Nabil Grace

Nabil F. Grace Ph.D, PE 

Chair and University Distinguished Professor, Civil Engineering Department
Director, Center for Innovative Materials Research

Lawrence Technological University
21000 West Ten Mile Rd., Southfield, MI 48075

LTU selected for defense testing chamber

By Chad Halcom
Crain's Detroit Business

Lawrence Technological University will begin construction shortly on an environmental testing chamber after obtaining an $800,000 federal grant through the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Command in Warren.

The private university in Southfield obtained the grant money as part of a fiscal 2009 federal defense appropriations bill, signed earlier this month by President Bush. The chamber will be able to test vehicle armor and armor structural components by simulating extreme environmental conditions, in Lawrence Tech's Center for Innovative Materials Research.

"The chamber will be able to simulate the ability of vehicle components and building construction components to handle loads in different conditions, from freezing and thawing, dry heat and 100 percent humidity," Nabil Grace, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at Lawrence Tech, said in a statement on the funding Monday.

Scheduled for completion in late 2009, the chamber fulfills university plans for four major research components of the Center at LTU.

The other components include equipment to test highway bridge components, a fire-loading chamber completed in 2007 to test structural components at temperatures up to 2300 degrees, and nanotechnology testing equipment installed earlier this year.