Research

My scholarship and research agenda aims to better society by:

  1. exploring how infrastructure materials can be made to be more environmentally sustainable and resilient against climate change and by
  2. exploring how engineering curriculum and practice can be structured to be more welcoming of diverse perspectives, which can foster attitudes toward challenging societal inequities.

I lead and contribute in collaborative research projects that support my research agenda. To date, I have:

  • led as PI on an NSF PFE: RIEF Grant (Award #2024466) where a teaching practice grounded in culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) is being explored in an engineering mechanics context. My collaborators are Drs. Joi Merritt (James Madison University) and Joel A. Mejia (University of Texas at San Antonio).
  • contributed as Co-PI on an NSF EAGER: PPER Grant (Award #1744006) where citizen engineers engaged in the design, construction, and utilization of acrylic concrete structures for rainwater harvesting in San Angelo, TX  (an area prone to persistent droughts). My collaborators were Drs. Azadeh Bolhari (University of Colorado Boulder) and Kenneth Stewart (Angelo State University).

I also (co-)supervise undergraduate research students on multi-semester-long scholarship projects whereby each student learns about an engineering problem, applies tools and methodologies to explore solutions to that problem, and disseminate their findings at various research venues. To date, my students have explored:

  • respirable crystalline silica (RCS) impacts on human health in academic concrete lab environments,
  • life cycle analysis (LCA) of bio-fiber reinforced concrete,
  • mechanical performance of bio-fiber reinforced concrete,
  • design limitations on 3D printed molds for mortar casting, and
  • case study analyses of historic infrastructure.

If you are interested in undergraduate research, then shoot me an email and/or stop by my campus office!

My PhD dissertation focused on field-based instrumentation and lab-based experimental analysis of concrete crossties subject to freeze-thaw exposure, specifically across four areas:

  1. effects of external weather conditions on internal relative humidity and temperature conditions of concrete railroad crossties,
  2. correlating concrete internal relative humidity with concrete internal degree of saturation,
  3. propagation of vibrational energy in fresh concrete with varying rheology and aggregate content, and
  4. yielding of interstitial cement paste fluid between aggregates.

You can learn more about my research from my profiles at Google Scholar or Research Gate.

SEM of fractured fly ash-based geopolymer.Instrumented pavement at FAA-NAPTF.Surrogate fluid tested inside ICAR rheometer.Collecting embedded data from instrumented crosstie in Lytton, BC.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications

  • Song, Y., Damiani, R. M., Shen, C., Castaneda, D. I., and Lange. D. A. (2020) “A 3D petrographic analysis for concrete freeze-thaw protection.” Cement and Concrete Research 128 (1): 1 – 12. Link.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Riding, K. A., and Lange, D. A. (2019) “Prediction of freezing temperature inside concrete crossties at the rail seat area.” ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering 31 (1): 04018358-1-12. Link.
  • Koch, J. A., Castaneda, D. I., Ewoldt, R. H., and Lange, D. A. (2019) “Vibration of fresh concrete understood through the paradigm of granular physics.” Cement and Concrete Research 115 (1): 31-42. Link.
  • Henschen, J. D., Castaneda, D. I., and Lange, D. A. (2018) “Formwork pressure model for SCC using a pressure decay signature.” ACI Materials Journal 115 (3): 339-348. Link. (Note: this manuscript earned the ACI 2020 Wason Medal for Most Meritorious Paper Award.)
  • Castaneda, D. I., and Mejia, J. A. (2018) “Culturally relevant pedagogy: An approach to foster critical consciousness in civil engineering.” ASCE Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice 144 (2): 02518002-1-8. Link.
  • Song, Y., Zou, R., Castaneda, D. I., Riding, K. A., and Lange, D. A. (2017) “Advances in measuring air-void parameters in hardened concrete using a flatbed scanner.” ASTM Journal of Testing and Evaluation 45 (5): 1713-1725. Link.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Henschen, J. D., and Lange, D. A. (2014) “Field test method for residual stress in plain concrete pavements and structures.” ASTM Journal of Testing and Evaluation 43 (3): 761-773. Link.

