Special Sessions

SS1 - Advancements in performance assessment, monitoring, and management of bridges under fatigue deterioration

This special session will handle the recent advancements in performance assessment, monitoring, and life-cycle management techniques of bridges deteriorating under fatigue effects. Advanced methodologies for characterizing and quantifying the effect of fatigue on the structural performance of highway and railway bridges are emphasized. Approaches focusing on the application of non-destructive testing and structural health monitoring for damage diagnosis and prognosis under fatigue deterioration of bridges constructed from traditional and novel composite materials are of special interest. Papers dealing with life-cycle management issues including inspection, repair, retrofit, and maintenance optimization will also be part of this session.

SS2 - Steel Bridge Rehabilitation

In this special session, papers on evaluation, assessment, repair and retrofit of fatigue and corrosion damage in steel highway and railway bridges are presented and discussed. We have a huge number of steel highway and railway bridge structures especially in the urban area and across rivers and straits. Some of those bridges suffer various types of fatigue and corrosion damage, but replace of them should be too expensive, and restriction or close of the traffic could be hardly allowed. Therefore, rehabilitation of those structures becomes of great importance in the near future.

SS3 - Vibration-based structural health monitoring of bridges: research and applications

Due to a practical need and a growing interest by both researchers and professionals, in the last years vibration-based methods are increasingly employed as advanced inspection tools for evaluating the structural health of bridges. Several monitoring systems installed in bridges utilize real-time or near-real-time responses to vibrations to make informed decisions related to the health of the structures. These data have a strategic importance both for the advancement of knowledge on the behavior and performance of structures under vibrations and for the calibration of realistic and reliable numerical models that are aimed to reproduce the structural behavior and to formulate a diagnosis about possible damages. Furthermore, the possibility to assess the health state based on data recorded on the monitored structure opens new avenues in maintenance policies, shifting from a traditional ‘scheduled maintenance’ to a ‘condition-based maintenance’, carried out ‘on demand' or ‘automatically’, basing on the current structural condition. The session deals with theoretical and computational issues and applications of vibration based structural health monitoring and welcomes contributions that cover, but are not limited to, algorithms for identification and damage detection, real time monitoring systems and projects, experimental tests, real world applications, instrumentation and measurements methods and tools, integration of vibration-based techniques in procedures for risk assessment and emergency management. Such a session will provide a venue for exchange and share new ideas, recent advances and applications of vibration-based methods for bridge monitoring and will also provide a chance to establish and enhance future collaborations on this subject.

SS4 - Perturbations on SHM results due to environmental changes

Right from the beginning of applying SHM to bridge structures it was obvious that environmental based perturbations on the measurement significantly influence the ability to identify structural damage. Strategies are needed to classify such effects and consider them appropriately in SHM. Many methods have been developed and analyzed to separate environmental based effects from damage induced changes in the measures. Generally, two main approaches have emerged from research activity in this fields: (a) statistics based tools analyzing patterns in the data or in computed parameters and (b) methods, utilizing the structural model of the bridge taking into account environmental as well as damage based changes of stiffness values. With the background of increasing affordability of sensing and computing technology, effort should be made to increase sensitivity, reliability and robustness of procedures, separating environmental from damage caused changes in SHM measures. The Special Session will provide a platform to introduce new concepts, new technology, and new method developments in that field. Contributions and discussion should be fruitful not only for researchers but for bridge authority, too. In practice, reliable and robust solutions will increase the acceptance of SHM for early damage identification remarkably.

SS5 - Resilience of Bridges to Climate Change, Natural & Man Made Hazards

Land-based transport infrastructure networks, and specifically their components, e.g. bridges, represent complex assemblages of interdependent systems, which are subject to numerous threats posed by natural and man-made hazards, cascading risks, effects of ageing and ever increasing demands due to population and freight growth. In order to ensure uninterrupted services and reliable performance in the future, the resilience of bridges need to be accurately assessed and improved. Particular emphasis is placed on (i) climate adaptation engineering at multiple scales, (ii) the role of interdependencies between different infrastructure components and the traffic networks, (iii) assessment/modelling of resilience and (iv) consideration of cascading effects.

