All Tech Tours take place on 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
The Bureau of Reclamation’s geotechnical, concrete and hydraulics labs, located at the Technical Service Center in Denver, perform material characterization, testing, modeling and fundamental research in support of water related projects. Operating continuously since the 1940’s, many of the testing procedures and analysis methods commonly used in the civil engineering profession were developed and refined in these labs. Reclamation’s labs have supported the design, construction, rehabilitation, and risk assessment of hundreds of embankment and concrete dams, and canal and pipeline systems. The tour group will be lead through the nearly 4 acre facility, which includes the soil, rock, concrete and hydraulics labs. During the tour, participants will engage in discussions about the various projects in progress. Reclamation personnel will be available to discuss how the work seeks to reduce inherent uncertainties for both new and existing structures through characterization of material engineering properties and scaled modeling studies. In addition, participants will witness the broad capabilities of the lab and learn how the needs of Reclamation risk assessment practices have driven the development of those capabilities. The tour will conclude with a 2 ft x 4 ft concrete cylinder break in the 5 million pound universal testing machine.
The National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) is the nation’s premier wind energy research facility. The NWTC provides technical support critical to the development of advanced wind and water energy systems. Its location provides highly variable wind patterns ideal for testing. Tour participants will receive an update on the status of the wind industry in the U.S. and an overview of the types of research being conducted at the NWTC. Additionally, visitors will tour the NWTC’s field test sites and test laboratories.