UVM researchers receive DTRA grant
Release Date: 10-20-2008
Mandar Dewoolkar, Nancy Hayden, and Donna Rizzo professors of civil and environmental engineering in the School of Engineering within UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) have received a two-year $525,000 grant from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to study chemical and biological contaminant transport in building materials.
The DTRA's mission is to safeguard America and its allies from weapons of mass destruction that include chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate and counter the threat, as well as mitigate its effects.
This study supports an overarching goal of understanding and modeling the transport of chemical and biological agents (through the use of surrogates) in a variety of building materials with the ultimate goal of developing effective decontamination strategies. According to Professor Dewoolkar, the principal investigator, "State-of-the-art experimental techniques such as X-ray tomography, superficial permeability mapping and confocal microscopy will be combined with powerful computational techniques in a new way to show a proof-of-concept in a laboratory setting of what will ultimately be a field-based tool for rapidly and reliably predicting agent transport in building materials."
The study is also relevant to building contamination from fires and environmental pollution, which continues to be a serious and expensive problem rendering buildings unusable for long periods of time.