19940468 – man trying to hear with a huge ear

A recent article at Engineering.com covers one of the newer, more creative trends in structural engineering.

According to the article, “A group of Clarkson University mathematicians and a civil engineer have developed a passive and non-invasive approach to “listen” to a collection of relevant signals from bridges and other mechanical structures to diagnose changes or damage.

While listening to the sound of massive, man-made structures might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, this new technology has some really impressive potential applications.

In fact, our very own Structural Engineering manager, Matt Roblez already sees huge potential for the technology.

“I think this is great,” Roblez said. “Any non-destructive tool that can be used will help the industry tremendously.”

Without super powers like x-ray vision or the ability to see through objects this discovery can help solve a variety of problems.

“A key element to structural engineering is to identify problems or issues without compromising the integrity of the structure. Technology like this also makes it easier to evaluate structures so the frequency of evaluations go up and life safety issues are identified much quicker than with traditional methods,” said Roblez.

We still have a ways to go before this tool is used in everyday projects, but the potential is there to do something great.