Idaho State University has been awarded a nearly $1.1 million grant from the Higher Education Research Council of the Idaho State Board of Education as part of the IGEM program.
ISU will use the funds to design and build a Disaster Response Complex at the ISU Research Park in Pocatello. The “collapsed structure” will be used to provide training for first responders in a realistic, catastrophic environment.
ISU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering researchers will collaborate with the Idaho National Laboratory and Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) on the project.
Assistant Professor Mustafa Mashal said the complex would provide a unique simulation of various emergency and search-and-rescue scenarios using pre-cast concrete elements.
“It would mark a new application of precast concrete in the world of civil engineering,” Mashal said. “The faculty in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at ISU bring a wealth of knowledge not only from academic, but also industry backgrounds. We will utilize our experience to simulate disaster scenarios as practical as possible. We will also incorporate new technologies in emergency response. “
The facility will be built on a 300-acre business park bordering Alvin Ricken Drive.
The Idaho State Board of Education approved funding for three years.