Nicholas Brake, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Nicholas Brake, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Dr. Brake’s research interests are in the characterization and enhancement of reclaimed recycled materials including recycled concrete aggregate, coal combustion residuals, dredged soil, Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) slag. He also has interest in electrical transport properties of cementitious composites and enhancing the media for use in wireless power transfer technology. Dr. Brake also has interest in developing fracture fatigue damage models that can efficiently deployed in high-cycle fatigue pavement analysis applications.

  • Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA)
  • Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR): Bottom Ash and Fly Ash modification
  • Industrial waste: EAF slag
  • Reclamation of natural materials: Dredged soil stabilization
  • Concrete fatigue fracture mechanics
  • Electromagnetic transport properties of cementitious media for wireless power transfer applications
  • Experiential engineering design education
  • Structural analysis and design of concrete pavements 

Research Grants

  • External: National Science Foundation, “MRI: Acquisition of a Nanoindenter for Advanced Materials Research and Education at Lamar University”, (2017-2018), $395,805, Senior Personnel
  • Internal: Summer Research Faculty Fellowship, “Development of a thin and durable wireless charging pad encasement for battery electric vehicles” (2017). $8,000, Lamar University, PI
  • Internal: Research Enhancement Grant, “Engineering a thin high-performance fiber reinforced magnetic cement composite shell to encase roadway wireless charging pads” (2017-2018). $15,000, Lamar University Research Enhancement Grant, PI
  • Internal: Center for Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship Summer Project, “Remote pavement distress surveying with a drone and multi-spectral cameras, $1,500, Lamar University, PI
  • External: National Science Foundation: “RET: RET SITE: Incorporating Engineering Design and Manufacturing into High School Curriculum”, (2016). $591,134, Co-PI
  • Internal: LOI Visionary Initiative Project: “The Interdisciplinary Freshman Experience at Lamar University” (2016). $120,000, Senior Personnel
  • Internal: Presidential Faculty Fellowship: “Enhancing Freshman Civil Engineering Student Engagement with Project Based and Peer Assisted Learning: ENGR 1101-Project Based Introduction to Engineering”, $14,255, (2015). PI
  • Internal: Research Enhancement Grant: “Development of an enhanced nano-reinforcement cocktail to improve the performance of recycled concrete aggregate”, (2015). $5,000, PI
  • Internal: Office of Undergraduate Research OUR Award: “The development of a cost-effective conductive concrete for highway infrastructure applications”, (2015). $1,500, OUR Adviser
  • Internal: Research Enhancement Grant: “Detection of chemical attack in self-sensing concrete”, (2014). $5,000, PI
  • Internal: Office of Undergraduate Research OUR Award: “A low cost next-generation pavement damage detection technique” (2014). $1,500, OUR Adviser