Infrastructure Sensing and Systems

Research within this theme focuses on developing non-destructive testing, infrastructure sensing and monitoring methodologies and on evaluating and adapting promising new sensor technologies for tomorrow's smart infrastructure designs.

We conduct interdisciplinary research into continuous monitoring, on-site assessment and safe operation of civil engineering structures and systems in order to ascertain the real behaviour and devise optimal maintenance strategies to increase useful life and reduce life-cycle cost. Our work also involves the development and application of advanced numerical simulation and data analysis tools.

We research into improving the application of Non-Destructive Testing and shallow depth Geophysical techniques used for condition assessment and inspection of key infrastructure elements such are buildings, roads, railways. We apply such methods from complex engineering site investigation problems to prospecting of archaeological sites and monuments. One of our key research strengths is the development of advanced simulation tools and data interpretation schemes particularly for Ground Penetrating Radar where we are leading the development of gprMax the most widely used Ground Penetrating Radar simulator.

Current Projects

  • Vibration sensing and data interrogation for structural identification and monitoring
  • Development and application of fibre-optic sensors for structural applications
  • Theoretical and experimental study of piezoceramic (PZT type) sensors for damage detection in concrete structures
  • Development of integrated monitoring system for smart homes incorporating energy usage measurement, simulation, and building health monitoring and analysis components
  • Advanced numerical modelling of Ground Penetrating Radar for antipersonnel landmine detection
  • Development of efficient absorbing boundary conditions for finite-difference time-domain full wave solvers
  • Enhancement and development of gprMax the Ground Penetrating Radar simulator

Railway Engineering

The railway research has ranged from NDT/radar assessment of masonry arch railway bridges, through geophysical identification of abandoned mineshafts, condition monitoring of fouling of railway ballast and concrete slab track using GPR (radar) and impulse response through to numerical modelling of ground borne vibrations from high speed trains using the University of Edinburgh's supercomputer and the world leading radar modelling software gprMax

Our PhD students have won over 10 awards from the ICE, plus various best paper and poster awards. We have graduated 8 PhDs in railway engineering. In addition we sponsor the International conference series: "Railway Engineering" - the 14th conference in the series, Railway Engineering 2017, in June at the Radisson Blue Edinburgh, UK.

Working with our research sponsors (Network Rail, Carillion Rail and EPSRC) we have achieved new understandings in the NDT of masonry arch bridges, geophysical identification of abandoned mineshafts, condition monitoring of railway ballast and slabtrack, plus new understanding of ground borne vibrations from high speed trains.

The Edinburgh group comprises: Professors Mike Forde and Yong Lu, Drs Martin Crapper, Antonis Giannopoulos, Robert De Bold; PhD students John Hartley and Hossain Zadhoush  

Modal analysis based on vibration measurement.
Modal analysis based on vibration measurement.
Simulated Ground Penetrating Radar response from antipersonnel landmines.
Simulated Ground Penetrating Radar response from antipersonnel landmines.