Software that enables research on smart structures and machines for improved safety and reduced cost of Canada’s infrastructure.
Maintaining public infrastructure is essential and yet over 40% of the 55,000 bridges across Canada are close to the end of their design lifetime. As bridges age they become costly to inspect, maintain, and repair. Research that could predict or extend the lifespan of our bridges is complicated because it’s difficult for researchers to collect, share, and analyze crucial sensor data. This need for effectively sharing scientific resources applies to other crucial infrastructure components too, such as wind turbines and dams for hydro generation.
But it isn’t just civil engineering that could benefit from better data and resource sharing. Mechanical engineers can find research collaboration essential whenever equipment and tools are unique or costly – for example, in jet turbine or rocket engine research. In fact, many disciplines where data collection is expensive and resources for data analysis are scarce could benefit from better collaboration platforms.
Researchers at Carleton University have been working on just that – tools and techniques for managing smart facilities that will help civil engineers keep the risk of failure to an acceptably low level throughout the life cycle of a bridge, help mechanical and aerospace engineers build tools and techniques for remote monitoring of jet engines, and help architectural researchers manage smart buildings.