Our researching group has years of experience in non-destructive testing of reinforced concrete structures (RCS). Currently, our efforts are focused toward the development of sensor systems for durability monitoring of RCS. These systems provide information about the corrosion condition of the reinforcement which is of great interest to implemented methods for predicting the service life of RCS.
Our current operating sensor systems have proved effective in real-time monitoring of multiple zones of RCS. However, further work is needed on improving the protocol for data management so that the monitoring results are easily accessible and interpretable. Without doubt, the IoT (Internet of Things) is increasingly present in all areas, therefore structural monitoring cannot be left behind.
Accordingly, a particular line of work and research has emerged. It is the development of a smart tool to efficiently manage all the monitoring data collected by our sensor systems. The aim is to be able to provide the most interesting durability results in an easily interpretable way through cutting-edge technology initiatives, networks and platforms.
In line with this approach, the tasks proposed to be carried out by the student during the stay at our researching group focuses on two key areas:
- Introduction to scientific research methodology: it considers the use of tools for literature review, the design of experiments, data analysis using statistical tools, interpretation of durability parameters of reinforced concrete.
- Experimental work: It is about the design and implementation of a software application to provide the key results of the monitored structures in an easy to understand graphic display, which shall be available remotely and instantly accessible by electronic means. The first task is to review and understand the basic operational principle of the monitoring systems we implement in reinforced concrete structures. After that, by starting with our previous designs, an algorithm will be designed to quickly translate all the data gathered by these systems into the key durability parameters to be provided to the final users. The next step is to develop an information and communication technology (ICT) application to launch this algorithm from portable computing devices.
Finally, testing for optimization and validation will be carried out.
Our research group will strongly support publication, dissemination and other activities aimed at maximizing the impact of the conclusions reached in this research. These findings will help identify the aspects to be focused in the further development of smart monitoring systems.
With regard to the activities described above, the student is required to have previous knowledge in design and programming of computer applications, a basic knowledge of statistics, good command of common data processing software, spirit of innovation, team work abilities, and interest in acquiring new knowledge and skills.