Professor Jerome Connor from MIT, USA, presented a seminar at WIT entitled ‘Adaptive Civil Infrastructure: Self Diagnosis and Self-Healing

Professor Jerome Connor discussed some critical issues of present Civil Infrastructure related to its long term performances and presented a conceptual design of a new generation of Civil Infrastructure which utilizes recent advances in sensor and information technology. He referred to the new type of infrastructure as “adaptive”. His definition of an adaptive infrastructure is one that can accommodate unpredictable changes in loadings and can compensate for the failure of a limited number of components by adjusting its geometry and modifying its material properties. These adaptive properties are achieved through two attributes: self diagnosis and self healing. He described various methodologies for model based diagnosis and illustrated their application to simple structures. He noted that a critical problem for model based analysis is how to diagnose redundant structures for which global observations are insufficient to uniquely define local damage. He described how adaptive materials such as shape memory alloys and magnets-rheological materials can be incorporated in devices that can either change their geometry or their stiffness properties. Various examples were presented. He ended the lecture with a listing of future research that is needed to bring about acceptance by the Engineering Practice Community of this new generation of infrastructures.