Matching Items (282)
- All Subjects: Civil Engineering
- Genre: Academic theses
- Genre: Doctoral Dissertation
This dissertation research is concerned with the study of two important traffic phenomena; merging and lane-specific traffic behavior. First, this research investigates merging traffic behavior through empirical analysis and evaluation of freeway merge ratios. Merges are important components of freeways and traffic behavior around them have a significant impact in the evolution and stability of congested traffic. At merges, drivers from conflicting traffic branches take turns to merge into a single stream at a rate referred to as the “merge ratio”. In this research, data from several freeway merges was used to evaluate existing macroscopic merge models and theoretical principles of merging behavior. Findings suggest that current merge ratio estimation methods can be insufficient to represent site-specific merge ratios, due to observed within-site variations and unaccounted effects of downstream merge geometry. To overcome these limitations, merge ratios were formulated based on their site-specific lane flow distribution (LFD), the proportion of flow in each freeway lane, for two types of merge geometries. Results demonstrate that the proposed methods are able to improve merge ratio estimates, reproduce within-site variations of merge ratio, and represent more effectively disproportionate redistribution of merging flow for merges where vehicles compete directly to merge due a downstream lane reduction.
Second, this research investigates lane-specific traffic behavior through empirical analysis and statistical modeling of lane flow distribution. Lane-specific traffic behavior is also an important component in evaluating freeway performance and has a significant impact in the mechanism of queue evolution, particularly around merges, and bottleneck discharge rate. In this research, site-specific linear LFD trends of three-lane congested freeways were investigated and modeled. A large-scale data collection process was implemented to systematically characterize the effects of several traffic and geometric features of freeways in the occurrence of between-site LFD variations. Also, an innovative three-stage modeling framework was used to model LFD behavior using multiple logistic regression to describe between-site LFD variations and Dirichlet regression to model recurrent combinations of linear LFD trends. This novel approach is able to represent both between and within site variations of LFD trends better, while accounting for the unit-sum constraint and distribution assumptions inherent of proportions data. Results revealed that proximity to freeway merges, a site’s level of congestion, and the presence of HOV lanes are significant factors that influence site-specific recurrent LFD behavior.
Findings from this work significantly improve the state-of-the-art knowledge on merging and lane-specific traffic behavior, which can help to improve traffic operations and reduce traffic congestion in freeways.
Optimization model for design of vegetative filter strips for stormwater management and sediment control
Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are an effective methodology used for storm water management particularly for large urban parking lots. An optimization model for the design of vegetative filter strips that minimizes the amount of land required for stormwater management using the VFS is developed in this study. The resulting optimization model is based upon the kinematic wave equation for overland sheet flow along with equations defining the cumulative infiltration and infiltration rate.
In addition to the stormwater management function, Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are effective mechanisms for control of sediment flow and soil erosion from agricultural and urban lands. Erosion is a major problem associated with areas subjected to high runoffs or steep slopes across the globe. In order to effect economy in the design of grass filter strips as a mechanism for sediment control & stormwater management, an optimization model is required that minimizes the land requirements for the VFS. The optimization model presented in this study includes an intricate system of equations including the equations defining the sheet flow on the paved and grassed area combined with the equations defining the sediment transport over the vegetative filter strip using a non-linear programming optimization model. In this study, the optimization model has been applied using a sensitivity analysis of parameters such as different soil types, rainfall characteristics etc., performed to validate the model
Integrating sustainability grand challenges and active, experiential learning into undergraduate engineering education
Engineering education can provide students with the tools to address complex, multidisciplinary grand challenge problems in sustainable and global contexts. However, engineering education faces several challenges, including low diversity percentages, high attrition rates, and the need to better engage and prepare students for the role of a modern engineer. These challenges can be addressed by integrating sustainability grand challenges into engineering curriculum.
Two main strategies have emerged for integrating sustainability grand challenges. In the stand-alone course method, engineering programs establish one or two distinct courses that address sustainability grand challenges in depth. In the module method, engineering programs integrate sustainability grand challenges throughout existing courses. Neither method has been assessed in the literature.
This thesis aimed to develop sustainability modules, to create methods for evaluating the modules’ effectiveness on student cognitive and affective outcomes, to create methods for evaluating students’ cumulative sustainability knowledge, and to evaluate the stand-alone course method to integrate sustainability grand challenges into engineering curricula via active and experiential learning.
