FIU has appointed bristles university programs as “preeminent,” a acceptance of high-caliber, collaborative assignment that generates different acquirements opportunities, beat analysis and allusive assurance with the alien association while accretion the university’s banking base. This is the aboriginal in a alternation of accessories that explores these programs in greater depth. Click actuality to appearance an alternate blueprint answer anniversary capital program.
When Atorod Azizinamini stood in the White House in 2015 to be accustomed as a “Champion of Change,” he formally accustomed a appellation that abounding accede has declared him for years. With four patents and added than 200 accessories to his credit, the armchair of the Administering of Civilian and Environmental Engineering boasts a continued history of impacting his field, aboriginal by alive in industry and again spending two awful advantageous decades at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, afore landing at FIU in 2011.
His expertise: architecture bridges fast.
“The best way I can alarm him is as an innovator,” says Monica Starnes, a chief affairs administrator at the Busline Analysis Lath of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She formed with Azizinamini back Congress accustomed a $232 actor avenue analysis affairs in 2006. Azizinamini was the arch investigator arch an action that resulted in his developing the absolute government adviser for acceptable the account activity of bridges through design, architecture and maintenance.
Nebraska’s accompaniment arch architect Mark Traynowicz praises the accomplished assignment amid his able agents and Azizinamini as key to “[elevating] Nebraska as one of the leaders in arch architecture and arch engineering in the country. With his help, through research, he put us on the map.”
Azizinamini shows no assurance of slowing bottomward in his drive to accomplish impactful changes that account association — nor can the nation allow to let him.
More than 25 percent of the country’s 600,000-plus bridges are earlier than the 50 years for which they were optimally designed. Data from the 2016 National Arch Inventory indicates that about 56,000 bridges are “structurally deficient” — accounted safe for biking but in charge of advance or backup — and accession 74,000-plus are “functionally obsolete” — bare for accepted cartage demands or clumsy to lath colossal or emergency vehicles.
Azizinamini accustomed at FIU with the ambition of establishing a federally adjourned centermost to accomplish crumbling basement safer. The university bound provided $50,000 in berry money to jumpstart the effort. Adolescent faculty, industry professionals and a growing cardinal of alum acceptance active on.
Then in 2013, the U.S. Administering of Busline put out a alarm to universities in a move to body added accord with the Federal Avenue Administering and the American Association of Accompaniment Avenue and Busline Officials.
“We heard that the secretary of busline capital new ideas, new innovations, article that can break the problems and the challenges we accept with the busline system,” Azizinamini says. He able a acceptable $4.5 actor angle (and becoming the federal appellation “University Busline Center”) about “accelerated arch construction.” ABC, as it’s known, uses cutting-edge techniques that abbreviate onsite architecture to aftermath environmentally affable bridges that are safer and best abiding than those congenital beneath acceptable methods.
Azizinamini understands able-bodied the abrogating impacts associated with acceptable arch construction: cartage delays, decreased advancement and assignment breadth fatalities (resulting from added than 67,500 accompanying crashes in 2013 alone), not to acknowledgment banking losses to bounded businesses and driver frustration.
“If you didn’t accept addition technology, that would be something,” he says, “but we accept the solutions.”
Those solutions accommodate alternatives to what has been, until recently, accepted architecture practice. Instead of closing bottomward a above avenue for months at a time to annihilate an absolute arch and arrect a new one in its place, accompaniment departments of busline are added attractive at ABC. Options accommodate amalgam an absolute arch off-site and alteration it accomplished to its appointed breadth for installation; architecture a arch alongside an absolute one and then, afterward annihilation of the earlier structure, sliding in the new one; and a modular admission that combines branch artifact with basal architecture on site.
The analysis advancing out of FIU supports, and alike drives, the use of ABC civic as able-bodied as addresses countless issues accompanying to a arch authoritative in general. Re-funded in 2016 (with $7.5 actor over bristles years), the centermost continues to serve as the advance academy of a bunch that includes four added universities (Iowa Accompaniment University, the University of Nevada-Reno, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Washington), anniversary of which Azizinamini arrive to participate based on a accurate breadth of strength.
At FIU, advisers are alive on dozens of projects, amid them studies to advance prefabricated accurate arch railings; to authorize best practices and guidelines for demolition; to appraise the achievability of application sensor technology to adviser corrosion; and to advance a analysis arrangement to adviser clay abrasion about abutments and piers subjected to storm billow and sea akin rise.
From his years of alive with Azizinamini in Nebraska, accompaniment arch architect Traynowicz understands the amount of accepting such analysis out to those who can best run with it.
“You can appear up with these abundant ideas, but if you can’t get them congenital in the absolute world, they don’t actually go anywhere,” he says of analysis that doesn’t leave the halls of academia. “I anticipate why things formed so able-bodied [in Nebraska] is because the university came up with these great, new, avant-garde account and we were able to apparatus them on absolute projects.”
In accession to alive with the accompaniment of Nebraska on several bridges, Azizinamini actively aggregate with admiral and engineers the ability he and colleagues had gathered.
“He went so far as to alternation us in what’s activity on in analysis not alone at the university but beyond the country,” Traynowicz says. “We knew what we were doing, but he had the latest advances and some of the best accepted techniques.”
Today Azizinamini uses a bigger bullhorn to ability a beyond audience. He hosts account webinars that allure as abounding as 4,000 participants at a time, including association in both the accessible and clandestine sectors. In abounding cases, accomplished departments ataxia calm to apprehend accompaniment engineers and activity managers allotment their adventures on specific projects. (The titles of contempo presentations include, amid others, “West Virginia’s Basnettville Arch Lateral Slide,” “Ontario’s Rapid Installation of Single-Span Bridges” and “PennDOT Backup of Route 581 Arch during Weekend.”) For those alert in, the adventitious to ask abstruse questions of the presenters, whether alive or afterwards the fact, is priceless.
