To learn to innovate in engineering, students should be exposed to hands on activities in the laboratory or classroom and should, when possible, experience firsthand the challenges facing engineers, such as visiting aging highway bridges in Connecticut or touring tsunami damaged sites in Phuket, Thailand.

These activities are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and through generous equipment and software donations from PCB Piezotronics, Key Transducers, and Quanser Consulting.

This page contains brief descriptions that document these efforts.

Teleoperation and Telepresence of Laboratory Equipment

Description: We have led efforts in the natural hazards community to provide teleoperation and teleparticipation capabilities to educational laboratory equipment. These activities provided the basis for the award of an NSF Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) grant for the full-scale development of instructional shake tables in earthquake engineering, structural dynamics, and advanced technologies in civil engineering education. These cyberinfrastructure tools have been incorporated into the Structural Engineering Module of the Freshman-level Foundations of Engineering course at the University of Connecticut (and were used at other Universities) providing teleoperation and teleparticipation of an instructional shake table located in my Laboratory. The tools are being used in the classroom.

Research Experiences for Undergraduate Students

Description: We encourage and facilitate the active role of undergraduate students in research activities. These activities have been funded by a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) supplement to an NSF grant, an NSF International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) grant funding students to conduct research at laboratories in Thailand and Japan, and an NSF REU Site award to establish collaborations and support students to conduct research at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Bringing students to foreign countries to show them buildings with active structural control, tsunami damaged areas, or world class facilities that promote innovation and excellence in engineering is rewarding for our researchers and has a significant impact on the students. Many of these students have continued to travel and study abroad and the overwhelming majority have gone onto graduate school in engineering.