Peer-Reviewed Conference Publications – * denotes student supervised by Castaneda et al.

  • Castaneda, D. I., Merritt, J., and Mejia, J. A. October 2021. “Integrating an engineering for justice approach in a project-based learning (PBL) unit for an undergraduate engineering mechanics course.” In IEEE 2021 Frontiers in Education (FIE). Lincoln, NE. In-press.
  • Paterson, K. G., Henriques, J. J., Castaneda, D. I., Nagel, R. L., Gipson, K., Joshi, S., Miller, C., Nagel, J. K., and Forsyth, J. August 2021. “An ecosystem to support sense-making, identity formation, and belonging for first-year engineering students.” In ASEE 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience (FYEE) Conference. Link.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Forsyth, J., Joshi, S., Miller, C., Gipson, K., Nagel, J., Nagel, R., and Paterson, K. December 2020. “24for24: 24-minute engagements in a summer bridge program for the Collegiate Class of 2024.” In Sixth International Conference on E-Learning. Link.
  • Bolhari, A., Castaneda, D. I., and Stewart, K. June 2020. “Work in progress: An exploratory study of the sustainability mindset through a citizen science project in a vulnerable Latinx community.” In 2020 American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) At-Home Virtual Conference. Link.
  • Stewart, K., Castaneda, D. I., and Bolhari, A. June 2020. “Work in progress: Citizen scientists’ description of an engineer.” In 2020 American Society of Engineering Educators At-Home Virtual Conference. Link.
  • Castaneda, D. I. October 2019. “Exploring critical consciousness in engineering curriculum through an ill-structured problem.” In 2019 IEEE Frontiers in Education (FIE). Cincinnati, OH.  Link.
  • Brady, C. E.*, Jatmoko, S. F.*, Mansoor, B. B.*, Castaneda, D. I., Kirkvold, H. A., and Striebig, B. A. April 2019. “Bridge over Mossy Creek.” In IEEE 2019 Systems and Information Design Symposium (SIEDS) (pp 1-4). Charlotesville, VA. Link.
  • Lange, D. A., Castaneda, D. I., Koch, J. A., Ewoldt, R. H., and Riding, K. A. May 2016. “Stability and retention of entrained air in conventional and self-consolidating concrete.” In Khayat, K. H., (Ed). 8th International RILEM Symposium on Self-Compacting Concrete (pp 243-252). Washington, DC: RILEM Publications S. A. R. L.
  • Lange, D. A., Castaneda, D. I., Koch, J. A., Ewoldt, R. H., and Riding, K. A. July 2014. “Stability of entrained air in self-consolidating concrete under vibration.” In XXII Nordic Concrete Research Symposia (pp 387-90). Reykjavik, Iceland: Norsk Betongforening.
  • Castaneda, D. I., and Lange, D. A. June 2012. “New field testing procedure to measure surface stresses in plain concrete pavements.” In Scarpas, A. et al (Eds). 7th RILEM International Conference on Cracking in Pavements (pp 191-200). Delft University, The Netherlands: Springer. Link.

