Plenary lecture: Towards NetZero & intelligent infrastructure through structural health monitoring

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Globally, there is increasing extreme climate events (such a flooding) intensifying traffic load and patterns coupled with long-term underinvestment in many countries which has led to escalated deterioration of civil engineering assets within our road and rail transport networks. Additionally, we move towards next generation zero net emissions, understanding the impact vehicles will have on our infrastructure will be of key importance to ensure sustainable services. The public transport sector with its regular service routes offers particular opportunities for added value. By stimulating a digital transformation in the monitoring, processing and analysis of information of our civil engineering infrastructure, we can predict how it will perform under changing vehicle loads, cycles of loading and environmental factors, and move towards Smart Infrastructure. The cost of repairing faults as they approach criticality is enormous, but if damage is prevented at an early stage, alongside accurate risk modelling, earlier interventions can be made. Another challenge which has faced the low energy smart infrastructure is the requirement for a continuous power supply to structural health monitoring systems. Drive-by systems can negate this, but current research on drive-by monitoring systems with efficacy have not been fully demonstrated. This keynote will present how Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is an essential tool for informed decision making in the safe management of infrastructure. Most recently the use of computer vision technology has gained considerable attention in the field of SHM due to its ability to obtain data using non-contact methods at long distances. Additionally, it provides a low cost, rapid instrumentation solution with low interference to the normal operation of structures.

However, the need for many cameras to capture the global response can be cost prohibitive. Roving camera and drive monitoring can to capture a complete derivation of the response of a structures under live loading and to identify safety and potential damage. Infrared thermography (IRT) is also a non-destructive technique capable of detection and localisation of hidden subsurface defects in components of transportation infrastructure, such as concrete bridges, thereby contributing to the field structural health monitoring (SHM). The lack of research on subsurface damage detection in concretes by convection heat exchange, and the importance of laboratory studies for proper implementation of IRT, are presented from recent laboratory investigations of IRT on concrete slabs with simulated hidden defects using convective thermal excitation mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 08 Mar 2023
Event4th International Congress on Materials and Structural Stability - Rabat, Morocco
Duration: 08 Mar 202310 Mar 2023


Conference4th International Congress on Materials and Structural Stability
Abbreviated titleCMSS23
Internet address


  • SHM
  • Net Zero
  • Intelligent Infrastructure


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