Thursday, February 21, 2013
Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar
Engineering Infrastructure Efficiency
Eleni Chatzi, Institut fur Baustatik and Konstruktion
In recent years radical urban development is expressed through the construction of more impressive and significantly larger civil structures while at the same time a large part of existing infrastructure is reaching the end of its lifecycle. Meanwhile our developed societies are now realizing the urgent need for efficient resource management and the significance of sustainable systems. Providing a solution to this challenging problem is a twofold task for the engineer, involving on one hand efficient designs for new structures, and on the other hand the planning of appropriate maintenance and repair schemes for existing ones. Monitoring of infrastructure systems, also referred to as Structural Health Monitoring, can be a valuable source of information for evaluating structural integrity, durability and reliability throughout the structure life cycle as well as ensuring optimal maintenance planning and safe operation. The more recent developments in sensor technology and communication networks have allowed for the rapid deployment of dense sensor arrays at a relatively low cost. As a result, advanced computational methods are required in order to process and interpret the large bulk of obtained information. The proper combination of hardware resources and theoretical tools can ultimately lead to a "smart infrastructure management system", where structural assessment no longer depends merely on sporadic visual inspections. Moreover, rigorous computational tools, including Finite Element simulation coupled with Computer Aided Design (CAD), may be used in order to produce structural forms that are both efficient in terms of structural response and innovative in terms of aesthetics and design. This presentation will address the benefits of monitoring and algorithmic design in infrastructure systems and provide examples of relevant implementations.