The Sustainable Metrics Module for teaching sustainability concepts and engaging and motivating diverse sets of students revealed that the activity portion of the module had the greatest impact on learning outcome retention.
The Game Design Module addressed methods for assessing student mastery of course content with student-developed games indicated that using board game design improved student performance and increased student satisfaction.
Evaluation of senior design capstone projects via novel comprehensive rubric to assess sustainability learned over students’ curriculum revealed that students’ performance is primarily driven by their instructor’s expectations. The rubric provided a universal tool for assessing students’ sustainability knowledge and could also be applied to sustainability-focused projects.
With this in mind, engineering educators should pursue modules that connect sustainability grand challenges to engineering concepts, because student performance improves and students report higher satisfaction. Instructors should utilize pedagogies that engage diverse students and impact concept retention, such as active and experiential learning. When evaluating the impact of sustainability in the curriculum, innovative assessment methods should be employed to understand student mastery and application of course concepts and the impacts that topics and experiences have on student satisfaction.
A simplified bilinear moment-curvature model are derived based on the moment-curvature response generated from a parameterized stress-strain response of strain softening and or strain-hardening material by Dr. Barzin Mobasher and Dr. Chote Soranakom. Closed form solutions are developed for deflection calculations of determinate beams subjected to usual loading patterns at any load stage. The solutions are based on a bilinear moment curvature response characterized by the flexural crack initiation and ultimate capacity based on a deflection hardening behavior. Closed form equations for deflection calculation are presented for simply supported beams under three point bending, four point bending, uniform load, concentrated moment at the middle, pure bending, and for cantilever beam under a point load at the end, a point load with an arbitrary distance from the fixed end, and uniform load. These expressions are derived for pre-cracked and post cracked regions. A parametric study is conducted to examine the effects of moment and curvature at the ultimate stage to moment and curvature at the first crack ratios on the deflection. The effectiveness of the simplified closed form solution is demonstrated by comparing the analytical load deflection response and the experimental results for three point and four point bending. The simplified bilinear moment-curvature model is modified by imposing the deflection softening behavior so that it can be widely implemented in the analysis of 2-D panels. The derivations of elastic solutions and yield line approach of 2-D panels are presented. Effectiveness of the proposed moment-curvature model with various types of panels is verified by comparing the simulated data with the experimental data of panel test.
The need for rapid, specific and sensitive assays that provide a detection of bacterial indicators are important for monitoring water quality. Rapid detection using biosensor is a novel approach for microbiological testing applications. Besides, validation of rapid methods is an obstacle in adoption of such new bio-sensing technologies. In this study, the strategy developed is based on using the compound 4-methylumbelliferyl glucuronide (MUG), which is hydrolyzed rapidly by the action of E. coli β-D-glucuronidase (GUD) enzyme to yield a fluorogenic product that can be quantified and directly related to the number of E. coli cells present in water samples. The detection time required for the biosensor response ranged from 30 to 120 minutes, depending on the number of bacteria. The specificity of the MUG based biosensor platform assay for the detection of E. coli was examined by pure cultures of non-target bacterial genera and also non-target substrates. GUD activity was found to be specific for E. coli and no such enzymatic activity was detected in other species. Moreover, the sensitivity of rapid enzymatic assays was investigated and repeatedly determined to be less than 10 E. coli cells per reaction vial concentrated from 100 mL of water samples. The applicability of the method was tested by performing fluorescence assays under pure and mixed bacterial flora in environmental samples. In addition, the procedural QA/QC for routine monitoring of drinking water samples have been validated by comparing the performance of the biosensor platform for the detection of E. coli and culture-based standard techniques such as Membrane Filtration (MF). The results of this study indicated that the fluorescence signals generated in samples using specific substrate molecules can be utilized to develop a bio-sensing platform for the detection of E. coli in drinking water. The procedural QA/QC of the biosensor will provide both industry and regulatory authorities a useful tool for near real-time monitoring of E. coli in drinking water samples. Furthermore, this system can be applied independently or in conjunction with other methods as a part of an array of biochemical assays in order to reliably detect E. coli in water.
