The Nano Infrastructure Research Group (NIRG) focuses on the utilization of nano particles such as carbon nanotube, nanowire, nanoclay, graphite and glass platelets, and flyash, for reinforcing polymers and concrete to make nanocomposites. These composites are applied to the protection of infrastructures (buildings, bridges, tunnels, pipelines, ports, levees and floodwalls, power and communication transmission facilities) against all kinds of natural hazards and terrorist threats, including blast, impact, earthquakes, hurricanes, fire, corrosion, and fatigue collapse. These materials are also used in defense applications such as protecting navy ships against blast, for fire protection, and shielding against electromagnetic detection (stealth).
During the last two decades, tremendous progress has been made in nanoscience. New classes of nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, nanofibers, nanowires, and quantum dots are being assembled atom by atom, with various high tech applications in mind—electronics, biomedicine, energy, environment, etc.
However, these materials are still very expensive, and can only be produced in relatively small quantities. In order to protect the nation's critical infrastructure, such as buildings, bridges, tunnels, transportation systems, pipelines, power transmission and communication systems against natural (hurricane, flood, earthquake) and man-made (blast, impact, fire) threats, we need huge quantities of low cost nanomaterials.
CSNERG is dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary research and education in advanced composite materials and structures, with an emphasis on nano composites and their application in infrastructure, mechanical, electrical, chemical and other engineering sectors.
CSNERG has been built on the strengths of the multi-disciplinary members within the Research Group. These strengths include blast survivability and homeland security; composite/hybrid materials and structures; mechanics from nano, micro, on up to macro scales; impact and crash worthiness; electric power and telecommuniations; chemical and biological systems; and simulations/modeling