From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Dr. Arun Jaganathan: Caution! Innovation in progress while boring

Jul 1, 2014 | Faculty Feature

Arun in Lab

Arun Jaganathan in his Lab

Originally from India, Arun Jaganathan is an assistant professor of civil engineering who has made Ruston his hometown for the past 10 years. He received his PhD in Engineering from Louisiana Tech and has been associated with the Trenchless Technology Center since his time as a student under the direction of his advisor, Professor Erez Allouche. Even though he is a civil engineer by education, Arun likes to explore other engineering and science disciples as well. Many of his research projects are truly multidisciplinary in nature, bringing together students from civil engineering, physics and electrical engineering to work as a team for an interdisciplinary learning experience. Arun loves doing hands-on research projects in the laboratory and working along with his students. First-time visitors to his Bogard Hall office  often wonder if they have stepped into a lab space instead of an office. Arun teaches a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate level classes to both civil and mechanical engineering students. He believes that the best way to learn is through the old fashioned way of reading good textbooks, conducting thought experiments, and doing hands on projects in a lab, with all three mixed in the right proportions.
Arun with shoe

Undergraduate student team testing on a treadmill the prototype running shoe sensor they designed for their senior design project

Arun focuses his research efforts on developing advanced sensing technologies for the condition assessment of buried infrastructure, especially buried municipal pipes. Such pipe infrastructure is usually “out of sight, and out of mind” for most people, until there is a problem like a leak or blockage or collapsed roadway above the pipe. Then people realize just how crucial underground infrastructure is to their daily lives. Arun’s primary interests are in developing sensors for seeing through the “ground” and other construction materials, using cutting-edge science that has practical world applications. One of the advanced radar technologies he envisioned and helped develop is currently being used commercially to see through the walls of buried municipal pipelines to assess their structural integrity. His research over the past several years has resulted in multiple patents and three technology transfer activities with industrial partners.
Arun with UltraScan

Pipe crawling robot with the TTC’s unique radar getting a wash after a successful field test

Arun with drilling machine

During the field test of an ongoing research project to develop sensor for the underground drilling machine

Arun Running

Arun RunningRunning to the top of Pinnacle mountain during the 2014 Ouachita 50 KM trail run

Outside his office (or “lab space” if you will), Arun is an avid runner and part of the growing community of runners in Ruston. He likes running through trails at the Ruston’s Lincoln Parish Park and participates in long distance running events. Under his guidance, an undergraduate senior design team designed a running shoe with embedded sensor that provide real-time feedback to a runner for maintaining good running form to prevent injuries. I have worked fairly closely with Arun for several years now and have been quite impressed with his ability to innovate practical solutions to real problems. He has a passion for learning, and a passion for discovery. And while his energies are focused on underground applications like drilling, boring, and material failure, Arun has clearly demonstrated an ability to be highly innovative and successful even while boring.