Structures Laboratory

Burton, Braswell, Middlebrooks Laboratory

Large-scale Laboratory for Structures & Infrastructure

The large-scale structures laboratory at UCF was completed in 2001 in Engineering Building II. It is designed for testing research-related large-scale structural components and systems, infrastructure systems, materials, and performing teaching labs for undergraduate classes.

  • 1600 square feet testing area, 2400 square feet total area.
  • 50 ft by 25 ft strong floor in a high-bay area.
  • Steel reaction frame.
  • Reconfigurable reinforced concrete reactor blocks
  • 20-ton overhead crane.
  • 3 ft by 3 ft tie-down pattern in the strong floor.
  • 100 kips tie-down capacity per point.

The laboratory has several hydraulic systems for actuation as well as numerous other pieces of equipment for small-scale tests, data acquisition, and sensing.

• Two 110-kip, +/- 10 in. MTS servo-controlled hydraulic actuators
• Four 100-ton hydraulic jacks
• 200-kip Instron/Satec Universal Loading Machine
• Multi-channel NI-SCXI data acquisition systems
• High shear mixer
• Various transducers and sensors

  • Different types of PZT and capacitive, wired, and wireless accelerometers
  • Different types of resistive and vibrating wire, high speed, and slow speed strain gages
  • Tiltmeters
  • Displacement transducers
  • A number of other sensors, including sound, pressure, current, and audio/visual, and weather


Dr. Necati Catbas
Dr. Necati CatbasProfessor
Room: Engr II 225
Phone: (407) 823-3743
Web page
Structural health monitoring, non-destructive evaluation, Structural dynamics
Dr. Kevin R. Mackie
Dr. Kevin R. MackieProfessor
Room: Engr II 211H
Phone: (407) 823-2857
Web page
Performance-based engineering, reliability, advanced materials and composites.
Dr. Nicos Makris
Dr. Nicos MakrisProfessor
Room: Engr II 409
Phone: (407) 823-4824
Web page
Dr. Hae-bum Yun
Dr. Hae-bum YunAssociate Professor
Room: Engr II 226
Phone: (407) 823-0176
Web page
Dr. Georgios Apostolakis
Dr. Georgios ApostolakisAssistant Professor
Room: Eng I 439
Phone: (407) 823-1311
Web page
Computational Structural Mechanics
Mixed Variational Principles for Dynamic Response
Evolutionary Structural Optimization
Dr. Ricardo Zaurin
Dr. Ricardo ZaurinLecturer
Yeong-ren Lin
Yeong-ren LinCivil Lab Coordinator
Room: Engr II 111D
Phone: (407) 823-5686


The laboratory component of Structural Analysis I enables hands-on experience for students in the areas of material behavior, instrumentation and engineering measurement, and the response of different structural components under load. The current lab syllabus includes experiments for computational tools (AutoCAD and an introduction to finite element analysis), bending of beams, truss systems, the response of determinate frames, plastic bending of beams, and response of indeterminate frames. The following is a brief summary of equipment used:

  • TecQuipment structures test frame, load cells, and data acquisition system
  • STR 18 – Frame deflections and reactions
  • STR 4 – Deflections of beams and cantilevers (steel, brass, and aluminum beams)
  • STR 15 – Plastic bending of beams
  • STR 8 – Pin-jointed frameworks (trusses)


The laboratory component of Civil Engineering Materials enables hands-on experience in the characterization of materials used in Civil Engineering works, such as concrete, steel, soils, bituminous, polymers, and composite materials. The current lab syllabus includes experiments for steel, aluminum, aggregates, concrete cylinders and beams, masonry blocks, wood, and asphalt. The following is a brief summary of equipment used:

  • Universal testing machine (capacity)
  • Mechanical concrete mixer (125L)
  • Sieve analysis equipment
  • Three-point bending setup
  • Marshall compactor
  • Marshall stability and flow setup


The laboratory component of Mechanics of Materials enables hands-on exploration into the mechanical behavior of some Civil Engineering materials. The current lab syllabus includes axial force members, torsion, beams in flexure, shear stresses and beam shear, principal stresses, moment of inertia, column buckling, and states of stress in a soil.
The following is a brief summary of equipment used:

  • Universal testing machine
  • WP 100   Deformation of bars under bending or torsion
  • WP 121   Demonstration of Euler buckling
  • NI DAQ 9219 Module and Labview


All students and personnel who use this laboratory should carefully read the following safety rules and abide by them. Any violations will result in removal from the structures lab. For questions or concerns, please contact the Laboratory Coordinator (see Personnel page).

