Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Clayton Black

Mary Gates Research Scholar, Autumn 2021

Research Project: FRC Flexural Beam Test

Project Description: Investigating methods of testing fiber-reinforced concrete in flexural beam tests. Desired outcome is to produce a testing method to derive a more accurate stress-strain relationship than current standard methods. Determining accurate behavior of the material will allow for thinner beams to be used in practice and improve the sustainability of the built environment.

What have you learned throughout your research project?

This research project has been a great exercise of thinking outside the box on engineering problems. Developing and working through prototypes of different components of my project has been challenging and really fun! I’ve learned how to effectively lead a project by leading meetings, budgeting time, and asking for help from my mentors. I have also developed my design skills through gaining understanding in solid mechanics.

What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?

Get fully invested in your project. Be confident in your ability and attack problems head on with your mentors. Think things out fully and don’t give up on challenges. You never know when you’ll have an idea that solves a problem effectively — I had a couple break through ideas while talking things out with my friends. Get to know your mentors well — I couldn’t do this project without them.