Sherif Abdelaziz, an associate professor in the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, leads a large multidisciplinary team to develop a defense resiliency platform (DRP) for extreme cold weather. The research team includes researchers from Stony Brook University, University of Minnesota, University of North Dakota, and the Cold Regions and Research Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) of the Army Corps of Engineers.

This $17M project is funded by the Army Corps of Engineers as a collaborative effort between researchers from multiple disciplines including geotechnical engineers, construction and material engineers, material scientists, artificial intelligence experts, soil microbiologists, biogeochemists, geophysics, and geographers. The research team will work collaboratively with the sole aim of developing a comprehensive platform that can predict deteriorations in the natural and man-made infrastructure in extreme cold weather and to further develop a new family of construction materials that resist the negative effects of cold temperatures.

The DRP will enable advanced data analysis, visualization, and modeling of diverse datasets to visualize the impact of extreme cold weather on performance of the terrain and supporting infrastructure. The project will investigate the impact of freezing and thawing cycles on soils, rocks, and various construction materials across the length and temporal scales. “To understand these impacts, we will rely on multiscale experimental and modeling approach aiming to establish robust predictive models in the end,” said Abdelaziz. Moreover, the team will design bio-inspired construction materials that have the potential to improve the performance of supporting infrastructure to mechanical and dynamic loads in extreme cold weather.

“Our main goal is to develop an automated platform to maximize the Army’s performance of supporting infrastructure,” said Abdelaziz. “This, in turn, can help maximize the performance of the U.S. Army.”