Special Sessions

SS01 - 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.

SS02 - Continuous Bridge Monitoring and Damage Detection

Continuous bridge health monitoring using the latest information technology and sensors will be becoming more challenging issues in the future for maintenance and rehabilitation of existing bridges. And it becomes also an important thing that how to detect damages from such huge number of monitoring data, that is a big challenge for analysis to discover the damage information of a target bridge. Then we propose a Mini-Symposium on continuous bridge monitoring and damage detection by long term monitoring for discussing from various point of view.

SS03 - Bridge Safety, Maintenance and Management under Hazards and Changing Climate

Due to the frequent occurrence of hazards, and their effects on bridge life-cycle performance, reliability, risk, and resilience issues have become a global concern. With climate change, hazard intensity and probability of simultaneous occurrence of multi-hazards are expected to increase. This mini-symposium brings together researchers from academia and industry to solve problems of bridge safety, maintenance, and management under natural hazards. Potential topics include: vulnerability and risk assessment, performance-based engineering, and hazard mitigation and management. Emphasis will be placed on papers dealing with effects of climate change on bridges, cost-benefit analysis of adaptation, and bridge design, maintenance, and management specifications.

SS04 - 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.

SS05 - 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.

SS06 - 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.

SS07 - European Standardization of Quality Specifications for Roadway Bridges

During the implementation of asset management strategies, maintenance actions are required to keep assets at desired performance levels. In case of roadway bridges, performance indicators are established for components. These indicators allow to assess if quality control plans are accomplished. In Europe there is a large disparity regarding the way indicators are quantified and goals specified. COST Action TU1406 aims to bring together research and practicing communities in order to establish a European guideline in this issue. In IABMAS-2016, the preliminary results of the Action were presented. In this special session of IABMAS-2018, the new findings related to the required performance goals, the research performance indicators still under investigation and the way these results will be implemented on a guideline for quality specifications will be presented. Also a set of case studies will be shown regarding the practical application of the guideline in different countries and for several groups of bridges. Finally, the necessary steps to follow leading to the standardization of the proposed quality specifications will be presented.

SS08 - Construction Management Issues in Bridge Engineering and Construction

Construction management issues in bridge construction constitute particular challenges. Applying Value Engineering in the design and construction of new bridges and upgrading old ones results in more economic and sustainable bridges and enormous savings. Bridge assessment should consider the differences between old and new ones, and applicable threshold values whether from the original or current codes, to avoid severe consequences. Arbitration can save time and costs. Recent developments in such issues result in advancing the current state of knowledge and practice.

This Mini Symposium aims at attracting new papers from researchers, practitioners and public agencies to present recent techniques, theoretical developments and practical applications, and state-of-the-art/practice and case studies. Sessions will provide a platform to discuss and share various issues of construction management in bridges. These include (but not limited to): Value Engineering; Bridge Construction Contracts; Contracts Administration; Arbitration; Applicable Codes.

SS09 - CIM: Community Information Modeling - the new frontier of Civil Engineering

Critical infrastructures in urbanized area represent the primary systems for feeding human activities. Interruption to just one of them can have consequences across others. They comprise multiple networks (e.g. from water supply to oil and gas, from electric to transportation). Their role is emphasized under emergency, where e.g. the transportation system plays a primary role in managing the aid activities. They are also interconnected statically and dynamically, directly and indirectly, on multiple levels.

Bringing together activities of numbers of people within complex urbanized areas, critical infrastructures can lead to vulnerability from multiple hazards. The identification of critical points, the determination of the implications of failures, with respect to the interconnectivities, represents the key for decreasing vulnerability. One emerging approach to these challenges focuses on resilience defined here as the degree to which a system can continue to function effectively in a changing environment.

This MS13 is focused on the presentation of approaches that can be used for managing and assessing resilience of critical infrastructures. Virtual testbeds and numerical simulations can be used for modeling interdependencies between buildings, bridges and transportation systems, utility and the socioeconomic systems within the community that they support. The same approaches can be useful to estimate impact effects and recovery trajectories.

