Experiment Design for Civil Engineering
Methods and Examples
- Available for pre-order on February 10, 2023. Item will ship after March 3, 2023
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This textbook provides guidance to students and practicing civil engineers on how to design a civil engineering experiment that will produce useful and unassailable results. It includes a long list of complete experiment designs that students can perform in the laboratory at most universities and that many consulting engineers can do in corporate laboratories. These experiments also provide a way to evaluate a new design against an existing experiment to determine what information is most appropriate in each section and how to format the data for the most effective outcome. Interpretation of output data is discussed, along with uncertainty, as well as optimal presentation of the data to others.
- Fills in the gap in ABET requirements to teach experiment design.
- Provides a standardized approach to experiment design that can work for any experiment.
- Includes completed experiment designs suitable for college laboratory and professional applications.
- Shows how to organize experimental data as it is collected to optimize usefulness.
- Provides templates for design of the experiment and for presenting the resulting data to technical and nontechnical audiences or clients.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. 2. How to Design an Engineering Experiment. 2.1 Defining the Question to be Answered. 2.2 Defining the Variables Involved in the Questions. 2.3 Measuring and Controlling the Variables. 2.4 Evaluation of Potential Interferences that can Occur. 2.5 Minimizing, Avoiding, or Accounting for the Effects of Interferences. 2.6 Sensitivity Analyses of Experimental Data. 2.7 Safety Considerations in Experiment Design. 2.8 Ethics Considerations in Experiment Design. 3. Sampling Source Media. 3.1 Sampling Soil or Other Solids. 3.2 Sampling Concrete. 3.3 Sampling Water and Other Liquids. 3.4 Sampling Air and Other Gases. 3.5 Sampling Health and Safety Plans. 4. Expected Outcomes and Interpretation of Data. 4.1 Expected Outcomes. 4.2 Interpretation of Data. 4.3 Uncertainty Considerations. 4.4 Estimating Future Parameter Values. 4.5 Probability. 4.6 Risk. 5. Model Design Methodology. 5.1 Discussion. 5.2 Model Format. 5.3 Experiment Design Format Model. 6. Laboratory Report. 6.1 Conversion of Theory to Experimental Output Data. 6.2 Compare and Contrast Experimental Output Data to Existing Literature. 6.3 Suggested Laboratory Report Template. 7. Effective Presentation of the Data to Others. 7.1 Introduction. 7.2 Presentation of the Presenter. 7.3 Actions at the Podium. 7.4 When There is More Than One Speaker Acting As a Team. 7.5 Presenting the Data. 8. Designing Research Experiment Projects. 8.1 Research to Assess Soft Roadbed Support Soils. 8.2 Research to Develop A Stronger Asphalt Paving Material. 8.3 Research Recommendations. 9. Material and Structural Analysis Experiments. 9.1 Paper Beam Experiment. 9.2 Effects of Live Load on Beam Stresses. 9.3 Thermal Expansion of Metals. 9.4 Distribution Of Tension Forces In Structural Members. 9.5 Density and Specific Gravity (Relative Density) of Wood Using the Volume by Direct Measurement Procedure. 9.6 Density and Specific Gravity (Relative Density) of Wood Using the Volume by Water Immersion Procedure. 9.7 Density and Specific Gravity (Relative Density) of Wood Chips. 9.8 Direct Moisture Content Measurement of Wood by Primary Oven Drying. 10. Concrete Testing Experiments. 10.1 Compressive Strength of Concrete Cylinders. 10.2 K-slump Test for Freshly Mixed Concrete. 10.3 Cone Method Slump Test of Wet Concrete. 10.4 Air Content of Freshly Mixed Concrete by Volumetric Method. 10.5 Density (Unit Weight), Yield, and Air Content (Gravimetric) of Concrete. 10.6 Time of Setting of Concrete Mixtures by Penetration Resistance. 10.7 Effect of Water Content on Concrete Strength. 10.8 Specific Gravity and Absorbance of Coarse Aggregate. 10.9 Specific Gravity and Absorbance of Fine Aggregate. 11. Soil Testing Experiments. 11.1 Water Content of Soil and Rock by Mass. 11.2 Water Content of Soil by Direct Heating. 11.3 Water Content of Soil and Rock by Microwave Heating. 11.4 Density and Unit Weight of Soil by Water Displacement. 11.5 Density and Unit Weight of Soil by Direct Measurement. 11.6 Density and Unit Weight of Soil In-situ by Sand Cone Method. 11.7 Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, and Plasticity Index of Soil. 11.8 Specific Gravity of Soils by Water Pycnometer. 11.9 Determination of Porosity and Void Ratio in Soil. 11.10 Bulk Density and Voids in Aggregate. 12. Environmental Assessment Experiments. 12.1 Membrane Filtration Technique for Bacteria Testing. 12.2 Multiple Fermentation Tube (MPN) Test for Bacteria. 12.3 Coagulation, Flocculation, and Sedimentation for the Removal of Organic and Inorganic Water Contaminants. 12.4 Jar Test Procedure. 12.5 Gravimetric Determination of Particulate Matter in Air. 12.6 Static Puncture Strength of Geotextiles and Geotextile-Related Products. 12.7 Specific Heat Capacity of Materials. 12.8 Percolation Test Procedure. 13. Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics Experiments. 13.1 Properties of Fluids. 13.2 Capillary Rise in Tubes and Soils. 13.3 Buoyancy Forces on Submerged Surfaces. 13.4 Siphons. 13.5 Open Channel Flow Measurement by Velocity-Area Method. 13.6 Open Channel Flow Measurement by Thin Plate Weir. 13.7 Determination Of The Horizontal Water Flow Rate Through A Geosynthetic Screening Material
Prof. Francis J. Hopcroft recently retired from teaching civil and environmental engineering after 23 years in the classroom and about 40 years of consulting in the field. He is the author of five environmental engineering and hazardous waste management books, the coauthor of 23 such books, and a contributor to a dozen or more professional manuals of practice. A graduate of Northeastern University and the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham, he has been registered as a Professional Engineer in all six New England states and as a Licensed Site Professional in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Before starting his teaching career, he spent 25 years in professional practice as a consultant, an EPA regulator, and as the President and CEO of several consulting firms doing site assessment for the presence and remediation of oil and hazardous material releases. He continued his consulting work while teaching to maintain currency in his field and to bring current concepts into the classroom.
Dr. Abigail Charest is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) in Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently the Blittersdorf Endowed Professor and utilizes that professorship to address topics of sustainability in the curriculum. She is an avid researcher, experimenter, and innovator in the laboratory. She has also served as the lead faculty member in the redevelopment of a graduate program in civil engineering at Wentworth and incorporated significant research and experimentation opportunities into that program. She received her doctorate from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and prior to entering into academia, she worked in the field of environmental consulting in the New England Area. During this time, she received her Professional Engineering license in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.