Transportation Leader Visits FIU's Wall of Wind

Published on November 6, 2017


Photo: Eduardo Merille, FIU (Flickr)     From left: FIU College of Engineering & Computing Dean John L. Volakis; Atorod Azizinamini, director of FIU’s ABC-UTC and chair of FIU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee; U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao; FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg; Walter Conklin, International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC), Laboratory for Wind Engineering Research, Laboratory Manager; and Ehssan Amir Sayyafi, FIU alumnus.


Last month, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart made a stop at Florida International University’s College of Engineering & Computing. During their October 17 visit, they toured FIU’s Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC) and the Wall of Wind (WOW). Both the ABC-UTC and the WOW are federally designated research centers that allow for the study of best practices and research and development in infrastructure construction.

With a major transportation federal infrastructure bill expected in the next year, many of FIU’s technologies offer creative approaches to upgrade the current transportation system in a more rapid, cost-effective manner without compromising safety, particularly in rural areas.

“It was an honor to host Secretary Chao and Congressman Diaz-Balart and show them how our researchers, including Dr. Azizinamini and our Wall of Wind team, are working on groundbreaking solutions to the critical issues of infrastructure and natural disasters,” said Mark Rosenberg, president of FIU. “We look forward to continuing this conversation, of how FIU can collaborate with national decision makers to make our communities safer.”

FIU’s Wall of Wind is a state-of-the-art facility that simulates hurricane-strength wind gusts for engineering and resilience testing. WOW is one of eight facilities nationwide designated by the National Science Foundation as a National Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure testing facility.