UB faculty associated with the Institute of Bridge Engineering conduct research on a wide range of topics. Research related to seismic performance is one area where UB has a long track record but another is durability, or the ability of a material or structure to survive the test of time in adverse weather conditions
Students interested in earning a PhD can focus on bridge engineering and participate in research funded by USDOT Federal Highway Administration, National Science Foundation or state Departments of Transportation. Problem-focused research addresses the needs expressed and prioritized by bridge owners represented by American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
MCEER (formerly Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research and NCEER) has been continuously funded by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) since 1986, with related research cumulatively valued at $36 M. The MCEER team conducts experimentation to better understand the response of bridges when subjected to earthquakes or other natural hazards. This allows them to suggest changes to the standards used for bridge design in the U.S. Researchers also learn from damage after real extreme events and use that performance data to improve design specifications and recommend retrofit measures.