MISTRAS wins contract for infrastructure health monitoring

The $6.9 million NIST research award will fund development and research of advanced technologies to enable monitoring and inspection of the structural health of bridges, roadways and water systems.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded MISTRAS Software & Systems (Princeton Junction, N.J., USA) and its university partners with a $6.9 million research award under their new Technology Innovation Program (TIP) for the development and research of advanced technologies to enable monitoring and inspection of the structural health of bridges, roadways and water systems.

With 25 percent of bridges rated as structurally deficient in 2007, MISTRAS and its partners plan to develop a system for continuously monitoring the structural health of bridges using wireless sensors that obtain energy to power them from their structural vibration and wind. The Self-Powered Wireless Sensor Network for Structural Bridge Health Prognosis project will assemble data from a variety of sensors and interpret them through damage assessments and reliability algorithms.

"The outcome of the project will be a breakthrough in the structural health monitoring area," said Dr. Didem Ozevin, research scientist for MISTRAS and Principal Investigator to the NIST TIP project. "I strongly believe through the collaboration and specialized expertise of MISTRAS' Physical Acoustics Corporation and our research partners, the University of Miami, the University of South Carolina and Virginia Tech, we will accomplish the goals of such a high visibility research project within the projected time frame."

Along with MISTRAS, eight other awards were given to various businesses through TIP, which was created to support innovative research in areas of critical national need. Over the next five years, the awarded projects will create up to $88.2 million in new research on structure monitoring and inspection technologies, with $42.5 million potentially being funded by TIP.

"We are very proud and honored to receive this prestigious NIST TIP award with our university partners," said Dr. Sotirios J. Vahaviolos, chairman and CEO of MISTRAS Group. "Our research team has an opportunity to make a difference in the safety of bridge aging infrastructure and advance our on-line 'sensor fusion' technologies to new heights. Our combined experience in bridge monitoring and sensors date back to the late 1970s and this TIP award is a great opportunity to create a unique system for the future."