Structural engineering is the analysis and design of structures that support or resist loads. At CU Denver the area of structural engineering includes structural and bridge engineering; repair, evaluation, maintenance and rehabilitation of civil infrastructure; ultrasonic testing and experimental analysis of concrete; and more.

Structures Laboratory

The Structures Laboratory is equipped to perform state-of-the-art research in the areas of concrete, steel, timber and advanced materials. Research funded by the National Science Foundation, Federal Highway Administration, Colorado Department of Transportation, City and County of Denver, Environmental Protection Agency and other private industry has been conducted to improve the design, construction, analysis and maintenance of buildings, roads, bridges and other structures.


The laboratory occupies 5,100 square feet with the main structural testing area consisting of a 30 feet wide by 50 feet long strong floor. This area consists of tie downs that allow for the construction of test frames and the testing of full-scale structural members. A 20-kip overhead traveling crane services this area. The laboratory is equipped with a concrete moisture curing room, concrete durability room, adequate space for the fabrication and testing of specimens and sufficient space for material and specimen storage.

Three computer controlled uniaxial test frames (20kip, 220kip and 1000kip) are used to evaluate structural materials, connections and components. In addition, the laboratory is equipped with numerous hydraulic rams, pumps, data acquisition systems and other necessary materials to evaluate structural systems.


The structural laboratory facility includes standard laboratory equipment for the production and testing of concrete. The concrete materials laboratory includes:

  • A concrete mixer with a mixing capacity of 5 cf
  • Adequate space for batching and testing of concrete mixtures
  • Water-lime tanks used for moist curing (temperature controlled and monitored with circulating pumps)
  • A temperature controlled room curing room

Fresh concrete properties testing equipment available to test:

  • ASTM C143 Test Method for Slump of Hydraulic-Cement Concrete
  • ASTM C1064 Test Method for Temperature of Freshly Mixed Portland Cement Concrete
  • ASTM C138 Test Method for Unit Weight, Yield, and Air Content (Gravimetric) of Concrete ASTM C231 Test Method for Air Content of Freshly Mixed Concrete by the Pressure Method
  • ASTM C173 Test Method of Air Content of Freshly Mixed Concrete by the Volumetric Method

Hardened concrete properties testing equipment available to test:

  • ASTM C 39 Test Method for Compressive Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens
    • Forney, Inc. 400 kip concrete compression machine with a digital display that provides load, peak load, loading rate and compressive strength
    • Capability of testing 6” x 12” cylinders with a compressive strength up to 14,000 psi or 4” x 8” cylinders with a compressive strength up to 31,000 psi can be tested in this machine
    • CU Denver has the capability of using sulfur caps or unbonded caps when testing cylinders for compressive strength
  • ASTM C666 Standard Test Method for Resistance of Concrete to Rapid Freezing and Thawing
  • ASTM C1202 Standard Test Method for Electrical Indication of Concrete Ability to Resist Chloride Ion Penetration
  • ASTM C 157 Standard Test method for Length Change of Hardened Hydraulic-Cement Mortar and Concrete
  • ASTM C1012 Standard Test Method for Length Change of Hydraulic-Cement Mortars Exposed to a Sulfate Solution

Nondestructive testing of structures concrete ultrasound

  • Steel ultrasound
  • Magnetic particle
  • Dye penetrant
  • Concrete strain gauge
  • Steel strain gauge
  • Rebound hammer
  • Impact echo


Jimmy Kim

Jimmy Kim, PhD


Civil Engineering

Phone: 303-315-7497

Email: jimmy.kim@ucdenver.edu