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Integration of smart structural design, passive control and damage detection to achieve sustainable and resilient highway/railway bridge infrastructure

Principal investigator: Dr Theodore Karavasilis
Coinvestigators: Dr Stana Zivanovic and Prof. Roger P. Johnson
Project duration: 2013-2014
Funding body: Higher Education Innovation Fund (Strategic Impact Award) and Demonstrator Fund (Sustainable Cities GRP and CUSP intiative), University of Warwick (£56.5k)


Bridges have an important role to play and need to be maintained to meet modern requirements of strength and serviceability. Surveys in the UK reveal signs of deterioration even for bridges with less than 25 years of service. In the USA, 12.1% of the bridges are characterized as structurally deficient and 14.8% as functionally obsolete; indicating an imminent need for repair or replacement. Repairing existing bridges is extremely time and cost consuming and most of the time, not a realistic option, since it results in long traffic (and so, business) interruption. This project will develop a novel framework that integrates smart structural design (demountability), passive structural control (viscoelastic dampers) and damage detection (sensors and advanced finite element model updating) for steel-concrete composite bridges. This framework will result in a new retrofit or design paradigm with the goal of achieving a significantly extended service life and meet declared sustainability targets of minimum environmental (resources consumption and waste generation) and economical (traffic/business interruption) impact.