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

Selected Publicaitons

Zou, J.; Isola, M.; Roque, R.; Chun, S.; Koh, C.; Lopp, G. (2013). Effect of hydrated lime on fracture performance of asphalt mixture. Construction and Building Materials, Vol. 44, pp. 302-308.

Chen, Y.; Tebaldi, G.; Roque, R.; Lopp, G. (2013). Development of a composite specimen interface cracking (CSIC) test for top-down cracking. Journal of Testing and Evaluation, Vol. 41(4), pp. 625-634.

Chen, Y.; Tebaldi, G.; Roque, R.; Lopp G.; Su, Y., (2012). Effects of interface condition characteristics on open-graded friction course top-down cracking. Road Materials and Pavement Design, Vol. 13 (1), pp. 56-75. (2012 W.J. Emmons Award).

Chun, S.; Roque, R.; Zou, J. (2012). Effect of gradation characteristics on performance of Superpave mixtures in the field. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2294, pp. 43-52.

Lawrence, A.; Tia, M.; Ferraro, C.; Bergin, M. (2012). Effect of early age strength on cracking in mass concrete containing different supplementary cementitious materials: experimental and finite-element investigation. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, Vol. 24(4), pp. 362-372.

Tran, K.T.; Hiltunen, D.R. (2012). One-dimensional inversion of full waveforms using a genetic algorithm. Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics, Vol. 17(4), pp. 197-213

Wang, G.; Roque, R.; Morian, D. (2011). Evaluation of near-surface stress states in asphalt concrete. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2227, pp. 119-128.

Algernon, D.; Hiltunen, D.R.; Ferraro, C.; Ishee, C. (2011). Rebar detection with cover meter and ultrasonic pulse echo combined with automated scanning system. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2251, pp. 123-131.

Bekoe, P.A.; Tia, M.; Bergin, M. (2010). Concrete containing recycled concrete aggregate for use in concrete pavement. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2164, pp. 113-121.

Hossiney, N.; Tia, M.; Bergin, M. (2010). Concrete containing RAP for use in concrete pavement. International Journal of Pavement Research and Technology, Vol. 3(5), pp. 251-258.

Toros, U.; Hiltunen, D.R. (2008). Effects of moisture and time on stiffness of unbound aggregate base course materials. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2059, pp. 41-51.

Birgisson, B.; Montepara, A.; Romeo, E.; Roque, R.; Roncella, R.; Tebaldi, G. (2007), Determination of Fundamental Tensile Failure Limits of Mixtures. Journal of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, Vol. 76, pp. 303-344.

Mohseni, A.P.; Cintra, J.C.; Aoki, N. (2007). Influence of footing size and matric suction on the behavior of shallow foundation in collapsible soil. Soils and Rocks, Vol. 30(3), pp. 127-137.