Undergraduate Research

Jaime Muntz, Civil Engineering




“In my summer research group, we are exploring different properties of concrete when the ratio of its components are varied. ”

“In my summer research group, we are exploring different properties of concrete when the ratio of its components are varied. In each set of castings, a specific ratio of elements (concrete, water, sand, and gravel) was varied. The castings are allowed to set overnight and then cure is a tub of water, and then dried. Once, they are finished with the entire curing process, the electric constant of each is measured. This allows us to determine a constant for each ratio of elements. With this data, materials in the field (i.e. concrete samples outside) can have their dielectric constants measured and the makeup of the sample can be determined and matched with its properties. As the research progresses, my role has been to mix the different samples of concrete, cast them, uncast them, and then see them through the curing process. Recently, while the samples are still curing, we have moved onto taking sample measurements of the dielectric constant of known samples to compare them to previous data. This allows us to become familiar with the coaxial probe used to take the measurements and reduce possible human error when taking the measurements of the samples to be tested. The research co-op has taught me much about the area of concrete mixtures and properties of the concrete. There were many trials and errors with the casting process, but this was a learning experience and these obstacles only furthered my knowledge. As the research continues, I hope to learn more about the non-destructive properties of concrete while developing my knowledge of the dielectric constant through the measurements we will take.”