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Assessment of Critical Infrastructure Components Project Makes AASHTO’s Sweet 16

Assessment of Critical Infrastructure Components Project Makes AASHTO’s Sweet 16


The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recently named a research project by Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Dimitrios Goulias a "Sweet Sixteen" High Value Research project for 2015.  

Goulias was recognized for his work on “Effective Implementation of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) for Condition Assessment and Monitoring of Critical Infrastructure Components of Bridges and Highways.” Through the project, Goulias and fellow researchers seek to develop the analysis techniques needed by Department of Transportation (DOT) engineers and decision-makers in their efforts to explore the use of GPR in assessing the condition of critical infrastructure components.

A new methodology, Multi-Scale Pavement GPR Data Analysis (MPGDA), was developed for enhancing the accuracy of GPR data analysis of pavement structures. MPGA has the potential to add value and accuracy to pavement thickness detection used in pavement management and rehabilitation analysis. In regards to bridge deck evaluation, migration imaging, Fourier analysis of GPR waveforms and Short Time Fourier Transform analysis were used for quantitative and qualitative analysis on surface and subsurface conditions. Furthermore, evaluation of precast concrete elements with GPR technology was examined for developing testing protocols for quality control (QC) and quality assurance inspections.

The results of this study led to the development and adoption of testing procedures and testing protocols for assessing the conditions of these critical infrastructure components. Further details about the study are available online.

Each year, AASHTO’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC) Value of Research Task Force solicits states to select recently completed High Value Research projects for submission as examples of “Transportation Excellence through Research.” The RAC then publishes an annual compilation of all HVR projects in a document entitled Research Impacts: Better-Faster-Cheaper. By mid-May, each of the four RAC Regions selects its top four research projects to form the AASHTO Research “Sweet Sixteen” awards. These projects are showcased during the AASHTO RAC and Transportation Research Board State Representatives summer meeting in July, and as a poster session at the next Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting.

The full 2015 Research Impacts report is available online.

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