University of Vermont

Structural Monitoring Diagnostics and Prognostics Lab

Research

Research

Our research is funded by various state and federal agencies. Some of our recent research grants are listed below along with a brief description:

Project Title: CAREER: Structural Health Monitoring, Diagnosis and Prognosis of Minimally Instrumented Structural Systems

Role: Principal Investigator
Source of Support: National Science Foundation
Total Award Period Covered: 06/14 – 05/20

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Project Title: Multiscale Model-Data fusion for Structural Health Monitoring of Fracture Critical Structures

Role: Principal Investigator
Source of Support (Amount): National Science Foundation: ($174,965)
Total Award Period Covered: 09/1/13 – 08/31/15

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Project Title: Vibration Monitoring and Load Characteristics Evaluation of I-89

Bridges 58 N&S, Richmond – Phase I
Source of Support (Amount): Vermont Transportation Department: ($93,099)
Role: Principal Investigator
Total Award Period Covered: 06/01/11 – 03/30/12
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Project Title: Vibration Monitoring and Load Characteristics Evaluation of I-89

Bridges 58 N&S, Richmond – Phase II
Source of Support (Amount): Vermont Transportation Department: ($53,098)
Role: Principal Investigator
Total Award Period Covered: 04/01/12 – 12/31/12

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Project Title: Statistical Analysis of Weigh-in-Motion Data to Validate Use of HL-93 AASHTO

Vehicle Live Load for Bridge Design in Vermont
Role: Principal Investigator
Source of Support (Amount): Vermont Transportation Department-Federal Highway Administration: ($90,124)
Total Award Period Covered: 01/1/12 – 12/31/13

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Project Title: Quantifying the Vulnerability of Vermont Bridges to Seismic Loading

Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Source of Support (Amount): Vermont Transportation
Department-Federal Highway Administration: ($214,150)
Total Award Period Covered: 06/1/13 – 08/31/16

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Project Title: CAREER: Structural Health Monitoring, Diagnosis and Prognosis of Minimally Instrumented Structural Systems

Role: Principal Investigator
Source of Support: National Science Foundation
Total Award Period Covered: 06/14 – 05/20

Description:

This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award will pioneer a novel framework to assess the safety of minimally instrumented structural systems of buildings and bridges. The ultimate goal of the research is to predict remaining life of instrumented structures with knowledge of the state of damage, of material degradation and incorporating uncertainties in the loading environment. The work will focus on two types of loading that abound in civil engineering and that share many common characteristics with other systems in mechanical/bio-medical and aerospace applications. The project will investigate: (i) seismic load induced low-cycle fatigue damage in building structures and (ii) traffic load induced high-cycle fatigue in bridges. The structural systems of buildings and bridges are large, complex and can only be instrumented with a relatively small number of sensors in relation to the total number of degrees-of-freedom. Monitoring the operational safety of these systems is a significant engineering challenge. The computational methods developed in this project will enable early damage diagnosis and future life prognosis of structural systems using minimal instrumentation. This project will integrate multi-disciplinary research, education, and broadens the participation of underrepresented groups in engineering and mathematics.

The research in this project investigates a new framework for structural health monitoring of structures subjected to cumulative damage such as fatigue. This project deviates from the conventional approach of identifying damage as changes in model parameters. Instead, this project will investigate a novel framework that combines probabilistic damage mechanics and dynamic state estimation. A new algorithm will be developed which will be capable of optimally combining the predictive capabilities of multi-scale finite element models with that of sensor measurements to reconstruct the complete dynamic response of a structure. The reconstructed response allows assessment of the state of cumulative fatigue damage throughout the structure, thus anticipating potential damage before it reaches a critical level. Once the state of damage together with its uncertainty is determined, the condition of the structure can be projected into the future in order to perform probabilistic damage prognosis. The research involves development of computational algorithms, laboratory experiments and field validation using real data from minimally instrumented operational bridge and building structures.

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Project Title: Multiscale Model-Data fusion for Structural Health Monitoring of Fracture Critical Structures

Role: Principal Investigator
Source of Support (Amount): National Science Foundation: ($174,965)
Total Award Period Covered: 09/1/13 – 08/31/15

Description:

This grant provides funding to develop a framework for structural health monitoring, diagnosis and prognosis of fracture critical structures. Fracture critical structures are those in which the failure of a single component can generate the failure of the complete system or a large portion of it. Recent catastrophic failures of these types of structures, especially bridges, have highlighted the need for a new and transformative approach to the problem. This project will develop the computational and data analysis tools necessary to continuously monitor fracture critical structures and help prevent such failures.

The multiscale model-data fusion framework relies on a series of models, which represent the mechanical behavior of the structure at various scales of interest and vibration measurements of local and global structural response. The project will develop algorithms capable of optimally combining the predictive capabilities of multiscale finite element models and sensor measurements, to reconstruct in real-time the complete response of the structure. The reconstructed response allows assessment of the current state of cumulative fatigue damage throughout the structure, thus anticipating potential damage before it reaches a critical level. The estimated damage condition, with its associated uncertainty is projected into the future and an estimate of the structural reliability can be obtained. The research involves development of computational algorithms, laboratory experiments and field validation using real data from an instrumented operational bridge in Vermont. The methods developed in this project will aide engineers to perform smarter early diagnosis and predictive maintenance of a multitude of conventional and non-conventional structural systems spanning civil, mechanical, biomedical and electrical applications. This project will also provide an opportunity to foster collaborations and potential applications of the research idea into medical diagnosis.

