DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science Research

Senior Design Study Analyzes Structural Issues on Bridge Cables

Mike Lipani, Tom Balestrieri and Yakov Mikhaylov, graduates of the Class of 2013, completed their undergraduate studies with a research project designed to provide suspension bridge engineers with valuable information relating to a current structural issue.  Working under the guidance of Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering David M. Rooney, the team analyzed the feasibility of reducing the corrosive effects of humidity on bridge cables through the introduction of compressed air into the cable sheathing.

The students spent many hours in Hofstra’s Transport Phenomena Laboratory, working with a new three-dimensional traverse measurement system capable of recording incremental wind speed data in the lab’s subsonic wind tunnel over a prolonged period of time.  The system was created by Laboratory Operations Supervisor Seth Rosenberg, an accomplished design engineer and recent graduate of the program, as part of an ongoing commitment to the development of new research facilities at the school.

The data collected by the team is very promising, and it indicates a potential solution to help reduce bridge cable corrosion.  “These students really set to work with a vengeance, and put in at least twenty or thirty hours per week if not more, for several weeks, and came up with some beautiful results,” noted Dr. Rooney.  The data, he said, is impressive enough to warrant publication as an abstract in one of the technical journals in the near future.

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