The construction materials program focuses primarily on transportation materials, particularly asphalt and Portland cement concrete materials. The asphalt area emphasizes asphalt pavements and use of solid waste materials, including reuse and recycling, in paving and construction industries. The concrete area focuses on investigating material science and engineering aspects of Portland cement concrete, particularly those relevant to concrete pavements and bridges.
In addition to construction materials courses, students can select courses in other civil engineering areas; other branches of engineering such as ceramic (bricks, tiles and glass), chemical, mechanical and textile (composite and fiber-reinforced materials); and forestry (wood products). Research in the asphalt area focuses on asphalt paving materials and development of new applications for use of solid waste in construction materials. Concrete research involves studying durability aspects of aggregate and concrete, application of nondestructive testing techniques and design of high-performance concretes. Funding has come from FHWA, FAA, NSF, SCDOT and private industry, including Michelin, Milliken, BMW and Vulcan Materials.