Amid restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the region, researchers at the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation have still been able to conduct important work and take on new challenges in transportation—highlighted by recent media coverage and virtual events.

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Faculty Research 

This June, NJ Transit contracted the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) to study the use of UVC light in killing viruses, as well as to analyze and  understand the best placement inside buses for a potential UVC source.

“UV has been used heavily in the medical area, in which case it’s proven very reliable as a disinfecting technique,” CAIT Associate Director Dr. Pat Szary said to at the start of the project. “It’s one thing when you have one surgical operating room, you can come up with very quick procedures for that, but now you’re trying to disinfect thousands of buses.” 

This study is ongoing, but you can read more of its initial media coverage here.

Also in June, CAIT affiliated research Dr. Roger Wang created a 3D video model of the Edenville Dam failure in Michigan based on video captured by witnesses to the dam failure.

An assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rutgers School of Engineering, Dr. Wang is also a part of CAIT’s Infrastructure Resilience Program (IRP). 

“This incident was so sudden that only a mobile phone captured a short video of the process,” Dr. Wang said to about the research. “We wanted to obtain a 3D dataset to help numerical modeling and eventually to identify the deep causes and the detailed process of the dam failure.”

Read more media coverage from about his project here.

Fast Track Research Notes

CAIT-affiliated research Dr. James W. Hughes continues to track the economic impacts of COVID-19 on New Jersey and the region through publishing the “Fast Track Research Notes,” a special edition of the Rutgers Regional Report.

Out now, the third edition highlights how fears of Coronavirus flare ups could short-circuit New Jersey’s recovery which showed some positive signs due to a rebound in May and June. 

“Virus containment is the crucial factor that will sustain the pace of economic recovery,” said Dr. Hughes. “Recent nationwide increases in the rate of new infections are creating fears of an economic fizzle and dampening the nation’s and New Jersey’s outlook for the rest of the year.”

Read more about this latest report here.

CAIT Webinar Series

On July 13th from 3-4 pm, CAIT-affiliated researcher Dr. Dan Barone presented on the “Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials for Coastal Resilience.” Dredged material for coastal projects is one tool that can and should be incorporated into larger structural and non-structural coastal resilience efforts in the short and long-term. 

In June, UTC partners at Cornell University’s Local Roads Program also presented the first webinar as part of the CAIT Webinar Series: “Thickness Design of Low-Volume Roadway Pavements.” 

On August 24th, the next installment will be a presentation on Geotechnical Asset management from Mark Vessely, P.E., principal engineer with BGC Engineering. 

Retaining walls, embankments, slopes, and subgrades are types of geotechnical assets that can adversely influence the performance of transportation systems, particularly with increasing age as deterioration and consequences from deferred maintenance are realized. Implementing asset management practices enables an owner to measure risk and manage the whole life of the asset in consideration of performance expectations, risk tolerance and at the lowest life-cycle cost.

Learn more and register for this webinar here.