Cee 249 Structural Engineering Seminar

Structural Health Monitoring of Civil Infrastructure: from Research to Engineering Practice
B.F. Spencer, Jr.
Nathan M. and Anne M. Newmark Endowed Chair of Civil Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Abstract:  The ability to continuously monitor the
integrity of civil infrastructure in real-time offers the opportunity to reduce
maintenance and inspection costs, while providing for increased safety to the
public. Furthermore, after natural disasters, it is imperative that emergency
facilities and evacuation routes, including bridges and highways, be assessed
for safety. Addressing all of these issues is the objective of structural
health monitoring (SHM).  Smart sensors
densely distributed over structures can provide rich information for structural
health monitoring using their sensing, computational, and wireless
communication capabilities. Though smart sensor technology has seen substantial
advances during recent years, implementation of smart
sensors on full-scale structures has been limited; interdisciplinary efforts to
address issues in sensors, networks, and application specific algorithms have
only now begun to germinate. Following an overview of these issues, a new
paradigm for structural health monitoring employing a network of smart sensors
will be presented. Because of its ability to meet the demands of data intensive
applications such as SHM, MEMSIC’s Imote2 is adopted for this research. The
system is deployed to monitor the Jindo Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge in South
Korea with a 344m main span.  This
project constitutes the world’s largest deployment of wireless sensors to
monitor civil infrastructure and signifies a new paradigm for structural health
monitoring that is leading to dramatic improvements over existing capabilities.  A
preview of recent efforts toward campaign monitoring of railroad bridges will
also be presented.

Brief Bio: B.F. Spencer, Jr. received his Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics
from the University
of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign in 1985. He worked on the faculty at the University of Notre
Dame for 17 years before returning to the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, where he currently holds the Nathan M. and Anne M. Newmark
Endowed Chair in Civil Engineering and is the Director of the Newmark
Structural Engineering Laboratory. His research has been primarily in the areas
of smart structures, stochastic fatigue, stochastic computational mechanics,
and natural hazard mitigation.  He is a Fellow of ASCE, a Foreign Member of the Polish
Academy of Sciences, the North American Editor in Chief of Smart Structures and
Systems, and the past president of the Asia-Pacific Network of Centers for
Research in Smart Structures Technology.