Materials and Infrastructure

This area has been established to conduct research, education and service activities in the field of infrastructures and related materials. It is devoted to promote sustainable practices in infrastructure engineering, enhance understanding of distress mechanisms and failure modes, develop testing and conditioning procedures to improve material characterization, and develop design approaches for pavement systems and foundations that optimize performance.

Focus Areas

  • Characterization of soil deposits, soil properties and soil variability
  • Advanced sensing technologies
  • Assessment and monitoring of geosystems and pavements
  • Testing and characterization of asphalt binders and mixtures
  • Understanding of distress mechanisms and failure modes
  • Development of performance-based specifications for characterization and design
  • Tire-pavement interaction
  • Material recycling and reuse technologies
  • Nano-modification and polymer modification of materials
  • Computer/numerical modeling of material behavior


The UFTI facilities are available for advanced performance testing of infrastructure materials under a variety of conditions.

Field Sensing Systems

  • In situ (including CPT, DMT, PMT)
  • Geophysical (SASW, downhole, crosshole, electrical resistivity)
  • Sensors (active, passive, wireless, smart)

Experimental Laboratory

  • Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM)
  • Static and dynamic triaxial, hollow cylinder, torsional, shear, resonant column
  • Five closed-loop servo-hydraulically controlled loading frames (5-kip to 220-kip capacity)
  • Partial saturation capabilities (triaxial, torsional shear, etc.)
  • Durability laboratory (sulfates, chlorides, etc.)

Asphalt Binder and Mixture Laboratory

  • Servopac gyratory compactor and gyratory testing machine (GTM)
  • Rheology, aging, Fournier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), binder extraction & recovery
  • Binder conditioning (RTFO, PAV, CPPC)
  • Complete Superpave binder (RV, DSR, BBR) and mixture (IDT) testing capabilities
  • Fracture binder test
  • Dog-bone direct tension test
  • Composite specimen interface cracking (CSIC) test
  • Aggregate imaging machine system (AIMS)
  • X-ray computed tomography

Computational Facilities

  • 16-node Silicon Graphics Inc parallel processor supercomputer
  • Multiple workstations and PCs


Christopher Ferraro, Ph.D.

Assistant in Engineering
Focus:Structures and Materials

Dennis Hiltunen, Ph.D., P.E.

Focus: Soil dynamics, earthquake engineering, geophysical characterization, instrumentation, experimental testing of soils

George A. Lopp .

Associate in Engineering
Focus: Instrumentation, servo-hydraulic testing of pavement structures, testing of roadway materials, pavement design and performance analysis of Superpave, 3D X-ray tomographic imaging

Ana P. Mohseni, Ph.D.

Focus: Numerical modeling software

Reynaldo Roque, Ph.D., P.E.

Focus: Roadway material characterization, pavement response, design and evaluation, non-destructive testing of pavements, geotechnical engineering

Mang Tia, Ph.D., P.E.

Focus: Concrete and asphalt materials, concrete and asphalt pavements, instrumentation

Recent Research Projects

Title Principal Investigator End Date Agency/Source Project Number
Automated Non-Destructive Evaluation Dr. Ferraro 12/1/2013 FDOT BDK-75-820-7
Long-Life Concrete Slab Replacement Dr. Ferraro 3/1/2014 USF 2104-1193-00-A
Continuation of Down-Hole Geophysical Testing Dr. Hiltunen 11/1/2013 FDOT BDK-75-977-51
Use of Aggregate Imaging System (AIMS) Dr. Roque 8/1/2013 FDOT BDK-75-977-44
Validation & Refinement of Mixture Volumetrics Dr. Roque 4/1/2014 FDOT BDK-75-977-58
Evaluation of NCAT Test Track Specimens (CSIC) Dr. Roque 7/1/2013 NCAT 12-NCAT-224574-UF
Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) Dr. Roque 10/1/2014 FDOT BDU77
Effect of Lime on Fracture (Phase II) Dr. Roque 5/1/2013 Lhoist 2012-LNA-001
Evaluation of New Binders Using Newly Developed Binder Fracture Test Dr. Roque 7/1/2013 FDOT BDK-75-977-75
Slab Replacement Maturity Guidelines Dr. Tia 4/1/2014 FDOT BDK-75-977-62
Internally Cured Concrete for Pavement and Bridge Deck Applications Dr. Tia 2015 FDOT BDV31-977-11
Maximum Heat of Mass Concrete – Phase 2 Dr. Tia 2016 FDOT BDV-977-07