SS6 - Recent Advances in Bridge Design and Construction

Bridge construction methods have evolved from traditional construction methods to more recently developed methods such as Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) methods to overcome many challenges that arise due to extended periods of construction and site constraints. Consequently, bridge design procedures and details are being evaluated and revised to accommodate the additional loads and other concerns that arise due to the specific bridge construction/replacement technology being implemented and/or site constraints. During past several years, many innovative approaches have been developed and implemented. This session will aggregate the state-of-the-art practices, lessons learned, performance, and research.

SS7 - Developments and trends in composite steel-concrete structures

Composite steel–concrete structures are widely used throughout the world in building and infrastructure applications. This SS aims to provide an overview of some of the recent research carried out in this field dealing with new structural systems, modelling techniques and design methodologies. In particular, attention will be devoted to the structural response of composite members and floor systems, innovative shear connection, serviceability limit state design, theoretical models and experimental studies.

SS8 - Advanced measurements surveying the durability of bridges

Bridge owners need best as possible information about the current condition of bridges during service. The optimized distribution of measurement points a wireless sensor network (WSN) using advanced sensing is crucial for the quality of information about the current condition. Physical and logical parameters influence the sensor distribution, data transfer and information. Different tasks need different sensing technologies. WSN Technologies are under development with different degree of a mesh for data transfer. The most effective physical and logical topology in a sensor network is addressed for best information about the bridge condition. WSN-Applications are presented discussing both: the optimum sensing technology and the optimum information about the condition of a bridge.

SS9 - Latest developments on Jointless Bridges

  • Bruno Briseghella

    Fuzhou University, Fujian Province, PR China

  • W. Phillip Yen

    International Association of Bridge Earthquake Engineering,VA, USA

  • Baochun Chen

    Research Center Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, China


The durability of bridge expansion joints and bearings has become an important concern worldwide. It leads the Jointless (JBs) concept becoming rather popular in recent years, not only in the newly built bridges, but also in the retrofit of existing ones. Nowadays most of the US and European States indicate to use the Jointless Bridges for short or medium size bridges (usually up to 60 or 100 m), but there is a big need of common specifications and guidelines. Moreover there are still very limited applications of jointless bridges in China and other Asian Countries. To spread the knowledge on Jointless Bridges, the International Association of Jointless Bridges (IAJB) has been recently founded and some International Workshops have been organized and held. Following these activities, this Special Session intends to attract academic staff, researchers, post-graduate students and professional engineers, and provide a discussion platform for the exchange of knowledge concerning latest research developments and applications in the field of Jointless Bridges.

SS10 - Big Data Process

  • Bruno Briseghella

    Research Center Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, China

  • Professor Alp Caner

    Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey


Topics like assessment, maintenance, health monitoring, retrofitting have become of crucial importance, especially in the field of bridges, in many countries. The main cause has to be found both in the natural ageing of the constructions and in the increasing traffic. According to a report from the United States Federal National Bridge Inventory, the average age of the nation's 607,380 bridges is currently 42 years old. In meantime a huge amount of information can be provided by different kinds of testing and monitoring systems and so creating a big need of exploring how Big Data technologies and techniques can help to monitor and maintain infrastructure. Proper use of filtered data can also be utilized in true assessment of remaining economic life of aging structures. It has been known that some bridges over 100 years old are still in service in exceedance of their design life due to proper maintenance and low deterioration. The Special Session intends to attract academic staff, researchers, post-graduate students and professional engineers and provide a discussion platform for the exchange of knowledge concerning latest research developments and applications in the field of Big Data Processing.

SS11 - Structural Health Monitoring for Infrastructure Asset Management

This mini-symposium will focus on discussing how we can better use structural health monitoring techniques and data for effective and workable infrastructural asset management. The researchers from Australia, China and UK will share their recent research achievements and experiences on the development of such strategies, applications and implementations for infrastructural monitoring, maintenance and management. The data analysis and mining technologies will also be discussed and reported in this dynamic research mini-symposium.