“One of the better things that Dr. Azizinamini has done,” Traynowicz says, “is actually put calm a aggregation of experts. He accomplished out to bodies beyond the country that are the best at what they do. I’m consistently afflicted by that,” he says, referencing those who accord as presenters as able-bodied as the able agents who advice run the center. “It’s aloof the way that he can get bodies together. You don’t accept to be the one smartest actuality in the apple or accept all the answers, but back you can accompany bodies calm like that, you can get all the answers.”
Azizinamini additionally gathers calm federal avenue administrators, accompaniment engineers, contractors, assembly of architecture companies and academics in his role as armchair of the Accelerated Arch Architecture Conference, which is cosponsored by no beneath than 30 accompaniment DOTs and several federal agencies. The aing appointment takes abode in December and will host added than 600 attendees who participate in workshops, accept to abstruse presentations and appointment added than 50 exhibitors in city Miami.
His continued acquaintance has accustomed Azizinamini different acumen into areas of charge aural the field. Assignment he began at the University of Nebraska has led to his own inventions.
Noting that for decades accompaniment busline admiral gravitated about alone to the use of accurate for spans of 100 anxiety or beneath — a admeasurement ambit into which the majority of bridges abatement — he started attractive for a abeyant alternative. “That gave me a little bit of a challenge,” says Azizinamini. “The action was to appear up with article that costs beneath to society, is added efficient, added economical, lasts longer.”
By 2009 he had article — a bankrupt bowl animate axle arrangement — that industry publications accept predicted will accommodate the short-span arch market.
The ability lies in angle a distinct animate bowl into a trapezoid-shaped axle (several girders comprise the abutment on which a deck, or the active surface, rests), thereby eliminating the accepted use of assorted plates that accept to be aing by adjustment (the anchored bond actuality a abeyant antecedent of arch weakness). The arrangement uses beneath animate than do acceptable animate girders, authoritative it beneath expensive, and the avant-garde open-bottom architecture allows for accessible aliment inspections, accession amount savings. The girders are bogus in a bulb and delivered to the arch site, area they are accessory in alertness for the cloudburst of a accurate accouter or the laying of caked accurate panels.
CDR Maguire, a Miami-based engineering aing endemic and run by FIU alum Carlos Duart ’94, MS ’99, markets and distributes the animate bowl axle system.
“The contractors actually adulation it,” says Duart, whose aggregation will accept overseen assembly of 10 bridges application the arrangement by the end of 2017. “What they adulation about our bridges is that in three hours they accept the segments already in place.”
The different architecture is key.
“What Dr. Azizinamini has been able to do is basically assimilate arch design, which of advance reduces the cost,” Duart explains. “It’s 99 percent appealing abundant standard, which is what’s actually ideal and avant-garde about this accurate product.”
Duart expects to see the bankrupt bowl axle arrangement acclimated to body 500 bridges by the aing of 2022 and anticipates cornering 20 percent of the short-span bazaar — or architecture 10,000 bridges — aural the aing decade. FIU holds a apparent on the arrangement developed accurately for bridges best than 60 feet, and Duart says that will construe into a banking addition for the university in the tens of millions of dollars.
While spearheading analysis and accepting it to those in the field, Azizinamini is at the aforementioned time advancing the aing bearing of professionals. Currently eight Ph.D. candidates assignment in his active lab.
Azadeh Jaberi Jahromi is one of them. She spent a year as a Ph.D. apprentice in the civilian engineering administering at a university out west afore acquainted that her constant absorption in bridges fabricated that affairs a poor bout for her career goals.
Determined to booty the chancy and beatnik footfall of alteration programs midstream, she scoured bookish journals and barter publications for inspiration. One name circumscribed up added generally than others: Atorod Azizinamini. She beatific him her analysis affidavit and fabricated a appointment to Miami. The backbone of her charge and the affection of her assignment becoming her a atom on his team, and she has been accepting her easily bedraggled anytime since. (She studies accouter and slab connections.) Jahromi revels in the absolute attributes of her apprenticeship beneath Azizinamini, who has an unparalleled of how industry works. Upon graduation, she hopes to acquisition a job with a clandestine firm.
“Some bodies anticipate that civilian engineering is alone alive with software and PCs, that they cannot go into the field, they cannot go [talk] to the activity manager,” she says, captivated that her coach believes otherwise. “He teaches us how we can assignment as a civilian architect in the field, in industry.”
And analytical to authoritative that leap: admission to Azizinamini’s cutting-edge structural lab, area Jahromi and her adolescent acceptance can booty beginning concepts from the cartoon lath to accession level.
“You don’t aloof assignment on the computer,” she stresses of the applied training she is getting. “Whatever I can archetypal on the PC, we can after see it in the lab application absolute abstracts [such as] absolute concrete, absolute cream board, absolute rebar. We can assemble [bridge] elements in our lab to see how they assignment in reality.”
That full-spectrum, hands-on acquaintance gives admission acceptance a absolute advantage, a cardinal of whom accept biconcave up high-level positions at top engineering firms, some alike allotment amid assorted offers. And ambitious alum acceptance abide to administer at an accretion rate.
That growing absorption from adolescent bodies bodes able-bodied at a time back Azizinamini is accelerating the clip of the center’s work, and the accepted U.S. administering considers administering greater allotment to amend the nation’s infrastructure.
“It has become allotment of my DNA,” the changemaker says of the great accumulation of account he affairs to amble out. “I aloof accept to do article continuously new.” ♦
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