Professor impacts Hamden’s design and construction of infrastructure through a recent grant

July 11, 2023

Headshot of Ari Perez, professor of engineering

Ari Perez, professor of civil engineering, plans to utilize his recent research grant to advance the design and construction of infrastructure in the local Hamden community.

His project called "Filling in a Blank Space: Compiling Geotechnical Information for Soils in Hamden, Connecticut," will seek to compile geotechnical data from projects submitted to the Town of Hamden in order to produce a map of known soil parameters.

Perez is one of 10 faculty members from across the university who has been awarded grants from the Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works Impact Fund administered by the Office of the Provost. Through the support of a donor, the fund supports full-time faculty in their roles as scholars, practitioners and creators helping to build the university of the future.

Perez’s interest in the topic has been years in the making, he explained.

“It is somewhat related to the work I did for my master’s,” said Perez. “There, I compiled data from borrow pits used by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDoT) all over the state and used the data to research the impact of the presence of micaceous minerals on the engineering properties of the borrow soil.”

Geotechnical data helps geotechnical engineers understand how soil will react to compaction, water saturation, seismic activity, permafrost and more, said Perez, making his research incredibly beneficial for Hamden construction.

“People that use geotechnical data in the Hamden area will be able to access my compiled data and use it as data in the design and construction of infrastructure,” said Perez. “Additionally, other researchers interested in investigating the relationship between different soil materials will have a publicly available data set to use as a basis for their investigations.”

In addition, Perez hopes to model the research process for his students, inspiring them to pursue researching their own topics of interest.

“Research can be a heavy workload and long process so following your passions provides the necessary fuel to keep going,” said Perez. “There are many unanswered questions to research, but the ones that we personally find interesting tend to be the ones that you can push through the work and actually answer.”

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