Critical Infrastructure Group Research Collection

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  • Publication
    Impact factors on medium span bridges due to multiple vehicle presence
    The Dynamic Amplification Factor for Bridges is of major concern in both their design and assessment. Research to date has focused on the single truck event. However, in many bridges the critical loading case is that of multiple truck presence on the deck. To accurately determine the dynamic amplification factor it is necessary to examine the effects of multiple trucks traversing a bridge. Experiments in Slovenia were carried out to examine the dynamic amplification factor for single and two truck events. Numerical models were constructed and validated from these experiments. These models were then used to compare the dynamic amplification factors produced from both single and multiple trucks crossing the bridge at various speeds. Important conclusions are drawn for bridge design and assessment purposes.
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  • Publication
    The Use of the Forced Frequency of a Bridge Due to a Truck Fleet for Estimating Stiffness Losses at Low Speed
    The influence of traffic loads on the dynamic features of a bridge is an external factor that can hinder the true condition of the structure. This paper aims to effectuate a shift in the way this factor is viewed. If the interaction between vehicle and bridge is modeled using the finite element method, the response is based on mass, stiffness, and damping matrices of a coupled vehicle-bridge system that vary with the location of the load at each point in time. The time-varying forced frequencies of a beam bridge model due to a fleet of 3-axle trucks based on eigenvalue analysis (i.e., derived from the matrices of the coupled system) are compared to those obtained using dynamic transient analysis (i.e., derived from the frequency content of the acceleration response of the beam due to a truck crossing). Truck properties are randomly varied within a realistic range to obtain a pattern for the forced vibration due to a truck fleet traveling at an ideal speed of 1 m/s on a 15 m bridge with a smooth surface, and at 10 m/s on a 30 m bridge. These patterns reveal a trend that allows for locating and quantifying the stiffness loss associated with a crack using only the forced frequency. The implementation of this methodology requires the installation of accelerometers on the bridge, and a nearby weigh-in-motion system to identify the traffic fleet of interest. High requirements for frequency resolution limit the application to bridges located on low speed routes.
      25
  • Publication
    Academic Advising in Civil Engineering: design and evaluation of a hybrid model
    A project to formalise and expand Academic Advising has been implemented at the UCD Civil Engineering School. The goals of this project were twofold: on the one hand, it aimed at training faculty members in Academic Advising roles and providing them with the necessary resources. On the other hand, the project sought to expand student interaction, in particular by engaging students informally in order to build a rapport between them and the academic advisors that we expect will bring long term benefits. The resulting model combines elements of both the prescriptive, e.g., formal training, informative talks on key topics, and developmental approaches, e.g., coffee mornings for students and faculty members. The evaluation of the project was carried out through questionnaires and focus groups. It highlighted very positive feedback from the students, who find these new lines of communication with the academic staff to be useful and productive.
      29
  • Publication
    A holistic approach to risk-based decision on inspection and design of fatigue-sensitive structures
    Design and operation of large welded structural systems (e.g. ship and offshore structures) are challenging due to numerous fatigue-sensitive details, limited available budgets, uncertainties in fatigue damages, inspection & maintenance activities, etc. Traditionally, fatigue design and maintenance planning have been almost disconnected, which restricts coherent decision-making and optimum safety management. Structural design optimization, without quantitatively incorporating the effects of operational maintenance, can hardly result in a structural plan that is optimum in terms of life cycle costs. Also, if the design of a structure is not optimum, maintenance optimization alone cannot really yield a optimum maintenance plan. As operational inspections and maintenance are essential, there are merits to utilize their effects on structural design and meanwhile optimize them at the initial design stage when impacts of decisions are greater. This paper proposes a risk-based approach to holistic decision-making enveloping decisions and uncertainties affecting design, inspection and maintenance of fatigue-sensitive components. Decisions variables in structural scantling and operational maintenance are obtained holistically at the structural design stage by risk-based optimization, based on quantitative assessment of the effectiveness of both structural scantling and maintenance interventions. Optimum fatigue reliability level is also obtained, informed by the effects of uncertainties and failure consequences. The method captures combined benefits of structural scantling and operational maintenance to fatigue reliability and risk mitigation and achieves optimum resource utilization and life cycle cost reduction. Advantages of the proposed method have been demonstrated via a numerical example, in comparison to alternative methods.
      149Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    Bayesian maintenance decision optimisation based on computing the information value from condition inspections
    A challenge in marine and offshore engineering is structural integrity management (SIM) of assets such as ships, offshore structures, mooring systems, etc. Due to harsh marine environments, fatigue cracking and corrosion present persistent threats to structural integrity. SIM for such assets is complicated because of a very large number of rewelded plates and joints, for which condition inspections and maintenance are difficult and expensive tasks. Marine SIM needs to take into account uncertainty in material properties, loading characteristics, fatigue models, detection capacities of inspection methods, etc. Optimising inspection and maintenance strategies under uncertainty is therefore vital for effective SIM and cost reductions. This paper proposes a value of information (VoI) computation and Bayesian decision optimisation (BDO) approach to optimal maintenance planning of typical fatigue-prone structural systems under uncertainty. It is shown that the approach can yield optimal maintenance strategies reliably in various maintenance decision making problems or contexts, which are characterized by different cost ratios. It is also shown that there are decision making contexts where inspection information doesn’t add value, and condition based maintenance (CBM) is not cost-effective. The CBM strategy is optimal only in the decision making contexts where VoI > 0. The proposed approach overcomes the limitation of CBM strategy and highlights the importance of VoI computation (to confirm VoI > 0) before adopting inspections and CBM.
      159Scopus© Citations 2