Aging infrastructure in the United States has been a huge problem. Solving this problem requires interdisciplinary cooperation between researchers from various backgrounds and industry. Texas A&M University has recently built a state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to finding solutions for these problems. The facility is called Center for Infrastructure Renewal (CIR) and located at RELLIS campus. CIR was started as a joint venture between Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). The facility houses approximately 10 million dollars’ worth of research equipment. Students and research staff from various fields of engineering and science collaborate on developing transformative infrastructure solutions. Dr. Zachary Grasley, Associate professor at the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, is the center’s director. The facility has the capacity to house researchers, staff, faculty and students with readily accessible open spaces. Just like the recently opened Zachry Engineering Education Complex, I find CIR to be a motivational research place that has a unique vibe to it.
I am a doctoral student from the department of civil engineering and I spend my time working on innovative solution for research problem related civil infrastructure and materials problems (e.g. soil, cement). My research is extensively on building materials: clays, fly ash and recycled concrete. These are materials that most of us come across in our day-to-day lives. Though they have been studied for decades, there is always some aspect of it that needs extra explanation.
Several students and researchers use the facility for various kinds of research. A fellow researcher, Aishwarya Baranikumar says, “The quiet environment helps you focus better on your research. Office space and printing facilities are available for quick discussion and data analysis. In spite of the CIR being a working lab, the students and staff take extra effort to keep the lab in a ‘like-new’ state at all times. In addition there are several fully equipped conference rooms to host research meeting and a host of other features that makes working in CIR a truly unique and enriching experience.” It is not just the facility that is awesome; The staff, technicians and managers are the actual work-force that keep the place running and help the students achieve great heights.
If you ever get a chance to work at the CIR (off-campus bus route #47), I am sure that you will agree with everything I have said. It is big step in the right direction for Texas A&M University and is a huge opportunity for students to carry out world-class research. I would like to thank the people at CIR for making this possible.
Pavan is a PhD student in the Department of Civil Engineering