  • Open-toed shoes are not allowed in the laboratory.
  • Long pants are mandatory (preferably jeans).
  • Always wear gloves when lifting or moving heavy objects (weights).
  • Safety goggles are required when operating or observing the compression/testing machine.
  • Hard hats are recommended but not mandatory.
  • Always keep off taped areas (yellow tape). Use designated areas only.
  • No smoking, eating or drinking in the laboratory.
  • Do not remove tools or equipment without previous arrangement with your instructor.
  • Make sure that tools, equipment, and safety items are in the proper place and returned in the same condition you found them in before using.
  • Clean the place where you were before you leave the laboratory.
  • Always understand the theory and read the instructions carefully before you attempt to run an experiment.
  • At least two people are required in the laboratory at any time unless special permission is given by the instructor.
  • Ask before connecting or disconnecting any wire/gage/chord.
  • Read the safety tags on the equipment.
  • If you think that something is unsafe, please tell the instructor or lab coordinator immediately.
  • Observe all other safety rules established by UCF.


Structures Laboratory
Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering
Engineering Building II, Rm 116
University of Central Florida

Delivery shall be made to the above address through the “V” shaped utility area between Engineering Buildings I and II on the EAST side. See map at

Trucks can enter the vicinity from Gemini Blvd East (the big campus loop) by turning west immediately north of the Parking Garage C. We have a 14-ft tall door and an overhead crane in the lab. A medium size flatbed can back into our high bay door easily, but a tractor trailer can’t.


Department office:
Room 211, Engineering Building 2.
Phone: 407-823-2841
Fax: 407-823-3315

Yeong-Ren Lin, Lab coordinator:
Office: Room 111D, Engineering Building 2.
Phone: 407-823-5686
Fax: 407-823-3315


With excellent corrosion resistance, high strength-to-weight ratio, and stiffness-to-weight ratio, externally bonded FRP composites provided a time and strength efficient means to strengthen reinforced concrete (RC) structures and other materials used commonly in civil infrastructure. Ongoing research at UCF aims to investigate the ability of externally-bonded composite systems to resist service environments similar to that of the State of Florida when used in bridge applications.

  • Combined effects of environmental loads and fatigue loads are investigated through accelerated laboratory testing.
  • Small-scale specimen and large-scale RC beam testing to ultimate load to investigate bond slip and fiber-adhesive-substrate interaction.
  • Multiple fibers and resin combinations including polyurethane-carbon and epoxy-basalt.
  • Applications to other infrastructure systems


Issues related to movable bridges:

  • Design of a SHM framework for a movable bridge to deal with those issues
  • Technical and non-technical challenges of the SHM system implementation
  • Prediction of the bridge performance


Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has a similar constitution to normal concrete, but with the low water-cement ratio. Some UHPCs do not contain large aggregates, but all include fibers made of steel or plastic. Compressive strengths can be as high as 200 MPa (28 ksi) after heat treatment and as high as 1.8 ksi in tension. The dense structure of UHPC prevents the invasion of air and water, allowing a service life of over 100 years even under severe conditions. In addition, UHPC exhibits high ductility due to the bridging effect of the fibers and shows strain hardening effects under uniaxial tension or flexural testing. Research Area at UCF on UHPC includes:

  • Material characterization of UHPC, static, dynamic and fatigue
  • Application of UHPC in movable bridges, design the lightweight high strength decks to replace steel grid decks
  • Application of UHPC in the superstructure of bridges in the seismic region
  • Precast bridge modulus made of UHPC


Different parametric and non-parametric methods are used for damage detection

  • Approach I: Modal parameter based
  • Approach II: Time series analysis with outlier detection
  • Approach III: A novel time series analysis with sensor clustering

One method may perform very well for one structure and/or damage case but may not perform well another case and therefore a combination of different methods should be used for damage detection.


The bridge model is an experimental setup to study sensor fusion and video monitoring (a). Supports can easily be changed to roller, pin, or fixed boundary conditions (b). Girder and deck can be connected together by using bolts at different locations to modify the stiffness of the system and to simulate damage. Radio-controlled vehicles can crawl over the deck with different loading conditions (c&d). While a video camera is used to identify and track the vehicle, a data acquisition system (e) collects the data from a set of strategically located sensors to be correlated with the video stream (f) in real time to detect damage (g). The bridge is not a scaled-down model; however, its responses are representative of typical values of most small to medium span bridges.


Probabilistic Evaluation of Structural Condition

Incorporation of Epistemic and Aleatory Uncertainties

Prediction of Future Performance for Optimum Management and Operation