IRES: U.S.-Turkey Research Collaboration in Conservation Engineering, National Science Foundation, USA

Project No1559540
Supported byNational Science Foundation
Project Director

Prof. Dr. Ece ERDOĞMUŞ (Director)

Dr. Tareq Daher (Coordinator)

Director Institutions
Nebraska – Lincoln University, Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction

Prof. Dr. Mine TURAN

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Engin Aktaş

Joshua Freedland

Michael Schuller

Researcher Institutions

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

Atkinson-Noland & Associates

IZTECH Department of Civil Engineering and Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage

Project Budget249.888 $
Project Term2018 – 2021
Rehabilitation of historical/existing structures is an area ripe for research. With an increasing number of aging structures in the United States, there is a growing need for workforce development to address the potential for historic preservation in coming years. The goal of this project is to develop a cadre of experts with specialized training and global awareness in the engineering aspects of historical preservation projects. To address this need, Dr. Erdogmus from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will collaborate with the Izmir Institute of Technology (IZTECH) of Turkey. This 3-year program will bring a group of nine US students to Turkey for a seven-week summer research in historic preservation engineering. It is the intention of the PI to recruit at least 50% of the cohort each year from underrepresented groups. The Turkish mentors from IZTECH are Dr. Mine Turan and Dr. Engin Aktas, representing the Architectural Restoration and Civil Engineering Departments, respectively. Under the experienced leadership of the hosts and the PI, the US students participating in the program will be provided with meaningful and comprehensive research experiences comprised of lab-work at IZTECH campus and a variety of field-applications that involve historical sites. This three year U.S.-Turkey IRES program will involve American graduate and undergraduate students in research projects at the interface of structural engineering and conservation with three focus themes: 1) Engineering- conservation coordination for assessment of historical structures and materials prior to an intervention, 2) Engineering- conservation coordination for the development of compatible materials for historical retrofits, and 3) Post-Intervention assessment and risk analysis for the collapse-safety of structures. Under each of these focus themes, the IRES students will conduct specific projects and tasks; namely, the students will: a) Develop a novel method to provide a closed feedback loop on complex sites, which involves a nondestructive evaluation (NDE) based rating system for each element correlating the visual assessments to its interior damage levels. This will then inform variant constitutive models and aid in the design for the conservation intervention. b) Investigate chemical and mechanical properties of modern cements from different locations in order to evaluate their behavior under extreme heat, salt water, and freeze-thaw cycles when paired with different historical stones. c) Develop a decision making algorithm for historical structures using probabilistic assessments and sensitivity analyses to identify safety concerns and to predict design event recurrence intervals for which a given structure remains safe. This algorithm will then support decisions for or against intervention, ensuring only a minimum level of invasive intervention applied to the historic site. This work is funded by the IRES program of NSF Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE).