• Video
  • Feb 08 2023

CAER facility expansion enhances UK’s cement research capabilities

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) grant has provided the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) with funding to expand its renowned cementitious materials research and development facility.

The new space enables three critical improvements to the Cementitious Material Group’s capabilities, thanks to the $900,000 grant. First, the expansion has allowed CAER to scale up its material processing capabilities moving from bench-scale to pilot-scale operations. The space also provides for bulk storage of the group’s materials for testing sprayed concrete. In addition, the new space allows the original laboratory to upgrade performance and stability test equipment and pyroprocessing equipment.

“Frankly, the program had outgrown its existing laboratory,” said Rodney Andrews, CAER director. “Thanks to this collaborative effort with ERDC, we have greatly broadened our materials research capabilities, modernized our laboratory and provided our talented cementitious team the opportunity to explore new and different projects.”

CAER’s Cementitious Materials Group develops and tests cements and concretes seeking to develop more environmentally friendly solutions for the future. Concrete is the most widely used man-made material on earth. It is second only to water as the most-consumed resource on the planet and it is the source of 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.

“The CAER/ERDC collaboration has been nothing short of extraordinary, combining the high-level research of ERDC with the modernization of the Cementitious Materials Lab and the inception of the ERDC Scholars Program to provide a learning-lab experience for graduate students,” said Bob Jewell, associate director for the Cementitious Materials Group. “We look forward to growing this partnership in the years ahead.”