Infrastructure Inspection During and After Unexpected Events

Dr. Salam Rahmatalla

September 26, 2019

MATC was invited to participate in Tran-SET’s joint webinar series, “Innovative Technology, Techniques, and Processes in Transportation Infrastructure Inspection”. Tran-SET is a fellow University Transportation Center for the south central states of Region VI. MATC Principal Investigator Dr. Salam Rahmatalla from the University of Iowa discussed his research project alongside Tran-SET PI Dr. Fernando Moreu and Drs. Jinying Zhu and Ece Erdogmus from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who are conducting research for the Nebraska Department of Transportation. Dr. Rahmatalla’s research for MATC will produce an interactive physical-computer model for structural health monitoring of highway bridges during extreme natural events. The model will predict changes in a bridge’s loading capacity and assess the integrity of the structure.

Research Brief
Executive Summary

The objective of this work is to develop a physical-computer model for the structural health monitoring of highway bridges during extreme natural events such as earthquakes and flooding. The physical model, representing a highway bridge in Iowa, will provide the adequate measurements, and a computer finite element model will update and predict the changes in the loading capacity of the bridge during and after the event.

Findings and Outputs

A new methodology will be developed that quantifies bridge loading capacity during and after extreme events such as river flooding and ground movements.

Impacts and Benefits

Ensure drivers and goods transport safety during and after extreme natural events, assist emergency responders in their decision-making regarding movement and management of traffic, especially of hazardous material, and assist emergency responders in their maintenance and repair plans.

Funding Source(s) and Amount

USDOT: $158,507

UI Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering: $158,449

Total: $316,956

About the Speaker

Dr. Salam Rahmatalla is a professor in structures, mechanics, and materials at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa. His field of interest is in the area of mechanical vibration and its effect on the health condition of structural, mechanical, and biomechanical systems. Examples of research studies include the effect of operational loading on the integrity of highway bridges and the biodynamics of human-transport interaction under whole-body vibration.