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New Technologies Workshop, Panel Review of Stakeholders, and Smart Cities Discussed at ASCE's Annual Structures Congress

April 16, 2018

Professor Moreu and graduate students of the UNM Civil Engineering Department will host the workshop on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at the Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas.

This workshop is sponsored by the Transportation Consortium of South Central States (TranSET)  http://transet.lsu.edu/ and is part of the project, “Development, Training, Education, and Implementation of Low-Cost Sensing Technologies for Bridge Structural Health Monitoring (SHM)”, with Professor Fernando Moreu and Professor Chris Lippitt as PIs.

The objectives of the workshop are to discuss with stakeholders the prioritization of developing needs towards application and implementation of new sensing technologies in current inspection and maintenance practices. More specifically, by interacting with the owners of the infrastructure, the workshop will identify top sensing technologies needs and priorities from the owners’ perspectives and create a pilot program to develop them.

1)     The workshop is open to any infrastructure engineer interested in the topic of new technologies from the owners’ perspectives. The results of this workshop will be connected to the areas of implementation needs.

2)     The participants in the workshop include top leaders from the infrastructure stakeholder and administration domains: bridge engineers, managers, inspectors, and administrators, both private and public. Local universities, administrations, and societies are also invited to participate. Students (both undergraduate and graduate) are highly encouraged to attend.

The theme of the Center is, “Solving Emerging Transportation Resiliency, Sustainability and Economic Challenges Through the Use of Innovative Materials and Construction Methods: From Research to Implementation.” The Center’s Mission is to support all phases of research, technology transfer, workforce development, and outreach activities of emerging technologies that can solve transportation challenges in Region 6.

Later the same day, Professor Moreu will chair the panel review, “Structural Health and Performance Monitoring of Railroad Infrastructure: Owners' Perspective” (session 341213 of the American Society of Civil Engineers Structures Congress http://www.structurescongress.org/). Railroad owners will share with the structural engineering community their priorities, strategies, methodologies, and results of structural health and performance monitoring applied to railroad infrastructure management. This session will primarily describe industry cases from North American railroads, including railroads from both the U.S. and Canada.

Railroads are upgrading their infrastructure by allocating new investments where they are most needed. Consistently during the last ten years, railroads have invested $10 billion annually to upgrade their infrastructure. The topics presented in this session will describe the owner’s perspective about infrastructure monitoring which will generate new applications and opportunities of interest to researchers in SHM and system ID. Structural engineering designers, project managers, and engineering firms will be able to use the lessons learned to identify new opportunities to increase the safety and cost-effectiveness related to designing, repairing, or replacing North American infrastructure using the examples from SHM of railroads, generally not covered in detail in past structural engineering congresses. Designers, builders, and stakeholders of any infrastructure system interested in applications of SHM and monitoring with specific actionable applications will learn from the specific presenters covering their perspective as owners interested in health and performance monitoring from an owner’s perspective.

Educators in structural engineering not generally exposed to railroad infrastructure design, construction, and maintenance will be exposed to real cases that can be incorporated into their teaching curriculums, with the potential of increasing structural engineering education in areas such as: real-time monitoring; railroad bridge engineering design and maintenance; and railroad infrastructure state of the art: current practice and needs; and challenges requiring collaboration and support.

Finally, research agents interested in contributing to the growth of smart transportation and technologies can better develop new research projects by first understanding the needs and priorities for the structural health and performance monitoring of railroad infrastructure from the owners’ perspective.

Finally, on Friday April 20, Professor Moreu will moderate the topic, “Advancing Smart Cities through Structural Monitoring & Identification,” (session 340652 of the structures congress) where experts in smart cities will present current and future results and research trends to advance smart cities knowledge and development.