Structural Engineering Research

Structural engineering focuses on the design and analysis of physical systems to safely withstand natural and man-made forces. Structural engineers often work together collaboratively with other engineering disciplines to design large civil infrastructure, such as buildings, roadways, bridges, water treatment facilities, dams, and many others. In practice, structural engineers follow building codes and guidelines to ensure that structures will be resilient and safe for different load events. The structural engineering faculty in the UNL Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering conduct state-of-the art experimental and analytical research to expand our knowledge for challenging real-world engineering problems. This research includes, but is not limited to:

  • Performance of building and bridge structures
  • Performance of steel structures and components
  • Performance of reinforced concrete structures and components
  • Roadside safety structures, including bridge rail and guardrails
  • Force protection and structural response due to impact loads, including vehicular impact
  • Novel materials for structural engineering applications
  • Structural health monitoring, remote sensing, nondestructive testing, and big data analytics
  • Earthquake engineering, natural hazards engineering, and structural dynamics
  • Structural risk and reliability
  • Performance-based evaluation and design of structures
  • Analysis of historical and geological structures

Research in structural engineering at UNL is conducted in various state-of-the-art facilities, including the Structural Engineering High-Bay Facility in Scott Engineering Center (SEC), the Structures & Materials Research Laboratory in the Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI), the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility in Whittier Research Center, the Nondestructive Testing Lab in PKI, the Structural Dynamics & Nondestructive Testing Lab in Whittier Research Center (soon to be SEC), and the Mobile Infrastructure Assessment Lab.