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   from the issue of July 20, 2006

NaBRO lands 5-year Korean bridge project

UNL researchers have started a five-year initiative to modernize bridges in the Republic of Korea, which is expected to invest $100 million to update its transportation infrastructure.

A consortium of industry, government and universities will develop a plan and conduct research for the Korean project. The National Bridge Research Organization, a division of UNL's Department of Civil Engineering, will be the liaison between U.S. and Korean researchers. Atorod Azizinamini, director of NaBRO and professor of civil engineering, will lead the project.

"The Republic of Korea sees UNL as the authority on bridge engineering, and as a result, they want to work with us," Azizinamini said.

In the past decade, UNL researchers have developed several new bridge technologies, including the NU I-Girder, a system for bridges with long spans and shallow depths that makes construction faster and more economical, and the NUDECK, a system that makes construction faster and increases a bridge deck's lifespan.

Representatives from the Korean Research Institute of Steel Technology visited UNL June 11-13. RIST is the research division of POSCO, the largest steel producer in Korea and the fifth largest in the world. The group learned about bridge technology developed at the university, visited with engineers at the Nebraska Department of Roads and toured architecture, engineering and consulting firms Olsson Associates.

The UNL College of Engineering, the Department of Civil Engineering and NaBRO hosted the visit. It concluded with Chancellor Harvey Perlman, Vice Chancellor for Research Prem Paul and RIST officials signing a contract for the first year of the five-year initiative.

Azizinamini said the initiative will give UNL international exposure for its bridge technology and showcase unique bridges in Nebraska.

The NaBRO research team will include faculty from University of California, San Diego; Purdue University, University of Missouri-Rolla and University of Michigan.



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