Comparison of public private partnership with traditional delivery methods in highway construction industry
Public-Private Partnerships (P3) in North America have become a trend in the past two decades and are gaining attention in the transportation industry with some large scale projects being delivered by this approach. This is due to the need for alternative funding sources for public projects and for improved efficiency of these projects in order to save time and money. Several research studies have been done, including mature markets in Europe and Australia, on the cost and schedule performance of transportation projects but no similar study has been conducted in North America. This study focuses on cost and schedule performance of twelve P3 transportation projects during their construction phase, costing over $100 million each, consisting of roads and bridges only with no signature tunnels. The P3 approach applied in this study is the Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM) model and the results obtained are compared with similar research studies on North American Design-Build (DB) and Design-Bid-Build (DBB) projects. The schedule performance for P3 projects in this study was found to be -0.23 percent versus estimated as compared to the 4.34 percent for the DBB projects and 11.04 percent for the DB projects in the Shrestha study, indicating P3 projects are completed in less time than other methods. The cost performance in this study was 0.81 percent for the P3 projects while in the Shrestha study the average cost increase for the four DB projects was found to be 1.49 percent while for the DBB projects it was 12.71 percent, again indicating P3 projects reduce cost compared to other delivery approaches. The limited number of projects available for this study does not allow us to draw an explicit conclusion on the performance of P3s in North America but paves the way for future studies to explore more data as it becomes available. However, the results in this study show that P3 projects have good cost and schedule adherence to the contract requirements. This study gives us an initial comparison of P3 performance with the more traditional approach and shows us the empirical benefits and limitations of the P3 approach in the highway construction industry.
The development and engineering application of a fiber reinforced hybrid matrix composite for structural retrofitting and damage mitigation
Civil infrastructures are susceptible to damage under the events of natural or manmade disasters. Over the last two decades, the use of emerging engineering materials, such as the fiber-reinforced plastics (FRPs), in structural retrofitting have gained significant popularity. However, due to their inherent brittleness and lack of energy dissipation, undesirable failure modes of the FRP-retrofitted systems, such as sudden laminate fracture and debonding, have been frequently observed. In this light, a Carbon-fiber reinforced Hybrid-polymeric Matrix Composite (or CHMC) was developed to provide a superior, yet affordable, solution for infrastructure damage mitigation and protection. The microstructural and micromechanical characteristics of the CHMC was investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and nanoindentation technique. The mechanical performance, such as damping, was identified using free and forced vibration tests. A simplified analytical model based on micromechanics was developed to predict the laminate stiffness using the modulus profile tested by the nanoindentation. The prediction results were verified by the flexural modulus calculated from the vibration tests. The feasibility of using CHMC to retrofit damaged structural systems was investigated via a series of structural component level tests. The effectiveness of using CHMC versus conventional carbon-fiber reinforced epoxy (CF/ epoxy) to retrofit notch damaged steel beams were tested. The comparison of the test results indicated the superior deformation capacity of the CHMC retrofitted beams. The full field strain distributions near the critical notch tip region were experimentally determined by the digital imaging correlation (DIC), and the results matched well with the finite element analysis (FEA) results. In the second series of tests, the application of CHMC was expanded to retrofit the full-scale fatigue-damaged concrete-encased steel (or SRC) girders. Similar to the notched steel beam tests, the CHMC retrofitted SRC girders exhibited substantially better post-peak load ductility than that of CF/ epoxy retrofitted girder. Lastly, a quasi-static push over test on the CHMC retrofitted reinforced concrete shear wall further highlighted the CHMC's capability of enhancing the deformation and energy dissipating potential of the damaged civil infrastructure systems. Analytical and numerical models were developed to assist the retrofitting design using the newly developed CHMC material.
