The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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SEM Research Facilities

The Structural Engineering and Mechanics Program maintains experimental testing areas for research and instruction in Gunness Structural Laboratory. This supplements the analytical and mechanics based research which is conducted in facilities in Marston Hall.

Key equipment of Gunness Structural Laboratory includes:

  • Self reacting load frame for full scale specimen testing
  • MTS hydraulic actuator system

  o 100 Kip and 50 Kip Fatigue rated actuators

  o 30GPM SilentFlo Pump System

  o MTS Controller Unit

  • Upgraded 400 Kip Tinius Olson test machine
  • 12 Kip Instron Mechanical Test Machine
  • 12 Kip Instron Hydraulic Test Machine
  • HP data acquisition systems for dynamic and static testing – configurable to approximately 60 strain gage channels and 100 full-bridge instrumentation channels
  • 500 kip Forney concrete cylinder testing machine with external 3 point bending/ split cylinder test frame
  • 3 Ton overhead bridge crane
  • Additional hydraulic units and actuators for pseudo-static testing and field work

The laboratory is outfitted with a full assortment of instrumentation for a wide variety of experimental testing. Instrumentation incudes LVDT’s, linear and string potentiometers, tiltmeters and load cells. Several ongoing research projects involve a large amount of field instrumentation and data collection. Bridge data has been collected using Campbell Scientific units with GeoKon instrumentation and Bridge Diagnostics equipment for bridge load testing systems.

Computational facilities support students performing research in the Structural Engineering and Mechanics Group include access to the full range of services supported by Engineering Computer Services. These include computer laboratories with windows and macintosh computers and a broad range of general use software.  Additionally, the group maintains high speed, multiprocessor workstations running the linux operating system that are available for student performing computationally intensive research. Access to additional cluster computing environments on campus can be arranged for specific projects.  The suite of specialized structural engineering and mechanics software available includes Ansys, Adina, Matlab, Mathematica, Risa, SAP and STAADPro.