Campus: CSU Fullerton -- December 20, 2002
When humans one day colonize the moon and other nearby planets, experts
say they'll live in dwellings constructed of prestressed concrete, which
happens to be the specialty of Pinaki R. Chakrabarti, Cal State Fullerton
professor of civil and environmental engineering.
But when these structures need repairs, the inhabitants won't be able
to run to a nearby home- improvement center for the proper materials.
Recognizing this situation, NASA recently awarded the Diamond Bar resident
$100,000 in first-year funding of a three-year grant for research and
development of various repair and retrofitting methods for fixing prestressed
concrete structures and light metal structures with fiber reinforced
plastics (FRP) and adhesives, materials known as composites.
As part of the NASA grant, several students will be assisting Chakrabarti,
who noted "a primary objective of this research grant is to involve
students, and expose them to futuristic and high-tech research work
because they will be the work force of tomorrow."
Another objective of the grant is to procure the necessary equipment
and to develop a campus laboratory, according to the professor, who
noted that funds will be used to upgrade the current civil and environmental
engineering structures lab.
"About 25 percent of the grant funds will be used for students,
and 30 percent will be used to buy new equipment and materials, which
will permanently stay at CSUF," he noted.
Two civil and environmental engineering faculty members, Mufid F. Samara
and Chandrasekhar S. Putcha, will assist Chakrabarti as members of the
research and mentoring team.
"This grant offers another exciting opportunity for our students
to conduct important research for NASA under the guidance of faculty
members," said Jesa Kreiner, who chairs the Engineering Division.
"These students will have a chance to help future generations who
may one day live on the moon."
Chakrabarti, who holds a doctorate from Rutgers University, is a fellow
of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a registered civil and
structural engineer. He is a past chair of the university's Civil and
Environmental Engineering Department and has designed several notable
structures across the United States. He has worked as chief engineer
with T.Y. Lin Associates and as a principal engineer with A.C. Martin
Associates. He has published more than 40 papers about reinforced concrete
structures, the durability of concrete and seismic retrofitting using
composites. He also is a member of the joint American Concrete Institutes-American
Society of Civil Engineers National Committee on the design of reinforced
"Even though colonization of the moon may be a long way off, it's
great to think that research conducted by Cal State Fullerton faculty
members and students will have made a contribution in providing safe
structures for those pioneers," said Raman Unnikrishnan, dean of
the College of Engineering and Computer Science. "We welcome the
opportunity to partner with NASA in this initiative."
Media Contacts: Pinaki Chakrabarti at (714) 278-3729
Dave Reid, Public Affairs, at (714) 278-4855 or email@example.com
Photo: A high-resolution image of Chakrabarti can be
downloaded from the university's website at www.fullerton.edu/news/