UTC-UTI Research Topics Under the FAST Act Research Priority Area: “Improving the Durability and Extending the Life of Transportation Infrastructure:”
Condition monitoring, remote sensing, LiDAR, InSAR and use of GPS;
Asset and performance management; and
Application of new materials and technologies.
The Core Technology Employed in UTC-UTI is an adaptive, intelligent and data-driven system that turns the results from asset and performance management system into actionable recommendations, which are implemented using new materials and technologies.
UTC-UTI draws expertise from different areas of Engineering and Science to achieve safe, reliable, cost-effective and sustainable solutions for Underground Construction & Tunneling (UC&T):
Challenges in the engineering of underground space:
- Difficulty in predicting complex geologic conditions and material behavior, and long-term geologic material interactions with the built environment.
- Difficulty in managing unexpected ground conditions resulting in project delays and cost escalation.
- Design of underground excavations is still largely empirical due to uncertainties in ground conditions and properties .
- Owners, designers and/or contractors often take large risks or are excessively conservative as a consequence of insufficient geological and geotechnical investigations.
- A fixed design based on limited information is often used, wherein few provisions are made to allow for deviations from perceived initial conditions, even when the original design becomes untenable and continuation leads to large financial losses.
SOLUTION: Real-time and adaptive system for investigating, analysis and design of underground space:
- A unique aspect of underground projects is that they allow for improved understanding of the ground conditions and interactions with the built environment as construction progresses.
- However, current design and construction practices do not allow a project to adapt to new information that can be obtained from the field as the construction is being carried out.
- Even in cases where extensive monitoring is performed, little is done to use new data and information.
Asset and performance management
1) “Data-driven risk mitigation of cross passage and cavern deformation.” PIs: Dr. Mike Mooney and Dr. Marte Gutierrez, Colorado School of Mines. Status: In Progress.
2) “Uncertainly modeling and risk assessment in tunneling” PI: Dr. Marte Gutierrez, Colorado School of Mines. Status: Completed.
3) “Incorporating spatial uncertainty to advance the practice of site-investigations, geological-geotechnical characterization and TBM performance prediction.” PIs: Dr. Mike Mooney, Dr. Whitney Trainor-Guitton, Colorado School of Mines. Status: Completed.
4) “Applications of data science and big data analytics in underground transportation infrastructure.” PI: Dr. Mohammad Pourhomanyoun, California State University Los Angeles. Status: Completed.
5) “Analysis of ground deformation induced by underground excavation using Machine Learning methods.” PIs: Dr. Wendy Zhou, Dr. Marte Gutierrez, Colorado School of Mines. Status: In Progress.
6) “Functional reliability of tunnels and its impact on transportation network resilience.” PIs: Dr. Shiling Pei, Dr. Marte Gutierrez, Colorado School of Mines. Status: Completed.
7) “Analytical and experimental study of tunnel squeezing under true-triaxial stress state.” PI: Dr. Marte Gutierrez, Dr. Reza Hedayat, Colorado School of Mines. Status: Completed.
8) “Resilience and sustainability of underground transportation infrastructure.” PIs: Dr. Tonatiuh Rodriguez-Nikl, Dr. Mehran Mazari, California State University Los Angeles. Status: Complete.
9) “Assessing and improving the resilience of highway and rail tunnels to blast and fire.” PIs: Dr. Spencer Quiel and Dr. Clay Naito, Lehigh University. Status: In Progress.
1) Analysis of ground deformation induced by underground excavation using Machine Learning methods.” PIs: Dr. Wendy Zhou, Dr. Marte Gutierrez, Colorado School of Mines. Status: In Progress.
2) “Using InSAR time series analysis to characterize tunnel-induced ground surface deformation.” PIs: Dr. Wendy Zhou and Dr. Marte Gutierrez, Colorado School of Mines. Status: Completed.
3) “Continuous automatic detection of cracks in tunnels using machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques for safety monitoring,” PI: Dr. Fereydoun Daneshgaran, California State University Los Angeles. Status: In Progress.
Application of new materials and technologies
1) “New excavation technologies for underground construction” PI: Dr. Rennie Kaunda, Status: Completed
2) “Characterization of delamination processes with respect to waterjet shotcrete removal during tunnel liner repair and maintenance.” PIs: Dr. Hugh Miller, John Steele, Brian Asbury, Status: Completed
3) “Evaluating the use of recycled and sustainable materials in self-consolidating concrete for underground applications,” PI: Dr. Mehran Mazari, Dr. Tonatiuh Rodriguez-Nikl (co-PI), California State University Los Angeles. Status: Completed.
4) “Development of a blast and fire-resistant structural tunnel liner.” PIs: Dr. Clay Naito and Dr. Spencer Quiel, Lehigh University. Status: In Progress.