The Graduate School’s Research Grants for Research Doctoral Students program awards small grants on a competitive basis to support research/projects initiated and conducted by students of the SIUE EdD programs, DNP programs, and co-operative PhD programs to enhance their academic progress.
Experimental-Scale Faulty Rupture Test on Buried Pipeline Reinforced with Segmental Protective Shield
Pipelines are the most common way to transport water and other essential fluids such as gas and oil. Because pipeline systems typically traverse large geographical areas, they are often exposed to a wide variety of hazards, including landslides, lateral spreading and fault movement. These natural hazards can initiate major accidents in oil and gas pipelines, causing major consequences on the population or the environment due to toxic releases, fires and explosions.
Hamid Rostami, doctoral candidate in the Department of Civil Engineering, is conducting an experimental study that investigates the performance of buried petroleum pipelines that cross earthquake fault lines. The goal of his research, entitled “Experimental-Scale Faulty Rupture Test on Buried Pipeline Reinforced with Segmental Protective Shield,” is to improve the capabilities of buried pipelines in near-fault areas by studying both pipe and soil factors.
“Factors such as pipe thickness, pipe diameter, internal pressure of fluid or gas, burial depth, and surrounding soil density can govern the performance of buried pipelines when subjected to large ground deformations caused by fault offset,” explained Rostami. “To thoroughly investigate each factor, I designed and developed an experimental setup at SIUE’s Soil and Structural Dynamics Laboratory under the supervision of my advisor, Dr. Reza Osouli, and with the assistance of our lab specialist, Mr. Brent Vaughn.”
Rostami’s invention features an earthquake fault apparatus that simulates a reverse earthquake fault scaled down to one-tenth of reality.
“The experimental setup has enabled me to model real pipefault scenarios in the laboratory and comprehensively study pipe performance under different circumstances,” shared Rostami. “For example, I can change a pipe’s thickness or burial depth to see if the pipe better resists the large fault offset. The performance of the pipe is measured and monitored with a series of extremely sensitive pressure and displacement sensors in each test.”
The RGRDS funding allowed Rostami to buy specialized equipment needed for the project’s experimental setup, including the instruments and sensors used to monitor and record displacements and forces.
“More energy pipelines run through the United States than any other country in the world,” said Rostami. “America’s pipeline system of 1.38 million miles is more than eight times longer than that of distant runner-up Russia. These steel highway networks deliver oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbons from wells to refineries, then on to energy hungry North American consumers, then to the ports that ship those products around the world.”
Rostami hopes his research will be used to better protect pipelines as they cross earthquake faults.
Contested Spaces and Race at the 1893 World’s Fair
In 1893, Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition, a world’s fair celebrating the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Spread over 690 acres, the exposition hosted the original Ferris Wheel, life-sized replicas of Columbus’ three ships, exotic animals, new inventions, belly dancers and much more.
The novelty of the event inspired Nichol Allen, doctoral candidate in the Department of History, to explore the different cultural influences throughout the fair’s attractions. Upon realizing that African American involvement and participation in the fair had been marginalized, she sought to conduct a study examining the social, cultural and economic underpinnings at play beyond the grandeur.
By addressing this marginalization in her research, entitled “Contested Spaces and Race at the 1893 World’s Fair,” Allen hopes to better understand how African Americans impacted the shape and visage of the fair, how different races and gender representations impacted the coalescence of the African American race, and how the fair became a pivotal site of protest that paved the way for the Black nationalist movement, Pan-African Movement and the African American women’s rights movement.
“My work aims to examine the 1893 Columbian Exposition as a literal and metaphorical stage on which the nation’s beliefs, ideologies, economics and politics were displayed and performed,” explained Allen. “The fair exposed white hypocrisy while heightening Black awareness and a public resistance to a Jim Crow-run nation. I claim that the fair served as a turning point for African Americans and made way for radical movements that focused on Black independence.”
Allen’s research grant allowed her to spend a week in Chicago, where she explored countless primary sources from the fair at the Newberry Library. Prior to her trip, Allen prepared a list of sources to examine, including pocket diaries of fairgoers, scrapbooks filled with souvenir programs and newspaper trimmings, detailed maps of the fairgrounds, and daily event brochures with performance descriptions.
“From the Newberry Library, I was particularly interested in personal accounts and diaries from the Columbian Exposition,” said Allen. “I will be using the voices of the individuals who experienced the fair in order to layer a narrative structure onto my methodology.”
“The sheer volume of primary source information about the 1893 Columbian Exposition is overwhelming,” added Allen. “Sifting through sources such as diaries, literature, maps, pictures, board meetings, financial planning, postcards, trinkets, commemorative items, programs and brochures can be exhausting yet exciting at the same time. Due to the meticulous documentation of this event, it is my hope to recreate a moment in history that feels real and tangible.”