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Claudia Zapata

SUM/WTR Faculty Research
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 3005
Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 3005
Senior Sustainability Scientist
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 3005
Biography

Assistant Professor
Department of Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering
Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering

Dr. Zapata was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Arizona State University in August 2006. She received her Ph.D. degree in Geo-Environmental Engineering from ASU in 1999. Dr. Zapata's primary research interest is in the area of unsaturated soil behavior. She has focused on fluid flow and volume change modeling for expansive soils, with applications related to the behavior of pavement subgrades and slabs-on-grade foundation design. At ASU, Dr. Zapata has been actively involved in the development of the new mechanistic-empirical guide for Design of New and Rehabilitated Pavement Structures, in the assessment of pavement performance due to environmental factors and in the study of fluid flow and volume change properties of expansive soils under slabs on grade residential foundations.

Expertise

My main research interest is geared to the understanding of moisture flow, volume change, and strength of unsaturated soils and the impact of temperature gradients on their behavior.    Practical applications include studies of foundation design on problematic soils, and environmental and dynamic loading effects on pavement design.

Education

1999, Ph.D. Geo-environmental Engineering, Arizona State University
1996, M.S.E. Geotechnical Engineering, Arizona State University
1988, B.S. Civil Engineering, Universidad Nacional - Manizales - Colombia

 

Research Interests

My area of expertise deals with unsaturated soil mechanics. The importance of this area is that it allows for the most cost-effective design possible and therefore, promotes the sustainable development of infrastructure. The research I am currently pursuing comprises several distinctive areas:

The first area deals with fundamental research on temperature effects on moisture movement under covered areas. Geotechnical problems where coupled thermal-moisture flow phenomenon is an important design factor include: 1) Thermal behavior of ground as a source of geothermal energy; 2) Analysis of barriers for nuclear waste storage; 3) Water balance of evapotranspirative (ET) covers for municipal solid waste containment; 4) Assessment of  vapor barriers for building slabs and subsurface walls; 5) Heat transfer/dissipation from buried electrical cables, underground tanks and pipelines; 6) Heat applied directly to the soil to clean up degraded areas; 7) Vapor migration calculations at contaminated soil and groundwater sites, and 8) Coupled thermal-moisture movements in pavement systems.

The second area, and undoubtedly the one of greatest technical impact, deals with matric suction/moisture content effects on the resilience of soil materials subjected to dynamic loading. These studies are aimed at conducting laboratory testing and modeling required to incorporate environmental effects into fundamental theories and models that only consider externally applied mechanical loads. This applied research is fundamental to the advancement of mechanistically based pavement design methodologies, and it is of paramount interest and national and international levels. It is of importance to note that the US recently adopted a new, mechanistic pavement design methodology through the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. I am proud to note that I was in charge of the research team at ASU that introduced these advanced models that account for real time environmental effects upon the response of  soil and pavement materials. For the first time, in pavement design methods, environmental effects were incorporated into pavement performance in a rational and mechanistic manner. Future research in this area is being pursued, and is very promising given the importance to tranportation infrastructure nationally and internationally. 

