The Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems (CREATEs) officially opened on Wednesday in the South Jersey Technology Park after a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by representatives of Rowan’s engineering department, the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The 50-foot by 90-foot facility will conduct transportation-related research as well as provide experiential opportunities for Rowan undergraduate and graduate students.
“This will become a home for some of the best and brightest undergrads in engineering,” said Anthony Lowman before the ribbon cutting, who is the dean of the college of engineering.
The facility was funded through grants totaling nearly $5 million from the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Transportation as well as the state of New Jersey. It will house a Heavy Vehicle Simulator (HVS), which will be used to conduct research on a wide range of material tests.
CREATEs director Yusuf Mehta explained that the HVS will let researchers simulate up to 10 years worth of real-time traffic on a surface in as little as six months to determine the potential of new materials acting as pavement for cars and trucks.
After the ceremony, Lowman explained how the HVS will benefit engineering students.
“It’s going to be a game changer for our civil and environmental engineers as well as our material science,” said Lowman. “We’ve gone from testing in the lab on bench tops to really delivering our promise, to putting students in real world situations.”
The facility will employ up to 10 professionals in the first five years to conduct research, according to a fact sheet provided at the event.
“I’m working in a one of a kind facility,” said senior civil engineering major Steven Buzby. “There are only five universities that have these in America so that looks amazing on a resume and that will stand out to a lot of employers.”