The MS13 is oriented to several participants, such as academic staff, researchers, post-graduate students and professional engineers dealing with the following advanced topics:

  • probabilistic risk analysis and decision making;
  • resilience;
  • crisis management simulations;
  • vulnerability;
  • optimization, reliability and/or robustness, redundancy and damage-tolerant design.

SS10 - Assessment and evaluation of deteriorated bridges

Bridges are constructed and used with a target life of 50-100 years. It is necessary to take the required measures to ensure that the performance of the bridge is assessed periodically and that the safety and serviceability are not degraded in order to perform the intended function during the target lifetime. In this regard, research has been conducted on evaluation techniques for deteriorated bridges in many countries around the world, including the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) program implemented by FHWA. This session has been proposed to share experiences of conducting assessments and taking actions on various types of bridges and defects. Topics covered include maintenance and operation of bridges such as bridge load ratings, damage assessment, monitoring and evaluation, and decision-making.

SS11 - Life-Cycle Structural Redundancy, Robustness and Resilience of Bridges under Multiple Hazards

Notable events of bridge collapses due to accidental loads, environmental aggressiveness and related phenomena, such as corrosion and fatigue, indicated structural redundancy and robustness as key factors for a rational approach to life-cycle design of deteriorating bridges and infrastructure systems. Structural resilience is also an important indicator in bridge engineering to express the capability of bridge structure and infrastructure systems exposed to extreme events, such as earthquakes, to withstand the load effects and to recover efficiently the original configuration. However, the concepts of redundant, robust and resilient structures, or damage-tolerant structures, are still issues of controversy, since there are no well established and generally accepted criteria for a consistent definition and a quantitative measure of these performance indicators. The aim of this Mini-Symposium is to present advances on this subject and to provide conceptual and analytical design tools that can effectively be implemented in design practice for measuring and evaluating the life-cycle redundancy, robustness and resilience of bridge structures and infrastructures under multiple hazards, with emphasis on the interaction between seismic and environmental hazards in aggressive environments.

SS12 - Centenary bridges - An insight into construction and technology history

It is worth recognizing the outstanding contribution of centenary bridges to the valorisation of world heritage and their importance in creating a strong identity of the territories in which they are implemented. The great diversity of technical solutions and materials – steel, concrete, masonry and timber – deserves a worldwide diffusion and recognition. This Mini-Symposium represents an opportunity to pay a tribute to the engineers involved in the design and construction of those bridges and to give a valuable insight into the construction and technology history.

SS13 - 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/).

SS14 - 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.

SS15 - 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.

SS16 - 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.

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 - 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

SS19 - 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.

SS20 - Monitoring and Assessment of Bridges using Novel Techniques

Assessment and monitoring concepts for bridges become more and more important in the intervention planning (e.g., maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, replacement) for new and existing bridges. Nevertheless, there is still a strong demand for the development and efficient use of novel techniques for monitoring and assessment of bridges. These techniques affect intervention and maintenance strategies and in consequence cost optimization concepts. Therefore, the objective of this Mini-symposium is to highlight the recent developments in science and practice and to formulate the next necessary steps. This Mini-symposium provides the opportunity to disseminate and discuss novel techniques regarding assessment, monitoring and maintenance techniques of bridges.

  • Key Dates
  • Call for Abstracts Closed
  • Registration Open November 2017
  • Notification of Acceptance of Abstract 15 September 2017
  • Full Paper Submission open 15 September 2017
  • Full Paper Final Submission Deadline 17 November 2017
  • Notification of Full Paper acceptance 18 December 2017
  • Final Paper Submission12 January 2018
  • Early bird Registration closes 2 March 2018
  • Conference 9-13 July 2018

IABMAS 2018 Hosted by

Vic Roads

Mondash University

Swinburne University

RMIT University