construction materials lab

Facilities and Specialized Laboratories

The AUC Library collection fully supports the construction engineering program and ranges from recently published textbooks and references and current issues of relevant scientific journals. The library has enormous electronic resources. Students can access the library collection on or off campus.

The construction engineering curriculum is served by specialized, well-equipped laboratories, in addition to laboratories of the science departments and architectural engineering. The construction engineering laboratories are designed to emphasize direct student involvement and hands-on practice by which students run projects and experiments either individually or in groups. In addition, the laboratories are often used to carry out the experimental work needed for student capstone projects.


The specialized construction engineering laboratories include:

  • The lab is serving all undergraduate construction engineering students by supporting their education sequence of courses within the program.

    The Lab computers are equipped with the last updated release of construction engineering software such as; Primavera, AutoCAD, SAP, Etabs, Safe, Bentley, Midas, Crystal Ball, SketchUp Pro)

    Moreover, the lab includes state-of-the-art printing facilities to support the students in finalizing all materials related to the construction engineering courses.

    The lab is used as an educational platform for some courses such as CENG 446 and CENG 491 where specialized software is introduced and utilized.

  • The Construction method lab supports graduates and undergraduate students in research and manufacturing related activities. The lab is equipped with wood working machines such as a table saw, a band saw, a planer and a small profiler…etc. which supports the students and researchers to facilitate their research. A small wood kiln is available as well as a larger solar kiln (located nearby). The lab is also equipped with a small hydraulic compression testing machine as well as other related woodworking tools such as moisture meters and scales.

    The lab also has a 2-axis CNC router capable of cutting large boards and the associated fabrication software. As such, the lab’s main purpose it supports research in terms of prototyping and manufacturing of wood samples.

  • Soil supports structures and is used as a construction material in various civil engineering projects. The soil lab provides facilities to undergraduate and graduate courses as well as research in various areas of geotechnical engineering in senior graduation projects and masters theses. In Soils laboratory, students run experiments to study all soil physical and mechanical properties. The experiments include classification; grain-size distribution, specific gravity, and Atterberg limits; compaction and CBR; permeability; shear strength; consolidation and swelling. All tests are performed according to ASTM testing standards.

  • This lab serves advanced studies and research at senior graduation projects and masters theses. It encompasses two major systems; Superpave (Superior Performing Asphalt Pavements) and MTS (Material Testing System). Superpave provides experiments needed to achieve the latest performance grading system. It includes the Rolling Thin Film Oven (RTFO) and the Pressure Aging Vessel (PAV), asphalt binder Brookfield Rotational Viscometer (RV) Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR) and the Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR). Tests conducted according to ASTM and AASHTO testing specifications. The MTS and its environmental chamber open the door to numerous standard and design performance experiments for all construction materials. 

  • Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory Is equipped to examine the properties of fluids and to conduct experiments for incompressible fluid flow, which is a part of fundamental undergraduate course work.

    Experimental Highlights

    • Flow rate and velocity distribution in an open channel

    • Hydraulic jump in open channel 

    • Fluid properties, such as variations in density and surface tension

    • Determination of the hydrostatic force acting on a plane surface immersed in water

    • Verification of Bernoulli's theorem when applied to steady state flow

    • Investigation of the head loss due to friction in the flow of water through a pipe

    • Investigation of the friction coefficient of the pipe

    • Determination of the head/flow characteristics curve for a number of pump configurations:

      • Single Pump

      • Two Pumps in series

      • Two Pumps in Parallel


    Facility Highlights

    • Hydraulic Flume (tilting open channel)

    • Flowmeter

    • hydraulic benches (water circulating flow benches with various test apparatus)

    • Centrifugal pumps with instrumentation

    • Pipe friction circulating flow apparatus

    • Water hammer apparatus

  • The Surveying Laboratory has a wide variety of modern surveying equipment, for basic instructional and research purposes. The undergraduate students use the laboratory as part of their surveying coursework.
    Moreover, the availability of the state of the art equipment such as a 3D laser scanner, allows undergraduate students to have a unique experience of being trained on such technology.
    Students use the lab equipment after conducting appropriate safety training and instruction on the use and care for the equipment.

    Facility Highlights

    • 3D Laser Scanner 

    • GNSS RTK system

    • Total stations

    • Theodolites

    • Digital, automatic and tilt levels

  • The Structural Engineering Laboratory at the American University in Cairo is a full-scale laboratory located at the school of science and engineering (P057), that serves a wide spectrum of activities related to teaching, research, development, and community services. By providing experimental studies on a model/prototype of structural elements and assemblies under various static and dynamic loading conditions.
    With the available test area, state-of-the-art load/displacement-controlled equipment for load application, precision instrumentation, data acquisition and monitoring, the laboratory represents a unique facility for large and full-scale investigation of the load-deformation behavior of structures including their post-peak strength and deformability up to the failure, which is facilitated using:

    • Strong floor and reaction wall.

    • Adjustable loading frame with spans up to 4m and height up to 6m.

    • Actuators, pumps and data loggers.

    • DTE Dynamic actuator and data logger.

    • 5 tons Overhead Crane.

    • Monitoring Room.

    • Pendulum impact testing frame.

  • The aggregates laboratory was established with the objective to provide an appropriate environment for students to examine some basic properties of different construction material such as coarse aggregates, fine aggregates. Through various experiments, these properties are examined thoroughly.  All tests are performed based on ASTM and AASHTO testing specifications. Aggregates sampling, as well as short and long-term testing are conducted. 

  • The asphalt Laboratory is equipped for sample preparation and evaluation of conventional testing of asphalt material such as penetration, softening point, extraction, flash point, absolute and kinematic viscosities. The lab has standard capabilities for assessing asphalt mixture characteristics such as Marshall stability and flow. Tests based on ASTM and AASHTO testing specifications.  The lab has also been equipped with an up-to-date unique facility for the SuperPave testing.  

  • The concrete laboratory is used by undergraduate, postgraduate students as well as researchers and the industry to produce test concrete specimens and carry out fresh, hardened and long-term concrete testing. The lab has also a full set for the testing of Portland cement. Teaching in the concrete lab include mixing and testing of concrete mixes designed by students. Students gain experience with the way concrete is mixed, transported, compacted and cured. All tests are performed based on ASTM, ACI and  AASHTO standards and specifications.  The lab opens its doors to construction projects, including strategic ones, for quality assurance and testing of concrete produced.