The following is an excerpt from an April 1, 2014, American Society of Civil Engineers Civil Engineering magazine article:
Teams in Iowa and Italy collaborate to develop two different sensor technologies that will enable real time monitoring of large, complex structures.
Researchers in Ames, Iowa, and Perugia, Italy, are working collaboratively on separate nanocomposite materials technologies to measure the performance of large structures in real time and alert authorities to changes brought on by strain. The technology has the potential to provide alerts about such critical structural changes as cracks months or even years before they might have been discovered by visual inspections.
At Iowa State University, a team led by Simon Laflamme, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE, an assistant professor of civil, construction, and environmental engineering, is developing a soft elastomeric capacitor (SEC) system—a surface covering that mimics human skin’s sensing capability.