheaper and greener method of wastewater treatment. (2020-12-08)

Wastewater testing for COVID-19
A new wastewater testing approach capable of better detecting viral infection patterns in communities could prove a crucial step toward an informed public health response to diseases like COVID-19. (2020-12-07)

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