Research Activity
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
VIP 194-FSESpecial Topics
VIP 194-HONSpecial Topics
VIP 294-FSESpecial Topics
VIP 294-HONSpecial Topics
VIP 394-FSESpecial Topics
VIP 394-HONSpecial Topics
CNE 452Foundations
CEE 452Foundations
CEE 492Honors Directed Study
CEE 493Honors Thesis
VIP 494-FSESpecial Topics
VIP 494-HONSpecial Topics
CEE 499Individualized Instruction
CEE 553Advanced Soil Mechanics
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 593Applied Project
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 598Special Topics
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 593Applied Project
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
VIP 194-HONSpecial Topics
VIP 394-HONSpecial Topics
CEE 492Honors Directed Study
CEE 493Honors Thesis
VIP 494-HONSpecial Topics
CEE 499Individualized Instruction
CEE 551Advanced Geotechnical Testing
CEE 554Shear Strength/Slope Stability
CEE 580Practicum
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 593Applied Project
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
VIP 194-HONSpecial Topics
CEE 452Foundations
CNE 452Foundations
CEE 492Honors Directed Study
CEE 493Honors Thesis
CEE 499Individualized Instruction
CEE 553Advanced Soil Mechanics
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 593Applied Project
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 598Special Topics
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 593Applied Project
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
CEE 492Honors Directed Study
CEE 493Honors Thesis
CEE 499Individualized Instruction
CEE 554Shear Strength/Slope Stability
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 598Special Topics
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
CEE 452Foundations
CNE 452Foundations
CEE 492Honors Directed Study
CEE 493Honors Thesis
CEE 499Individualized Instruction
CEE 553Advanced Soil Mechanics
CEE 580Practicum
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 598Special Topics
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Summer 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
CEE 492Honors Directed Study
CEE 493Honors Thesis
CEE 499Individualized Instruction
CEE 551Advanced Geotechnical Testing
CEE 554Shear Strength/Slope Stability
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
CNE 452Foundations
CEE 452Foundations
CEE 492Honors Directed Study
CEE 493Honors Thesis
CEE 499Individualized Instruction
CEE 553Advanced Soil Mechanics
CEE 580Practicum
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 593Applied Project
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 598Special Topics
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Summer 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
CEE 498Pro-Seminar
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
CEE 492Honors Directed Study
CEE 493Honors Thesis
CEE 499Individualized Instruction
CEE 554Shear Strength/Slope Stability
CEE 580Practicum
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
CEE 452Foundations
CEE 492Honors Directed Study
CEE 493Honors Thesis
CEE 499Individualized Instruction
CEE 550Soil Behavior
CEE 580Practicum
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 598Special Topics
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Summer 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
CEE 498Pro-Seminar
CEE 499Individualized Instruction
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
CEE 492Honors Directed Study
CEE 493Honors Thesis
CEE 499Individualized Instruction
CEE 551Advanced Geotechnical Testing
CEE 580Practicum
CEE 590Reading and Conference
CEE 592Research
CEE 595Continuing Registration
CEE 599Thesis
CEE 790Reading and Conference
CEE 792Research
CEE 795Continuing Registration
CEE 799Dissertation
Service
  • – Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, Arizona State University – FSE Research Advisory Committee, Technical committee member (2008 - Present)
  • – Transportation Research Board - Engineering Behavior of Unsaturated Soils Committee (AFP60), Technical committee member (2007 - Present)
  • – Arizona American Society of Civil Engineers – Arizona Geotechnical Division (AzASCE) subcommittee, Technical committee member (2006 - Present)
  • – Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, IAFSE, Arizona State University – Academic Affa, Technical committee member (2006 - Present)
  • – Transportation Research Board – Latin American Transportation Research and Practice Subcommittee –, Technical committee member (2006 - Present)
  • – ASU-ADOT Pavements/Materials/ Transportation Committee – 5 conferences, Technical committee member (2002 - Present)
  • ASCE Geotechnical Engineering Division, Official reviewer (1997 - Present)
  • Geo-Institute Congress, ASCE Geo-Institute, Official reviewer (1997 - Present)
  • International Journal of Road Materials and Pavement Design, Official reviewer (1997 - Present)
  • PWS Publishing Company, Boston, Massachusetts, Official reviewer (1997 - Present)
  • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Official reviewer (1997 - Present)
  • Transportation Research Board, Official reviewer (1997 - Present)
  • – American Society of Testing Materials - Geotechnical Testing Journal, Official reviewer (1997 - Present)
  • – The American Society of Civil Engineers - Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Official Reviewer (1997 - Present)
  • 2006 Unsaturated Soils International Conference, Tempe,, Technical committee member (2004 - 2006)