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McNair Scholar 2014Luc Desroches

Luc Desroches is a junior at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, majoring in mechanical engineering. His research interests are in advanced structural materials and material physics in order to push for the design of more efficient and structurally stable aircrafts. He aims to earn his master’s in Materials Science.

Luc Desroches photo
My dream is to achieve my Master of Science in materials science and work for a corporation that designs aircrafts. I want to be an example to the younger generation and prove that it is possible to achieve higher education through hard work and resilience.

Research project

Experimental Determination of Poisson’s Ratio for Asphalt Binder

Abstract: A key material parameter is the Poisson’s ratio. This ratio defines a material ability to deform under load without changing its volume. This parameter is required in the design of components of bicycles, cars, airplanes, but also in designing components of the civil infrastructures, such as bridges, roads, and buildings. Asphalt binder represents the black, adhesive material that holds together the aggregates in asphalt mixtures, the material used to build asphalt pavements. Experimental determination of Poisson ratio for asphalt binders is difficult and an estimated value is currently used in pavement design calculations. In this work, a new, simple method is proposed, based on small changes to a current standard method used for asphalt mixtures. Accurate determination of this ratio improves the design process and the performance and durability of asphalt pavements. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Mihai Marasteanu has obtained Engineer Diploma from the Technical University Bucharest, Romania, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. His research at the University of Minnesota has focused on two main themes: application of viscoelasticity and fracture mechanics concepts to asphalt materials characterization, and the development of simple, implementable laboratory testing methods based on complex material characterization analyses. Currently, he is working on the application of a new additive to improve the strength and compactibility of asphalt mixtures and asphalt- based pavement materials.