Technical Reports

  • Bolhari, A., Castaneda, D. I., and Stewart, K. L. “Developing Drought-Resilient Communities by Utilizing Acrylic Concrete Structures for Rainwater Harvesting.” Final Report to the US National Science Foundation Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transportation Systems, Washington, D. C., 22314. January 2020.
  • Castaneda, D. I. “Freeze-thaw environment of precast concrete crossties and effect of vibration on fresh materials.” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2016): PhD Dissertation. Link.
  • Riding, K. A., Lange, D. A., Castaneda, D. I., Koch, J. A., Albahttiti, M. T., Ghadban, A. A., Song, Y., and Zou, R. “Concrete Material and Manufacturing Requirements for Freeze-Thaw Durable Concrete Railroad Ties: Volume I and Volume II.” Technical Report to U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration Office of Research and Development, Washington, D.C., 20590. January 2016. Link.
  • Lange, D. A., Henschen, J. D., and Castaneda, D. I. “Light can corrosion study.” Technical Note, Center of Excellence for Airport Technology CEAT, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801. April 2013.
  • Lange, D. A. and Castaneda, D. I. “Selection of material and methodology for repair of cracks and distresses in concrete pavements at O’Hare Airport.” Technical Note, Center of Excellence for Airport Technology CEAT, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801. December 2012.
  • Castaneda, D. I. “New field testing procedure for measuring residual stress in plain concrete pavements and structures.” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011): MS Thesis. Link.

Presentations, Workshops, Posters, or Invited Talks – * denotes student supervised by Castaneda et al.

