University of Vermont


SoE Research
Sustainable Systems

Research Facilities

The Sustainable Systems group includes the following research laboratories:

Core University Facilities

Atmospheric Emissions and Air Pollution Laboratory

The Atmospheric Emissions and Air Pollution Laboratory focuses on understanding the creation, transport and transformation of particles and the contaminants they carry, which is a critical focus of environmental engineering in both the agriculture and transportation sectors. This area of research is especially compelling because of the recently documented links between adverse human health effects and exposure to airborne particulate matter. The laboratory's interests center on contaminant transport processes in air and soil, with an emphasis on conducting field measurements. [ find out more... ]

Complex, Adaptive & Precision Systems Laboratory (CAPSEL)

The Complex, Adaptive & Precision Systems Laboratory (CAPSEL), directed by Dryver Huston, focuses on research areas that have yet to evolve into fully matured fields. Such topics include robotics for the inspection, servicing, and protection of structures; ultra-wideband (UWB) and ground penetrating radar systems; advanced X-ray lithography process techniques; and biomedical topics. While these topics are diverse and cover a large variety of disciplines, they are all based on complex systems with in-depth factor interactions. [ find out more... ]

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Concrete/Materials Laboratory

This laboratory is equipped for materials testing that involves concrete mixes, additives and curing histories. The curing environment is a mobile curing box. Equipment for measuring, mixing, and testing are in good condition and are able to handle casting of cubes, cylinders, or beams. This laboratory contains sieves and a shaker for media analysis, large drying ovens, balances and other standard equipment.

Environmental Engineering Laboratory

This laboratory contains various bench-scale experimental systems for education and research experiments. In addition it contains a surface area analyzer, portable gas chromatograph, UV/VIS spectrophotometer, microbalance, fume hoods, refrigerators, pH meters, visible spectrophotometers, conductivity meters, centrifuge, autoclave, water purification systems, microscopes and other standard water quality laboratory equipment.

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Environmental Fluids Laboratory

This laboratory includes a state-of-the-art groundwater physical model (10' by 14' by 8') that contains a dense matrix of sophisticated sensors (temperature, pressure, moisture content, conductivity and water sampling probes), a data acquisition system and pumping capability from 84 locations in the physical model. This laboratory also houses a large 40' flume, recirculating water supply, a Pelton wheel, friction factor/pressure drop piping arrangement, a small moveable flume, and many full-sizes valves and orifices within pipe networks.


The Programs maintain a GIS laboratory that has NT-based computers with ESRI-Arc/Info software and a large-format color plotter. In addition, this laboratory contains various equipment used for field work at streams and wetlands such as: flow meters, water level meters, total station, GPS unit, laser level, pressure transducers, barometric pressure loggers, tensiometers, water quality probe, and rain/snow gauge.

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Hazardous Waste Research Laboratory

This laboratory is located on the second floor of Votey Hall and contains a variety of soil column systems, micromodels, and two-dimensional models for investigating contaminant transport and behavior in porous media. The lab also contains an HPLC and GC with various detectors, automated samplers and HP chemstation software for water sample analysis. In addition, there is a goniometer to measure interfacial tension and contact angle, a fume hood, balances, centrifuge, microscopes, ovens, controlled temperature rooms, shakers, and other laboratory equipment.

Physical Groundwater Flow and Transport Modeling Facility

The Physical Groundwater Flow and Transport Modeling Facility is a unique NSF-funded facility used to investigate the applicability of computer-aided analysis and design tools to the solution of groundwater contamination problems; to study and evaluate fundamental scientific hypotheses regarding mass transport of contaminants in layered porous media; and to examine and assess remediation concepts for nonaqueous phase liquids in heterogeneous (layered) environments. [ find out more... ]

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Soils Laboratory

The Soils Laboratory houses several computers, the data acquisition system, and a high-performance liquid chromatograph that are necessary for the groundwater physical model. The laboratory is equipped for many of the standard suite of tests associated with basic instruction and research in geotechnical engineering. Testing capabilities include grain size, permeability, compaction (including Harvard miniature), CBR testing, consolidation, direct shear and triaxial tests.

Structures Laboratory

The laboratory has two universal testing machines, a 300,000 pound Young static machine for compression and tension measurements, a 200,000 pound static machine with a 10'-long specimen for compression. In addition, this laboratory contains four loading frames, a 60,000 pound Tinius-Olsen machine for compression and tension testing, and a 10,000 MTS system for force or displacement controlled testing in tension or compression, and a special testing floor. The universal machines are maintained and calibrated on a regular basis (most recently January 2000). These machines have full-scale capacities ranging from 600 pounds to 300,000 pounds. The machines in this laboratory are not new, but are quite functional and reliable. The beam/column machine has an electronic load cell adapted, rather than utilizing the older, mechanical load measuring system.

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Transportation Computational Laboratory

The Programs maintain a state-of-the-art transportation computational laboratory that supports educational and research activities. The laboratory is equipped with the following types of transportation-related software:

  • traffic operations and simulation software, including the Highway Capacity Software (HCS 2000); the traffic simulation models, CORSIM, VISSIM, and INTEGRATION; and the signal optimization model, TRANSYT-7F
  • transportation planning software, including TP-Plus/Viper and Tmodel2
  • statistical software, including SAS, SPSS, and Minitab
  • computational intelligence modeling tools, including Artificial Neural Networks and Case-Based Reasoning development software

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Core Facilities

Bioinformatics Facility

Within UVM's College of Medicine, this facility provides a well-coordinated program of statistical support for all medical and health-related research activities. [ find out more... ]

Instrumentation and Model Facility (IMF)

For more than twenty-five years, the Instrumentation and Model Facility (IMF) has supported research and education at UVM through innovative development of instrumentation, fabrication of mechanical devices, technical consultation, and service of existing equipment. The 14,000-sq.-ft. facility includes a professional machine shop including a welding area, milling machines, lathes, and ancillary equipment, an electronics design and fabrication facility (including an extensive electronics library), and a repair center for instrumentation ranging from laboratory instruments to personal computers. IMF is staffed by experienced scientific instrument makers as well as electronic, research project, and field service engineers. The Technical Services Program (TSP), a second group located in the IMF building, provides clinical engineering services to health care facilities, as well as paid service learning experiences for undergraduate students. [ find out more... ]

Microscopy Imaging Center (MIC)

The Microscopy Imaging Center (MIC) consists of six microscopy-based imaging systems. At the light and electron microscopic levels, it provides state-of-the-art, quality-assured, morphologically oriented services. The CIF is operated on a fee-for-service basis and provides professional consultation and assistance with equipment use, experimental design and interpretation. The imaging systems include: a JEOL 1210 Transmission Electron Microscope with x-ray microanalysis system for elemental analysis at the EM level; a JEOL JSM T-300 Scanning Electron Microscope; a BioRad MRC 1024 Confocal Laser Scanning Imaging Sysem; a Digital Instruments Atomic Force Microscope; an Olympus BX50 Light Microscope for Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) with Sun Sparc Workstation; an Eppendorf Microinjection System; a Compucyte Laser Scanning Cytometer; and a Dell 400 Workstation for Microvoxel 3DReconstruction, Comos and Optimus processing. [ find out more... ]

Vermont Advanced Computing Center (VACC)

The Vermont Advanced Computing Center (VACC) is an advanced computing center on campus that offers high performance parallel computing hardware, sensor networks, simulation software, data integration middleware, and immersive visualization facilities, as well as related advanced computing support. [ find out more... ]

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