St. Louis University Structural Engineering Lab

  • Location: St. Louis University, MO and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, IN
  • Form Design: Wieser Form Fab
  • Lab Design: Chris Carroll, Ph.D., P.E., assistant professor of civil engineering at Saint Louis University
  • Size: 24 blocks at 3’L x 3’W x 3’H
  • Purpose: To provide a modular false-floor for a structural engineering lab.

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About this Project

Upon receiving a $599,821 grant from the National Science Foundation, Saint Louis University (SLU) and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology were able to break ground on developing new engineering labs. SLU’s Chris Carroll was able to design a cost-effective model for a structural engineering lab that allows projects to be built and tested at full-scale. Researchers from each university aim to study how hands-on experience impacts student learning and prepares them for tasks they will face in the real world.

As part of the three-year project, Wieser Concrete was chosen to produce 24 custom precast blocks due to the tight tolerance and high-strength design requirements; 12 blocks for SLU and 12 blocks for a similar lab at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Developed by Wieser Form Fabrication, the forms included female and male shear keys to create an interlocking system for the blocks. This system, paired with DYWIDAG tie rods, enables each set of 12 blocks to be fastened together in order to withstand enormous stress in any direction while testing. Students have already taken part in testing steel beams and concrete beams. “This project will enable us to provide full-scale experiential learning opportunities for our students to better prepare them for the workforce,” Carrol said.