Students in lab.

Geotechnical and Materials Engineering Research

Geotechnical, materials and pavement research is conducted in laboratories, at field locations, and also at the Larson Institute (The Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute), which includes a one-mile closed-loop test track. Laboratory facilities include Civil Infrastructure Testing and Evaluation Laboratory (CITEL) and the Materials Research Institute (MRI). Two affiliated research centers are the Northeast Center for Excellence in Pavement Technology (NECEPT) and the Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies.


Radlinska, A. (Principal Investigator), Rajabipour, F. (Co-Principal Investigator), "Mechanisms and Mitigation of Shrinkage and Carbonation in Alkali-Activated Concretes," NSF (CMMI). Total awarded: $300,507. (July 2013 - March 2017).

Radlinska, A. (Principal Investigator), Rajabipour, F. (Co-Principal Investigator), "REU Supplement to Mechanisms and Mitigation of Shrinkage and Carbonation in Alkali-Activated Concretes," NSF. Total awarded: $5,000. (May 2014 - March 2017). 

Radlinska, A. (Principal Investigator), Warn, G. P. (Co-Principal Investigator), "Mechanical Testing of Prestressed Concrete Railroad Ties," RJLee Group. Total awarded: $64,837. (January 2016 - December 2016).

Rado, Z. (Principal Investigator), Qiu, T. (Co-Principal Investigator), Radlinska, A. (Co-Principal Investigator), Warn, G. P. (Co-Principal Investigator), Rostami, J. (Co-Principal Investigator), "Vehicle anti-ram research and development," U.S. Department of State. Total awarded: $931,305. (July 2015 - June 2017).

Duarte, J. (Principal Investigator), Nazarian, S. (Co-Principal Investigator), Memari, A. M. (Co-Principal Investigator), Baird, T. (Co-Principal Investigator), Pantano, C. G. (Co-Principal Investigator), Radlinska, A. (Co-Principal Investigator), Simpson, T. W. (Co-Principal Investigator), Tucker, C. S. (Co-Principal Investigator), Craveiro, F. (Co-Principal Investigator), "From Functionally Gradient Materials to Seamless Architecture Source of Support," The Raymond A. Bowers Program for Excellence in Design and Construction of the Built Environment. Total awarded: $50,000. (2016 - Present). 

Shokouhi, P. (Principal Investigator), "REU - Non-destructive monitoring of Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR) in Concrete," Penn State College of Engineering CERI Program. Total awarded: $5,000. (May 2015 - August 2015).

Shokouhi P. (Principal Investigator), "REU - Monitoring Freeze-Thaw Damage in Concrete using Nonlinear Acoustics," Penn State College of Engineering CERI Program. Total awarded: $5,000. (May 2015 - August 2015).

Shokouhi, P. (Principal Investigator), "REU - Imaging of the concrete porosity using ultrasonic “noise”," Penn State College of Engineering CERI Program. Total awarded: $5,000. (August 2016 - December 2016).

Xiao, M. (Principal Investigator), Liu, S. (Co-Principal Investigator), Rostami, J. (Co-Principal Investigator). “Field Investigation and Stability Analysis of Coal Slurry Impoundments.” Office of Surface Mining Reclamation & Enforcement (OSM), Department of Interior. Total federal funding: $200,000; industrial and university match funding: $99,110. Total project funding: $299,110. (January 2017 – December 2018). 

Liu, S. (Principal Investigator), Xiao, M. (Co-Principal Investigator), Elsworth, D. (Co-Principal Investigator). “Characterization and Modeling of Multimechanistic Flow Behaviors from Nano- to Macro-scale in Shale Matrix.” NSF CBET Fluid Dynamics program, Total awarded: $330,000. (July 2014 – June 2017).

Huang, H., (Principal Investigator), Xiao, M. (Co-Principal Investigator), Tutumluer, E. (Co-Principal Investigator). “Development of Ballast Real Time Information System (BRIS) Based on ‘SmartRock’.” TRB Rail Safety IDEA program. Total awarded: $100,000. (January 2017 – December 2017).

Xiao, M. (Principal Investigator), Stoffels, S.M. (Co-Principal Investigator), Qiu, T. (Co-Principal Investigator), "Evaluation of Geotextile Separation to Prevent Migration of Subgrade Fines into Subbase," Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Total awarded: $221,948. (November 2014 - October 2016).

Xiao, M. (Principal Investigator), Qiu, T. (Co-Principal Investigator), "Service Limit State Design and Analysis of Engineered Fills for Bridge Support," Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Total awarded: $249,782. (April 2014 – April 2017).

Huang, H. (Principal Investigator), Qiu, T. (Co-Principal Investigator), "Geogrid Performance Evaluation by ‘SmartRock’," Tensar International Corporation. Total awarded: $52,536. (October 2015 - October 2016).

Qiu, T. (Principal Investigator), "CAREER: Experimental, Numerical, and Case Studies of Landslide Mobility," NSF. Total awarded: $500,000. (July 2015 - June 2020).

Warn, G.P. (Principal Investigator), Simpson, T.W. (Co-Principal Investigator), Lulo, L.D. (Co-Principal Investigator), Memari, A.M. (Senior Personnel), Qiu, T. (Senior Personnel), "RSB/Collaborative Research: A Sequential Decision Framework to Support Trade Space Exploration of Multi-Hazard Resilient and Sustainable Building Designs," NSF. Total awarded: $849,189. (March 2015 - February 2018).

Rajabipour, F. (Principal Investigator) “CAREER: Reaction Mechanisms, Performance Assessment, and Novel Mitigation Tools for Alkali-Silica Reaction in Concrete Structures,” NSF. Total awarded: $435,000. (August 2013 – July 2018).

Rajabipour, F. (Principal Investigator) “Research to Promote the Management and Beneficial Use of Coal Combustion Products (CCPs),” Pennsylvania Coal Ash Research Group (PCARG), Total awarded: $92,500. (October 2014 - September 2016).

Fox, P. J. (Principal Investigator) “Collaborative Research:  Experimental and Computational Investigation of Multiphase Consolidation for Partially Saturated Soils,” National Science Foundation, Total awarded:  $199,618.  (September 2016 – August 2017).

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The Penn State Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, established in 1881, is internationally recognized for excellence in the preparation of undergraduate and graduate engineers through the integration of education, research, and leadership.

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

212 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-1408

Phone: 814-863-3084