Funding from this project will enable the principal investigator to recruit under-represented minorities into engineering education, research and mentoring. It will also allow him to undertake K-12 activities aimed at educating students about engineering, diversity and its critical importance in our society. This project will facilitate collaborations with existing initiatives at the University of Vermont aimed at recruiting undergraduate and graduate students, especially female and Latinos interested in pursuing careers in engineering. The PI will work with various student groups, such as the chapters of the Society of Women Engineers and American Society of Civil Engineers, which have volunteered to take part in sharing the engineering experience with K-12 students. These groups will join the PI in visiting local schools and hosting recruiting and educational activities at the university. The educational component of the project involves the development of a hands-on structural engineering lab designed to help students appreciate the role of models and sensors in understanding the behavior of structures. The PI will also develop a multidisciplinary course titled Reliability of Engineering System aimed at graduate students from all engineering disciplines. This course will incorporate data and findings from the research project into the course learning objectives.

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Project Title: Vibration Monitoring and Load Characteristics Evaluation of I-89

Bridges 58 N&S, Richmond – Phase I
Source of Support (Amount): Vermont Transportation Department: ($93,099)
Role: Principal Investigator
Total Award Period Covered: 06/01/11 – 03/30/12

Project Title: Vibration Monitoring and Load Characteristics Evaluation of I-89

Bridges 58 N&S, Richmond – Phase II
Source of Support (Amount): Vermont Transportation Department: ($53,098)
Role: Principal Investigator
Total Award Period Covered: 04/01/12 – 12/31/12

Description:

The objective of this project is to instrument bridge number 58 (south) on Interstate 89 in the town of Richmond Vermont, in an effort to accurately determine its traffic load bearing capabilities. Specifically, there is a concern by Vermont Agency of Transportation regarding the deck stringers and their adequacy to safely carry heavy traffic loads. Currently AASHTO distribution factors are used to determine load ratings on the bridges, which lead to possibly conservative estimates, thus restricting some overweight load passage. Accurate determination of the load bearing characteristics would allow for as-tested values to be used in lieu of the AASHTO distribution factors, and therefore, lead to a more accurate rating. This project will provide an opportunity to test the validity of some recently developed algorithms by the PI in order to fully reconstruct the linear time history response of a structure (including stress and strain fields) based on sparse vibration measurements such as accelerations.

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Project Title: Statistical Analysis of Weigh-in-Motion Data to Validate Use of HL-93 AASHTO

Vehicle Live Load for Bridge Design in Vermont
Role: Principal Investigator
Source of Support (Amount): Vermont Transportation Department-Federal Highway Administration: ($90,124)
Total Award Period Covered: 01/1/12 – 12/31/13

Description:

The objective of this project is to investigate the adequacy of the AASHTO HL-93 design vehicular live load for the state of Vermont. Since the LRFD is a probabilistic based design code, that is, each load combination is intended to provide a uniform and very low probability of exceedance in terms of structural demands, the adequacy of the HL-93 must be investigated in probabilistic terms. The objectives of the proposed research can be divided into three sequential aspects:

  • 1. Collect/Transfer/Classify data from weigh-in-motion (WIM) stations

  • 2. Perform statistical analysis of WIM truck data recorded at all the operating stations/years in Vermont

  • 3. Perform stochastic structural analysis simulations under various conditions of number and length of spans. The main objective is to compare the lane bending moments and shears of the actual/measured truck data with those provided by the LRFD vehicular design live load. This will enable us to compute the expected probability of exceedance with respect to the LRFD HL-93 vehicular loading and compare AASHTO LRFD design target.

  • 4. Provide recommendations, if any, regarding necessary modifications to existing AASHTO live loads for applicability in Vermont.

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Project Title: Quantifying the Vulnerability of Vermont Bridges to Seismic Loading

Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Source of Support (Amount): Vermont Transportation
Department-Federal Highway Administration: ($214,150)
Total Award Period Covered: 06/1/13 – 08/31/16

Description:

The objective of this research is to assist the Agency in the seismic assessment of their inventory of bridges; that is to rank their bridges according to their seismic vulnerability. Bridges with significant seismic deficiency will be identified, which will help in establishing an order of priorities for taking corrective actions (e.g. detailed analysis, retrofit). Criteria used for establishing this order will be based on degree of vulnerability and the likelihood and consequences of failure. The seismic vulnerability ratings will allow the Agency to prioritize emergency response following a seismic event. An attempt will be made to account for different levels of shaking in the seismic vulnerability assessment.

The specific objectives are to:

  • assemble and study Agency’s bridge inventory;
  • conduct a thorough literature review on seismic vulnerability ranking of bridges;
  • develop an appropriate seismic vulnerability ranking system for Vermont bridges and slopes associated with bridges; and
  • assign and validate the rankings by conducting thorough seismic analysis of select bridge sites; and
  • prepare training materials and final report to assist Agency personnel in the upkeep of the inventory and rating system for retrofitted and new bridges.

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Last modified July 16 2015 03:03 PM