Hands-on, active learning experiences is the central element to civil engineering education at LeTourneau University. The department maintains a number of civil engineering labs to facilitate this type of work and to provide students with the best possible learning environment. These facilities and equipment are used by all civil engineering students from freshman to senior year.
The Material and Structures Lab is the largest of the civil engineering labs and contains a wide range of equipment for characterizing and testing steel, concrete, wood, plastic and composite structural materials. The lab is used for a variety of class related activities and project work from freshman to senior year. The main civil engineering classroom is also set up in this lab, so students can learn about material behaviors and then immediately see those behaviors in action.
The Heavy Structures Testing Area includes both indoor and outdoor facilities for testing larger structural components and systems. Student class and project work in the Heavy Structures Testing Area use reaction frames that can withstand loads up to 100,000 lb to test concrete beams and bridge deck sections as large as 4 x10 ft. A large structural steel test frame allows for testing of steel beams as long as 35 ft. A full-scale lateral testing frame for evaluating wooden housing structures has also recently been added.
The Geotechnical Engineering Lab contains materials and equipment allowing students to conduct soil characterization and testing exercises. Soil sampling equipment is also available to allow students to conduct on-campus soil investigations to a depth of 20ft.
This lab also houses the departments asphalt testing equipment. Available equipment includes an asphalt viscometer, as well as conditioning and testing equipment for asphalt binders. Facilities are available for the manufacture and testing of hot mix asphalt concretes.
The Water Quality and Environmental Lab contains testing equipment and facilities that allow students to perform basic water quality analysis, hydraulic system modeling, and the construction and testing of water treatment reactors.
This dual-purpose space includes a small classroom for discussing principles of design and analysis as well as the lab space for demonstrations, research, and project work. Junior and senior level students are able to work with a spectrophotometer, water quality sensors, and an open channel flume for course-related projects while a senior design project uses the chemical hood to research hydrogen sulfide treatment of wastewater produced by oil and gas wells.
The Wood Structures Lab allows students to build structural wood systems such as trusses, beams and full-scale frames. Facilities include a variety of wood working equipment for structural lumber and wood sheet products such as plywood or OSB board.
The Composites Lab is used for a variety of junior and senior level research projects. The lab includes a clean-room fabrication area for conventional laminated composites using glass and carbon fiber. It also contains a large paint-booth which has been modified for the fabrication of large scale structural components using polymer concretes and composites.
Machining facilities include a range of dedicated composites equipment including diamond tipped saws, drills, sanders and grinders. Current research projects in this lab include the development of a new polymer concrete bridge deck system, polymer overlays for bridge deck wearing surfaces, natural fiber reinforced polymers, and studies into the aging characteristics of polymer composites.
The Civil Engineering Lab services students enrolled in one of LETU's engineering programs:
Civil Engineering facilities are located in the Glaske Center and dedicated lab space. To locate on the campus map, click here.