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.

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GG Brown 2105E

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read