University of Vermont

CEMS - The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Graduate Program
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Research Facilities

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Program maintains a wide range of facilities for state-of-the-art research, with particular emphasis in the areas of groundwater hydrology and transportation engineering.

Atmospheric Emissions and Air Pollution Laboratory

Concrete/Materials Laboratory

Environmental Engineering Laboratory

Environmental Fluids Laboratory

GIS Lab

Hazardous Waste Research Laboratory

Physical Groundwater Flow and Transport Modeling Facility

Soils Laboratory

Structures Laboratory

Transportation Air Quality (TAQ) Laboratory

Transportation Computational Laboratory



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.


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.


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.


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GIS Lab

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.


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.


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.


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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.


Transportation Air Quality (TAQ) Laboratory

The Transportation Air Quality (TAQ) Laboratory (opened May 2009) houses vehicle emissions monitoring equipment, a mini-dilution tunnel for sampling vehicle exhaust, gas and particle sampling instrumentation, and an Armfield CM-12 engine test bed with exhaust extraction system. Numerous on-board vehicle monitoring devices (scantool, accelerometer, T, RH, GPS, tailpipe adapter) are used in interdisciplinary research on airborne particle number distributions and mobile source air toxics (MSATs) as a function of vehicle operating characteristics. Studies on biodiesel fuel properties, diesel engine performance and emissions are carried out in collaboration with mechanical engineering faculty and students.


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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