Keywords: rubber recycling, polymer recycling, Puerto Rico, concrete, road safety barriers, road embankments, retaining wall backfill, undergraduate research, materials recycling, engineering research
Raising awareness on materials recycling using undergraduate engineering research
Undergraduate research in engineering was used as a means of raising awareness on materials recycling and alternative recycled material products and processes. Over a three-year period, the authors hosted undergraduate researchers to work on rubber and polymer concrete, rubber-sandwich structures and recycled rubber materials for road embankments and retaining wall backfills. This paper discusses the outcomes of this endeavour, which not only included minority participation in undergraduate research to improve retention but also engaged students in materials recycling through exploratory research on technological advances. It also provided them with a forum to actively participate in the dissemination of results to local government authorities.