NSF REU student tackles summer research

This summer, we had the pleasure of working with Adriana M. Mercado Cruz (pictured left in photo), a civil engineering student from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. She presented a poster of her work titled, “Vulnerability Assessment of Coastal Bridges.” She was able to examines the differences in distinctive design approaches using real-time field data compared to current and projected sea level conditions for year 2072 using “intermediate high” scenario as established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The research consisted of modeling a single span multi-stringer prestressed box beam bridge with two lanes, located in Slaughter Beach, Delaware. The bridge model was subjected to the different hydrodynamic loads under the different design approaches considering current conditions and future projections for sea level rise. This allowed for a vulnerability assessment of the bridge piles by comparing the shear and moment values for each pile evaluated for various hydrodynamic loading scenarios. Future research could consist of conducting different analytical and experimental analyses using different design approaches on various bridge and foundation types. Congratulations, Adriana, and we look forward to hearing all of the wonderful things you’ll continue to do! Thank you, @Waqas Iqbal, for being an excellent graduate student mentor to Adriana!

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