The Michigan Engineer News Center

Alumnus Ali Maher leads the way in new bridge testing facility

Professor Ali Maher (BS ’78, MS ’85, PhD ’88) is the director of the Rutgers University Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT), which launched the world’s first accelerated testing facility for bridges in October 2015. | Short Read

The facility is called the BEAST, which stands for Bridge Evaluation and Structural Testing laboratory. According to the Rutgers News website, the BEAST “uses rapid-cycling temperature fluctuations, precipitation and de-icing treatments and a weighted rolling device similar to a truck chassis to replicate stresses from the environment and intense truck traffic. In less than one year, the BEAST simulates the wear-and-tear a highway bridge would experience during 10 to 15 years of actual use.”

“Ultimately, what the BEAST can teach us will significantly improve public safety, facilitate U.S. commerce and economic growth, and potentially save billions in infrastructure expenditures,” Maher told Rutgers News.

To read the full story, please visit This news was also covered in Civil Engineering, the monthly flagship magazine of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Jessica Petras


Jessica Petras
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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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A snail on a leaf

Snails carrying the world’s smallest computer help solve mass extinction survivor mystery

Study yields new insights into the survival of a native snail important to Tahitian culture and ecology and to biologists studying evolution. | Medium Read