SS12 - Revised fatigue detail categories for bridges (in European standards)

Fatigue design of steel and composite bridges is a major challenge in modern structural engineering. European fatigue rules represent the state-of-art before 1990 and do not reflect new developments such as progress in welding, innovative post-weld treatment, availability of thicker steel plates and new architectural trends such as highway bridges made of tubular trusses. Furthermore, the connection between the detail categories and the quality level for weld imperfections (ISO 5817) is missing. This Special Session is supposed to give an overview on possible improvements of the detail categories defined in the European Steel Standard (Eurocode 3) based on recent research.

SS13 - Bridge deterioration modeling and probabilistic bridge maintenance needs forecasting

Bridge deterioration models perform a critical task within Bridge Management Systems by leveraging databased performance measures to predict maintenance needs of individual bridge components and inform planning and budget optimization decisions across bridge inventories. Recent research has been directed towards developing probabilistic approaches, including duration-based Weibull models, multi-variate Proportional Hazards models, and Monte Carlo simulations, to address limitations of prevalent Markov chain state-based models. This special session aims to highlight improvements and showcase applications of probabilistic bridge maintenance needs forecasting, particularly approaches capable of addressing persistent challenges in deterioration modeling, such as incorporating non-stationary duration dependence and previous maintenance actions.

SS14 - Self-sensing and Connected Infrastructures for a Smart Transport Future

Highly automated vehicles have been developed worldwide and are currently being tested. Significant research efforts have been made by the automotive industry; so far, however, they have been mainly devoted to implement vehicles with multiple sensors that recognize traffic patterns and road geometrical characteristics. Unfortunately, these high-tech autonomous vehicles have very poor dialogue with transport infrastructures. Smart lanes in road transport and smart bridges can help this transition by performing enhanced monitoring of the infrastructure, evaluate weather-related parameters and traffic conditions. This special session will tackle new needs for a smart transport future and the potential benefits on current management and maintenance practices of transport infrastructures.

SS15 - Submerged Floating Tunnels and Underwater Tunnel: design, safety and maintenance issues

The Submerged Floating Tunnel (SFT) is an innovative infrastructure for water crossing, connecting shores while floating retained by appropriate systems below the water surface. SFT is an attractive solution, competing with traditional crossing techniques, due to economic and environmental advantages. However at present there are no SFT built in the World although the relevant technologies are well known, and widely employed, in fields like Oil & Gas, Marine engineering, Underwater Tunnels. The aim of this SS is to provide a global forum for discussing recent researches and developments related to SFTs, with specific emphasis on design, safety and maintenance issues.

SS16 - Special Elements in Bridge Construction and Practice

Some elements in bridges are considered secondary and hence their design and construction is often overlooked compared to other prominent ones. Although such special elements are often sources of severe problems and may jeopardize performance and safety, however, their design and construction is often based on more practice and little theory. Such special elements may include (but not limited to): joints, bearings, approach slabs, deck paving, parapets, reinforced earth elements…etc. New papers dealing with design and construction practices of such and similar elements are welcomed from researchers and practitioners to present recent techniques, theoretical and practical developments, the state-of-practice, and to provide a platform to discuss and share issues related to such elements. This will result in advancing the current state of knowledge and practice leading to more economical and better performance bridges.

SS17 - SMART bridge components: monitoring and optimization of EJs, bearings and dampers

Engineers and bridge owners are continuously optimizing the design and construction of bridges with the common scope of material/cost reduction and safety/endurance assurance. Similarly to the bridge itself also its most important components, as are expansion joints, structural bearings and damping units need to follow the same optimization process. Current development show more and more involvement of structural health monitoring and testing of these elements and at the same time improved design and materials. In this session authors are invited to present recent applications and research in bridge components field by showing their real performance or how they resolved special project requirements.

SS18 - Bridge Monitoring: Techniques and results regarding bridge condition and loading

Over the last years, monitoring to new and existing bridges is applied more often, frequently called about “structural health monitoring”. But how far are we with these techniques? What techniques are being applied and what do the results tell us about the condition of the bridge? This session aims at bringing together international experiences related to bridge monitoring and focuses on the information that can be achieved with it. Presentations addressing monitoring techniques, the combination of embedded structural monitoring and load testing of bridges, or the integration of “structural health” monitoring and weigh-in-motion measurements are also welcomed for this session.

