– Dr. Paul Cosentino, a Florida Tech professor of civil engineering, has received a two-year, $220,435 contract from the Florida Department of
Transportation (FDOT). The contract funds research to standardize the field-test equipment used to determine the soil properties needed to design support
pilings that are subjected to lateral loads from wind, waves and impact.
“The lateral loads on piles that support bridges and buildings are much lower than the vertical loads on these structures. However, they are often more
critical because soil has less strength in the lateral direction,” said Cosentino.
The research team will work on the testing equipment, known as a pressuremeter, which is a ballon-shaped device that expands laterally into the soil. The
team will develop a standard test procedure and automate the pressuremeter to improve the speed and accuracy of the field tests.
Dr. Edward Kalajian and Dr. Ryan Stansifer of the Departments of Civil Engineering and Computer Sciences, respectively, are the co-investigators. Dr. David
Horhota of the Florida Department of Transportation is the project manager. Florida Tech graduate research assistants involved in the project are Farid
Messaoud, Percy James and Kishore Kattamuri.