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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Physics & Astronomy

Faculty & Staff

Robert Amme

Research Professor

    Phone: 303-871-3852
    Office: Physics 215

    My research is in the area of granular particle physics and the compaction of granular materials. These materials are used for the stabilization of nuclear waste. We are studying applications of vibrational shock compaction to the recycling of granular wastes from demolition and mine tailings and uses of scrap tire rubber in asphalt. I am Manager of the Environmental Materials Laboratory in the Department of Physics & Astronomy.


    • 1958 Ph.D., Physics Iowa State University

    Research Interests

    "Environmental Materials" are broadly defined as those materials or substances whose presence is commonly viewed as waste or as nearly useless by-products of industrial activity. Their disposal or modification represents an environmental challenge: rather than to dispose of such materials in a landfill or dump, they become candidates for conversion to useful & marketable products. Plastic and glass recycling are but two examples. In this laboratory, we are investigating the conversion of coal combustion ashes from power plants into building materials, requiring extensive research and testing as well as characterization. This study involves the application of dynamic compaction to solidify the waste ashes(as well as other granular materials) into useful shapes such as bricks and panels. Currently we are investigating large (800 lb) slabs of compacted ash for durability, strength, and other physical characteristics. As tools we use acoustic pulses and continuous waves for measurement of elastic module, resonant frequencies, and sound attenuation, as well as acoustic emission during deformation. Scanning electron microscopy is another important tool.