The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Thursday, 02 January 2020 02:00cat

Intelligent infrastructure project reduces failure risk

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A brand-new Intelligent Project that will be able to prevent infrastructure failures is currently being developed at Purdue University, Indiana.

Evidence shows that infrastructure deterioration should not be underestimated. According to a recent report, over 47,000 bridges in the United States are "structurally deficient". Several bridge failures occurred during the past years. In March 2018, a section of a pedestrian bridge gave way in Miami resulting in 6 fatalities. On October 1, 2019, an arch bridge in Taiwan collapsed and an oil tanker truck fell onto fishing watercrafts below resulting in at least 5 fatalities.

The new Center for Intelligent Infrastructure (CII) aims at developing a smart technology that will utilize direct communication between infrastructure and people to prevent structural collapses. The endeavor will bring together scientists from many different fields including material science, infrastructure resiliency and policy, communication, artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop the new system. “We want to tackle the fundamental problems in making infrastructure more intelligent,” Shaoshuai Mou, Assistant Professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Purdue University and Associate Director of CII, stated.

The project involves several technological features. Some of those features focus on making infrastructure more intelligent.  For example, the team introduces sensors placed into concrete that will monitor the conditions of road pavements in real-time. Moreover, another endeavor focuses on utilizing virtual reality and remote control to reproduce typical construction procedures.

Purdue’s Krannert School of Management staff will provide its consulting expertise on how to implement the research project in industry. The center will also invest in educational programs, workshops and seminars to introduce the new technology to people. “We are excited about the fundamental research and societal impact of this center, as well as other programs in the Purdue Engineering Initiative in Autonomous and Connected Systems. We also applaud the interdisciplinary team across multiple schools and colleges at Purdue,” Mung Chiang, Purdue’s John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, stated.

The project also aims at developing autonomous transportation. According to Luna Lu, Associate Professor in Purdue’s Lyles School of Civil Engineering and the director of CII, infrastructure should evolve and follow current technological trends, especially in rural areas. “Rural areas are at the heart of manufacturing. Imagine having autonomous trucks, but no wireless connectivity. How would they deliver without the infrastructure to support them?” Prof. Lu stated.

 Source: PurdueUniversity


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