SS19 - Challenges for bridge technology implementation and management in developing countries

Developing countries face important challenges regarding their needs for new bridge infrastructure; maintaining, repairing and managing existing bridge stock. This special session is aimed at gathering experiences from Latin-American countries and developing economies in general about bridge technology development, implementation and management. We seek gather insights from past experiences and future opportunities regarding the collaboration among international institutions at a global scale for addressing the challenges from developing economies to address their bridge infrastructure needs for, but not limited to:

  • Bridge management system implementation and frameworks
  • SHM technology implementation and opportunities
  • Condition assessment and rehabilitation of existing bridges.
  • Monitoring-based decision making on structural integrity

SS20 - Advances in Corrosion Modelling of Steel Bridges

About 30% of steel bridges around the world have been reported as severely corroded. To have an accurate and reliable assessment of structural integrity of corroded steel bridges, corrosion modelling of steel elements need to be investigated comprehensively both at macro and micro level. Recent investigations have revealed that corrosion not only contributes in cross section loss of steel elements, but also affect the mechanical properties of the steel elements. In this special session, recent developments in corrosion modelling of steel bridges, improvements in lab and field methodologies as well as case studies will be reviewed by the experts and the gaps in the area of research will be elaborated.

SS21 - Value of Information of SHM for life-cycle management of Bridges

SHM can efficiently contribute to enhance the whole life functioning of bridges by providing a reduction of operational costs and risks throughout the life cycle. To date, SHM development and research has been focused on technologies and data analysis approaches thereby providing information associated to loading and structural condition. As a result, the link to a quantification of the enhanced functionality provided by the availability of SHM information is often neglected.

The quantification of the Value of the Information (VoI) provided by SHM necessitates a holistic perspective that shall include the knowledge and models of the life cycle performance of the monitored system and of the SHM technology, their probabilistic characteristics and the costs connected to their development, investment, operation and decommissioning. In addition, it necessitates that these models are coupled in a comprehensive framework such as the Bayesian decision theory. As a result the effect of SHM on the expected benefits and costs throughout the life cycle of the bridge/bridge network can be demonstrated and the SHM system development and operation can be optimized.

With this special session, the research efforts surrounding quantifying the value of SHM and optimizing SHM for the whole life management of bridges/bridge networks will be gathered and discussed. Contributors in the fields of SHM optimization, decision analysis, uncertainty modelling and risk and reliability research are welcomed. The session is supported by and includes contributions from the EU networking project COST Action TU1402 on Quantifying the Value of Structural Health Monitoring (http://www.cost-tu1402.eu/).

SS22 - Damage Detection, Assessment and Rehabilitation of bridge structures

  • Qiao Li

    Southwest Jiaotong University, Sichuan, Chengdu

  • Deshan Shan

    Southwest Jiaotong University, Sichuan, Chengdu

  • Erhua Zhang

    Southwest Jiaotong University, Sichuan, Chengdu

  • Zhigang Yu

    Southwest Jiaotong University, Sichuan, Chengdu

  • Xiaohang Zhou

    Southwest Jiaotong University, Sichuan, Chengdu

Damage Detection, Assessment and Rehabilitation is the key issues for the operation of bridge structures. The main focus of this Special Sessions is to present the recent advances in damage detection, health monitoring, bridge condition assessment, and the innovative applications in rehabilitation of bridge structures. A broad range of potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Damage Detection
  • Bridge Structure Condition Assessment
  • Bridge Structure Sensing Technology
  • Mechanism, Simulation and Prediction of Damage
  • Damage Uncertainty Quantification and Reliability Estimation
  • Damage-Based Life Prediction, Structural Sustainability and Life-Cycle Assessment
  • Repair, retrofitting and rehabilitation of bridge structures
  • Innovative material and technology for bridge structure repair
  • Key Dates
  • Call for Abstracts Open March 2017
  • Registration Open July 2017
  • Abstract Submission Deadline extended 2 July 2017
  • Notification of Acceptance of Abstract July 2017
  • Full Paper Submission open June 2017
  • Full Paper Final Submission November 2017
  • Notification of Full Paper acceptance December 2017
  • Earlybird closes March 2018
  • Conference 9-13 July 2018

IABMAS 2018 Hosted by

Vic Roads

Mondash University

Swinburne University

RMIT University

Expression of Interest.