The Department invests approximately 40% of its academic work in research projects, technology transfers, publications, and other creative activities. The following units that the department runs, leads our creative task
- Transportation Technology Transfer Center
- Civil Infrastructure Research Center
- Puerto Rico Strong Motion Program
- Meteorological Network
Transportation Technology Transfer Center
The Transportation Technology Transfer Center is one of the fifty eight (58) centers of the United States under the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP). It is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW), and the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works. This center offers training and technical skills to employees of the Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW), the Puerto Rico Highways & Transportation Authority (PRHTA), the sixty eight municipalities of Puerto Rico, and officers of the Virgin Island Transportation in areas such as analysis and design, inspection, evaluation, operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of highways. The seminars offered are accredited for continuing education by the College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico.
Civil Infrastructure Research Center (CIRC)
The Civil Infrastructure Research Center (CIRC) was established under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation. It is part of the program to stimulate competitive research at the University of Puerto Rico. The main objective of the center is to help the government and the industry in the analysis, management, and maintenance of the infrastructure in Puerto Rico. The research center’s activities are closely linked to the undergraduate and graduate academic activities. The current research aims to structural systems and geomechanical, management of stormwater runoff, transportation systems, management and maintenance of construction and the effects of natural disasters such as hurricanes, winds, floods, landslides, earthquakes and other disasters. The center welcomes and sponsors scientific and educational workshops, national and internationals.
Puerto Rico Strong Motion Program(PSMP)
The mission of the Puerto Rico Strong Motion Program is to mitigate both human and economic losses during high-intensity earthquakes through accurate and reliable seismic records. The Strong Motion Program began operations in 1975, at the beginning it was in charge of the College of Engineers and later on of Water Resources. In 1987 the Puerto Rico Strong Motion Program passed to the hands of the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.
As a result of hurricanes Hortensia in 1996 and Georges in 1998, the Federal Agency for the Emergency Management provided funds for the installation of 69 strong motion stations and the seismic instrumentation for the Lucchetti Dam in Yauco, the Viaduct of Mayaguez, and a bridge in PR-52 of Ponce. In 2002, Law 106 is signed and it provided recurrent funds to the program for its operation and maintenance. Nowadays, they count with 100 strong motion stations in open fields in Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, and it also features nine instrumented structures (three buildings, three bridges, and three dams).
This network began operations in the year 1999, in collaboration of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board. It consists of seven (7) wind measurement stations (velocity and direction) and other parameters such as rainfall and barometric pressure, temperature and relative humidity. This system can take measurements in enough time to record a 3 second gusts of wind and its characteristics. These stations are continuously registering winds, which allow correlating better the dynamic characteristics of the winds with the actions these can cause to the areas near the instrument and on the buildings of that area. This information is essential to come up with realistic estimates of engineering projects. The department also has a wind tunnel to carry out aerodynamic studies on small scale models and it allows complementing the direct field information that is obtained in the wind stations. Other collected data such as the case of precipitation, allows us to analyze the distribution of rainfalls over time (intensity) and to identify extreme events in magnitude according to its duration and recurrence.