The shift of precipitation maxima on the annual maximum series using regional climate model precipitation data
Ten regional climate models (RCMs) and atmosphere-ocean generalized model parings from the North America Regional Climate Change Assessment Program were used to estimate the shift of extreme precipitation due to climate change using present-day and future-day climate scenarios. RCMs emulate winter storms and one-day duration events at the sub-regional level. Annual maximum series were derived for each model pairing, each modeling period; and for annual and winter seasons. The reliability ensemble average (REA) method was used to qualify each RCM annual maximum series to reproduce historical records and approximate average predictions, because there are no future records. These series determined (a) shifts in extreme precipitation frequencies and magnitudes, and (b) shifts in parameters during modeling periods. The REA method demonstrated that the winter season had lower REA factors than the annual season. For the winter season the RCM pairing of the Hadley regional Model 3 and the Geophysical Fluid-Dynamics Laboratory atmospheric-land generalized model had the lowest REA factors. However, in replicating present-day climate, the pairing of the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics' Regional Climate Model Version 3 with the Geophysical Fluid-Dynamics Laboratory atmospheric-land generalized model was superior. Shifts of extreme precipitation in the 24-hour event were measured using precipitation magnitude for each frequency in the annual maximum series, and the difference frequency curve in the generalized extreme-value-function parameters. The average trend of all RCM pairings implied no significant shift in the winter annual maximum series, however the REA-selected models showed an increase in annual-season precipitation extremes: 0.37 inches for the 100-year return period and for the winter season suggested approximately 0.57 inches for the same return period. Shifts of extreme precipitation were estimated using predictions 70 years into the future based on RCMs. Although these models do not provide climate information for the intervening 70 year period, the models provide an assertion on the behavior of future climate. The shift in extreme precipitation may be significant in the frequency distribution function, and will vary depending on each model-pairing condition. The proposed methodology addresses the many uncertainties associated with the current methodologies dealing with extreme precipitation.
Utilization of metaheuristic methods in the holistic optimization of municipal right of way infrastructure management
This dissertation presents a portable methodology for holistic planning and optimization of right of way infrastructure rehabilitation that was designed to generate monetary savings when compared to planning that only considers single infrastructure components. Holistic right of way infrastructure planning requires simultaneous consideration of the three right of way infrastructure components that are typically owned and operated under the same municipal umbrella: roads, sewer, and water. The traditional paradigm for the planning of right way asset management involves operating in silos where there is little collaboration amongst different utility departments in the planning of maintenance, rehabilitation, and renewal projects. By collaborating across utilities during the planning phase, savings can be achieved when collocated rehabilitation projects from different right of way infrastructure components are synchronized to occur at the same time. These savings are in the form of shared overhead and mobilization costs, and roadway projects providing open space for subsurface utilities. Individual component models and a holistic model that utilize evolutionary algorithms to optimize five year maintenance, rehabilitation, and renewal plans for the road, sewer, and water components were created and compared. The models were designed to be portable so that they could be used with any infrastructure condition rating, deterioration modeling, and criticality assessment systems that might already be in place with a municipality. The models attempt to minimize the overall component score, which is a function of the criticality and condition of the segments within each network, by prescribing asset management activities to different segments within a component network while subject to a constraining budget. The individual models were designed to represent the traditional decision making paradigm and were compared to the holistic model. In testing at three different budget levels, the holistic model outperformed the individual models in the ability to generate five year plans that optimized prescribed maintenance, rehabilitation and renewal for various segments in order to achieve the goal of improving the component score. The methodology also achieved the goal of being portable, in that it is compatible with any condition rating, deterioration, and criticality system.
Relative benefit of chip seal application in different climatic conditions based on initial pavement roughness
Pavement preservation is the practice of selecting and applying maintenance activities in order to extend pavement life, enhance performance, and ensure cost effectiveness. Pavement preservation methods should be applied before pavements display significant amounts of environmental distress. The long-term effectiveness of different pavement preservation techniques can be measured in terms of life extension, relative benefit, and benefit-cost ratio. Optimal timing of pavement preservation means that the given maintenance treatment is applied so that it will extend the life of the roadway for the longest possible period with the minimum cost. This document examines the effectiveness of chip seal treatment in four climatic zones in the United States. The Long-Term Pavement Performance database was used to extract roughness and traffic data, as well as the maintenance and rehabilitation histories of treated and untreated sections. The sections were categorized into smooth, medium, and rough pavements, based upon initial condition as indicated by the International Roughness Index. Pavement performance of treated and untreated sections was collectively modeled using exponential regression analysis. Effectiveness was evaluated in terms of life extension, relative benefit, and benefit-cost ratio. The results of the study verified the assumption that treated sections performed better than untreated sections. The results also showed that the life extension, relative benefit, and benefit cost ratio are highest for sections whose initial condition is smooth at the time of chip seal treatment. These same measures of effectiveness are lowest for pavements whose condition is rough at the time of treatment. Chip seal treatment effectiveness showed no correlation to climatic conditions or to traffic levels.