TERRE HAUTE - A new structural testing laboratory at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is giving civil engineering students some real-world insight into the behavior of large-scale structures. Rose-Hulman says the lab is being provided through the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program. 

The equipment is primarily being used in courses examining the structural design of concrete and steel, geotechnical engineering, and structural design.

“Being able to observe and measure behavior is particularly exciting for me as a geotechnical engineering faculty member, because most of our work is built below ground where it is difficult to observe behavior, especially in a classroom setting,” said Professor Kyle Kershaw, who helped organize the lab.

The school says the lab allows professors to simulate various structural stresses, such as an earthquake.

“These classroom lab testing procedures reveal the behavior of structures in a scale that’s much more realistic, allowing students to really examine and appreciate what’s happening in a real-world environment,” said Professor Jim Hanson.

Rose-Hulman shared in a nearly $600,000 grant with professors from Saint Louis University.