Structural Engineering and Materials Lab

The Civil Engineering Department at the University of New Mexico has three well-equipped laboratories in which the physical and mechanical properties of Civil Engineering Materials are evaluated.

These three laboratories include:

* The mechanics of materials laboratory where students test the behavior of metals (steel & aluminum) and timber.

* The concrete laboratory where students evaluate concrete aggregates, portland cement and portland cement concrete (PCC).

* The bituminous laboratory where students test asphalt binders and hot mix asphalt (HMA).

Structural and Materials Testing Facilities UNM

The new Centennial Engineering Center (CENT) at UNM houses the Structural Engineering Laboratory where materials and structural testing is performed. The figure below shows some of the testing equipment and testing facilities available for structural engineering.

structures lab state of the art

Structural lab equipped with state-of-the-art testing equipment for materials and structural testing.
Photo shows Dr. Taha and some of his research team members.

low impact velocity machine    external frame actuator
Low Velocity Impact Machine with                                                       External Frame Actuator
Environmental Chamber

24 kN MTS        100 kip Instron

25 kN MTS Servo-Control Universal Testing              100 kip Instron Servo-Control Universal Testing Machine
Machine Typically Used for Testing Composite

400 kip servo-control testing equipment             glove

400 Kip Servo-Control Testing Equipment                                                Glove Box for Nano0synthesis

tension test apparatus                         composite fabrication platform

 Tension Test Apparatus                                                                                                            Composite Fabrication Platform


16 channel acquisition system64 channel acquisition system

  16 Channel Data Acquisition System                                                                                             64 Channel Data Acquisition System



network analyserdigital balance for density measurements

Network Analyser                                                                                                                        Digital Balance for Density Measurements


telscam pressure gauges              50 and 100 kip external load cells

Tekscan Pressure Gauges                                                                                                        50 and 100 Kip External Load Cells

                                                                                                                                                       ultra shear mixer for dispersing nanoparticles                                 

nanoparticle sonication

Nanoparticle Sonication

                                                                                                                                                                 Ultra Shear MIxer for Dispersing

high bay for structural

High bay for structural testing with reaction wall and 100 kip structural frame. The high bay frame configurations enable testing large scale
concrete and steel structures. Testing frame was also used to test concrete structures strengthened with FRP and wood joists.

Nanoindenter (located in the Mechanical Engineering Department)


The NanoTest system is a fully flexible nanomechanical property measurement system.  It is capable of measuring hardness, modulus, toughness, adhesion, and many other properties of thin films and other surfaces.  Load ranges can be from sub-mN to 500 mN, and sample environments and impacting conditions can be set to closely replicate conditions that these materials actually see in–use.