• Smart paint monitors structural safety

    An innovative low-cost smart paint that can detect microscopic faults in wind turbines, mines, and bridges before structural damage occurs; the environmentally friendly paint uses nanotechnology to detect movement in large structures, and could shape the future of safety monitoring

  • New concrete corrosion sensors developed

    Scientists have made a major breakthrough in developing sensors which dramatically improve the ability to spot early warning signs of corrosion in concrete

  • Digital images used to prevent bridge failures

    A new/old method has been developed to assure the safety of hundreds of truss bridges across the United States; researchers have been testing the use of a thoroughly modern version of an old technique — photographic measurement or “photogrammetry” — to watch the failure of a key bridge component in exquisite detail

  • Building earthquake-proof buildings

    Researchers in Australia are leading an international project to help identify buildings most vulnerable to earthquakes and the best ways to strengthen them

  • Improving pothole repairs

    The alarming increase in the number of road potholes in the United Kingdom — an outcome of reduced road maintenance, increasing traffic volumes, heavier loads, and repeated adverse weather — is creating potentially hazardous driving conditions, causing serious concerns to the authorities as well as to the public; engineers are looking foe ways to improve pothole repairs

  • Changing bridge fabrication and inspection practices

    As today’s engineers investigate the rebuilding of much of the nation’s infrastructure, a lot of which was constructed in the 1950s, they are using much improved materials and analysis tools; a Virginia Tech civil engineer predicts his new work on a fracture control plan for steel bridges promises to change bridge fabrication and inspection practices

  • Building codes may underestimate multiple hazard risks

    Current building codes consider natural hazards individually — if earthquakes rank as the top threat in a particular area, local codes require buildings to withstand a specified seismic load; if hurricanes or tornadoes are the chief hazard, homes and buildings must be designed to resist loads up to an established maximum wind speed; engineers say that building codes should address multiple hazard scenarios

  • Studying the effects of fire on steel structures, nuclear plants

    Building fires may reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees Celsius, or more than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, and the strength of steel structures drops by about 40 percent when exposed to temperatures exceeding 500 degrees Celsius; scientists study precisely what happens to the connections between a floor’s steel beams and the building columns when these connections are exposed to intense heat

  • New York's older brick buildings vulnerable

    To get a better idea of just how much damage even a moderate earthquake would cause to unreinforced masonry buildings, earthquae-engineering researchers are reconstructing brick walls like those in New York City buildings that are approximately 100 years old

  • Virginia quake highlights overlooked danger: decrepit dams

    Tuesday’s Virginia earthquake raised fears that a Fukushima scenario would unfold somewhere on the East Coast, but experts say that earthquake pose a much greater threat: breaching decrepit dams; of the 85,000 dams in the United States, 4,000 are seriously unsafe or deficient — and of those, 1,800 are located in areas where a breach would cause grave damage to life and property

  • DHS warns copper thefts on the rise

    DHS officials warn that copper thefts from critical infrastructure and key resource sectors in the United States are on the rise; in March, a Port of Houston security guard was arrested for giving his friends and families access to the port, where they allegedly stole more than 22,000 pounds of copper

  • Calls for more stringent standards in wake of increasing storm damage

    Researchers from a team funded by the National Science Foundation have examined some of last spring’s massive tornado damage and conclude in a new report that more intensive engineering design and more rigorous, localized construction and inspection standards are needed to reduce property damage and loss of life

  • Improved engineering to protect structures on storm’s edge

    In the wake of the horrendous tornadoes that delivered massive destruction to Alabama in April, University of Alabama engineers have analyzed building structures and design codes to recommend an approach to safer and stronger buildings going forward

  • Averting bridge disasters: new sensors could save hundreds of lives

    One of every four U.S. highway bridges has known structural problems or exceeded its intended life-span. Most only get inspected once every one or two years; University of Maryland researcher has developed a new sensor that measures indicators of a bridge’s structural health, such as strain, vibration, flexibility, and development of metal cracks; the sensors are expected to last more than a decade, with each costing about $20

  • Earthquakes: scientists will shake 5-story building in Japan

    Landmark earthquake engineering tests this summer in Japan could open the door for earthquake-proofing technology applied to hospitals, nuclear power plants, and emergency-response facilities to be more common in the United States, and confirm the capabilities for the technology used in Japan and the rest of the world