Fundamentals of SHM and intelligent structural systems

Course aim

The students of the NHRE program learn theoretical and practical foundations of structural health monitoring and smart structural systems. Also, the students will learn to design decentralized, intelligent sensor systems using embedded computing, state-of-the-art data analysis techniques, and modern software design concepts.

Course content

Structural health monitoring (SHM) and smart structural systems, also referred to as “smart structures” or “intelligent infrastructure”, are primary subjects of this course: Basic principles of modern SHM are taught; also, concepts of smart structural systems, which are capable of self-assessing their structural condition with a certain degree of intelligence, are elucidated in more detail. Measuring techniques, data acquisition systems, data management and processing as well as data analysis algorithms will be discussed. Furthermore, approaches towards autonomous and embedded computing, to be used for continuous (remote) monitoring of civil infrastructure, are presented. Throughout the course, a number of illustrative examples is shown, demonstrating how state-of-the-art SHM systems and smart structural systems are implemented. In small groups, the students design structural health monitoring systems that are validated in the field. The outcome of every group is to be documented in a paper, which is graded, together with an oral examination, at the end of the course. Prerequisites for this course: Object-oriented modeling and Java programming language. Requirements for examination: (i) Development of a wireless SHM system, (ii) participation in the project work (including the laboratory test), (iii) written paper. No previous experience in the above fields is required by the students; limited enrollment.

Course material

All course material is available from the course website in the e-learning platform.


Degree programNatural Hazards and Risk Engineering (M.Sc.)
Final degreeM.Sc.
TypeOptional required
Semesters offeredWS
Credit points6
Semester periods per week2L + 3E
PrerequisitesObject-oriented modeling and Java programing language
ExaminationOral presentation and written paper

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