At Penn State, Researchers Looking For The Next Big Thing In Infrastructure
On the surface, Dr. Farshad Rajabipour's job might not sound that interesting. He's an associate professor of civil engineering at Penn State. And he studies concrete.
"It's actually a material that's used pretty much everywhere in the world," Rajabipour said. "It's so common that people don't notice it."
Concrete is in the roads and bridges you drive over, the buildings where you live and work, and even the pipes that transport your city's stormwater.
Rajabipour works at Penn State's Civil Infrastructure Testing and Evaluation Lab. Researchers at the lab are devoted to making infrastructure safer, less expensive, and longer-lasting.
Pennsylvania's infrastructure is not in the best shape. The state has the second highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the country, after Rhode Island. That means those bridges need repairs or they may be weight restricted or closed. And about 44 percent of the state's roads were rated in "fair" or "poor" condition in 2013.