  • Jones, R.*, Joshi, S., and Castaneda, D. I. October 2021. “Prototyping the design process for 3D printed molds for mortar artistic artifacts.” Student poster presentation to the Virginia Academy of Science (VAS) 2021 Fall Undergraduate Research Meeting. Hosted by Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, VA.
  • Castaneda, D. I. October 2021. “The manifestation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the civil engineering classroom.” Webinar speaker for the 2021 ASCE ExCEEd Community Exchange (ECX) Series.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Gipson, K., Teate, A., Yurco, K., and Nash, C. October 2021. “The Provost’s Faculty Diversity Curriculum Development Grant Program.” Invited Panelist to the JMU CISE Virtual Forum.
  • Castaneda, D. I. September 2021. “Strengthening Student Critical Thinking Skills in the Ocean of (Mis-)Information.” Webinar speaker for the 2021 ASCE ExCEEd Community Exchange (ECX) Series.
  • Castaneda, D. I. March 2021. “Faculty Development Workshop: SOTL and Discipline-Based Educational Research in STEM Fields.” Invited Virtual Talk to The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley College of Engineering and Computer Science.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Sharp, C., and Dillon, H. February 2021. “Leonardo DaVinci 2.0: Re-discovering artistic expressions of engineering to foster an entrepreneurial mindset.” Co-facilitator for session at the 2021 Virtual KEEN National Conference.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Forsyth, J., Joshi, S., Miller, C., Gipson, K., Nagel, J., Nagel, R., and Paterson, K. December 2020. “24for24: A virtual summer bridge program in multiple 24-minute sessions for the collegiate class of 2024.” Oral/virtual presentation to the 2020 Sixth International Conference on E-Learning. Hosted by the University of Bahrain.
  • Castaneda, D. I. October 2020. “SOTL and Discipline-Based Educational Research in STEM Fields.” CFI Engaged Teacher Scholar Program presentation to the JMU College of Science and Mathematics.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Doyle, K., Fitzsimmons, E., and Dennis, N. September 2020. “Reimagining exams and assessments.” Invited panelist speaker for the 2020 ASCE ExCEEd Community Exchange Series.
  • Bolhari, A., Castaneda, D. I., and Stewart, K. June 2020. “Work in Progress: An exploratory study of the sustainability mindset through a citizen science project in a vulnerable Latinx community.” Oral/virtual presentation to the 2020 ASEE At Home with Engineering Education Virtual Conference
  • Stewart, K., Castaneda, D. I., and Bolhari, A. June 2020. “Work in progress: Citizen scientists’ description of an engineer.” Oral/virtual presentation to the 2020 ASEE At Home with Engineering Education Virtual Conference
  • Castaneda, D. I. October 2019. “Exploring critical consciousness in engineering curriculum through an ill-structured problem.” Oral/Poster presentation to the 2019 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference. Hosted by University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Enzmann, J.*, Kirkvold, H. A., and Castaneda, D. I. October 2019. “Respirable Dust (RD) and Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) In a University Concrete Lab.” Student poster presentation to the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of Undergraduate Scholarship (MARCUS). Hosted by Randolph College, Lynchburg, VA.
  • Tafoya, E.*, Morton, S., Kirkvold, H. A., and Castaneda, D. I. October 2019. “Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of Bio-Fiber Reinforced Concrete.” Student poster presentation to the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of Undergraduate Scholarship (MARCUS). Hosted by Randolph College, Lynchburg, VA.
  • Brady, C. E.*, Jatmoko, S. F.*, Mansoor, B. B.*, Castaneda, D. I., Kirkvold, H. A., and Striebig, B. A. April 2019. “Bridge over Mossy Creek.” Student oral presentation to the 2019 Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium (SIEDS). Hosted by the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Forsyth, J., Gipson, K., Joshi, S., Miller, C., Nagel, J., Nagel, R., and Paterson, K. March 2019. “Open-Ended and Project-Based Service-Learning in First and Second Year Engineering Design Curriculum.” Poster presentation to the Service Learning Workshop 2019 Sponsored by KEEN. Hosted by Arizona State University. Tempe, AZ.
  • Al-Hammoud, R., Castaneda, D. I., and Tanner, J. E. March 2019. “Multi-Cultural Communication.” Panelist Speaker at Spring 2019 Speaker Development Breakfast Sponsored by American Concrete Institute (ACI) Committee S802. Quebec City, Canada.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Riding, K. A., and Lange, D. A. “Measuring and Predicting Humidity and Temperature inside Concrete Railroad Crossties.” Keynote Speaker at 2017 Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Engineering and Science Symposium. Kansas City, MO.
  • Castaneda, D. I. September 2017. “The State of Diversity in Science and Engineering.” Invited talk in Hispanic Heritage Month Lecture Series: Examining Hispanic Culture through Psychology, Educational Choices, Language, Evolving Demographics, and Personal Experiences. Hosted by Angelo State University, San Angelo, TX.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Riding, K. A., and Lange, D. A. July 2015. “Measuring and predicting temperature and relative humidity profile distributions inside railroad concrete crossties.” Poster presentation to the American Ceramics Society 6th Advances in Cement-Based Materials. Hosted by the Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Riding, K. A., and Lange, D. A. October 2014. “Moisture movement in concrete railroad crossties under field conditions.” Oral presentation to Technical Session In-Situ Transport Measurements ACI 228/236. Hosted by ACI International, Washington, D.C.
  • Lange, D. A., Castaneda, D. I., and Koch, J. A. October 2014. “Stability of air bubbles in Bingham fluids under vibration.” Oral presentation to ACI Session on Air Entraining and SCC Frost Durability. Hosted by ACI International, Washington, D.C.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Riding, K. A., and Lange, D. A. July 2013. “Internal relative humidity of concrete in railroad environments.” Oral presentation to the American Ceramics Society 4th Advances in Cement-Based Materials. Hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.
  • Castaneda, D. I. and Lange, D. A. September 2012. “Repair materials and methods at O’Hare Airport.” CEAT Brownbag Seminar Series. Hosted by O’Hare Modernization Program, Chicago, IL.
  • Castaneda, D. I. and Lange, D. A. June 2012. “Investigating setting and strength in alkali diffusion-controlled geopolymeric reactions.” Poster presentation to the American Ceramics Society 3rd Advances in Cement-Based Materials. Hosted by the University of Texas, Austin, TX.
  • Castaneda, D. I. and Lange, D. A. June 2012. “New field testing procedure to measure stress state in plain concrete pavements and structures.” Oral presentation to the 7th RILEM Conference on Cracking in Pavements. Hosted by Delft University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Castaneda, D. I., Marks, D. G., and Lange, D. A. July 2010. “Development of testing method for measuring residual stresses in concrete pavements.” Poster presentation to the American Ceramics Society 2nd Advances in Cement-Based Materials. Hosted by Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

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