• £5 million investment in U.K. rail technology, business innovation

    The U.K. government is leading on an investment of £5 million to accelerate business innovation and growth in the U.K. rail industry, using the funds to support the development of technologies to address technological and business challenges

  • Simulations helps overcome design challenges

    Simulation software can pull volumes of complex data beyond simple measurements (think comparative load or stress tolerances) and layer that information into images; simulation can show how a bridge will perform based on how it is used, the conditions around it, its design, materials, and even variables such as the position of a joint — before a single component is manufactured or ground is broken

  • NICB warns of growing copper thefts

    A recently released report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) concludes that copper and other metal thefts are on the rise once again in the United States

  • Reducing fatalities in traffic’s “twilight zone”

    There are more than 30,000 traffic fatalities each year in the United States, and about 2,000 of them occur in stoplight intersections; engineers call them “dilemma zone” — that area before a stoplight intersection where the traffic light turns yellow and the driver is not sure whether to stop or go ahead

  • New material for sustainable road building: "poticrete"

    An organization dedicated to promoting sustainable roadway construction, awarded its first official certification to a Bellingham, Washington, project that incorporates porcelain from recycled toilets; a newly widened sidewalk in Bellingham incorporates more than 400 recycled toilets, crushed into what the project engineers have dubbed “poticrete”

  • Robots to climb and assemble structures, making construction safer

    In the near future, armies of robots could nimbly be crawling up towers and skyscrapers to make repairs, so humans do not have to; the design of the truss pieces, which have ridges and specially designed locks so the robot can manipulate them, is as important as the robot itself, and researchers express the hopes that in the future such robot-friendly building components would be standardized for widespread use

  • Physicists predict when brittle materials fail

    It does not happen often, but structures like bridges, airplanes, and buildings do fail, sometimes catastrophically; what are the odds, and how can it be prevented? Researchers just published new theoretical insights into the probability of structural failures, based on hundreds of thousands of computer simulations

  • Recycled glass in cement makes concrete stronger

    Researchers have found that by mixing ground waste glass into the cement that is used to make concrete, the concrete is stronger, more durable, and more resistant to water; in addition, the use of glass helps reduce the amount of glass that ends up in landfills

  • Invisibility cloak to protect buildings from earthquakes

    Scientists show that by cloaking components of structures with pressurized rubber, powerful waves such as those produced by an earthquake would not “see” the building — they would simply pass around the structure and thus prevent serious damage or destruction

  • Shape-memory alloys for earthquake-resistant structures

    To improve the performance of structures during earthquakes, researchers have been investigating the use of “smart” materials, such as shape-memory alloys, which can bounce back after experiencing large loads

  • Scientists develop new concrete corrosion sensors

    Scientists have made a major breakthrough in developing sensors which dramatically improve the ability to spot early warning signs of corrosion in concrete; the sensors will make monitoring the safety of structures such as bridges and vital coastal defenses much more effective

  • 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