C+S September 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 9 (web)

On July 20th, 2021, the ribbon was cut for the Grady E. Harvell Civil En - gineering Research & Education Center at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The event was heralded by speakers such as Dr. Micah Hale, Head of the University’s Civil Engineering Department, as well as the University’s Acting Chancellor Bill Kincaid and the building’s namesake, Grady Harvell, President of W&W/AFCO Steel, inc. There were several other notable speakers including the Dean of the College of Engineering Kim LaScola Needy, Ph.D. Student Elizabeth (Bette) Poblete, Former Arkansas State Representative Andy Davis, and NWA District Representative for the Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson, Stephanie Blevins. The new facility is certainly cause for celebration for the University of Arkansas Engineering Community. This $14 million dollar building is now a learning tool for the students and faculty of the University’s Engineering Departments, allowing them to conduct advanced testing of civil engineering infrastructure. According to Dr. Gary Prinz, director of the Harvell lab, this project is the result of discussions that began taking place over two decades ago. Starting in the late 1990s, senior members of the University of Arkansas Civil Engineering Department began discussing ways to elevate the program to the next level. One fruit of these discussions was the realization that, in order to both catch up with peer institu - tions and allow researchers at the University to push the cutting edge, there needed to be a new, large-scale testing facility. This need was addressed beginning eight years ago when meetings began regarding the funding and construction of a new facility. One of the driving forces behind this push for a new facility was Grady Harvell, President and CEO of W&W/AFCO Steel. Being a gradu - ate of the University’s Civil Engineering Bachelor’s program in 1972, Harvell provided a crucial estate gift commitment that allowed the project to reach their fundraising goal. Driven to improve the Uni - versity’s research capabilities, Harvell’s gift and efforts have provided students and researchers at the University with the means to conduct testing and research that will impact not only the state’s infrastructure, but the nation’s. Dr. Prinz calls this new facility a “game changer” for the students and re - searchers at the University. The new facilities allow students to receive hands-on experience testing and studying large structural components– visualizing how these components deform and break under extreme loads. This has serious implications for the way in which professors at New Facility Provides Opportunity for Students and Researchers at the University of Arkansas By Luke Carothers

the University teach their classes. For example, in a steel design class, students typically learn about several modes of failure such as block shear, bolt shear, or excessive bearing. The difference in experience between learning about these modes of failure in a classroom rather than



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