Questionnaire on the value of SHM

In the course of the 2. Workshop a survey among the COST Action TU1402 members was conducted. All answers are available in the protected member zone (Login here). Below selected answers highlight important aspects in the context of Value of Information of Structural Health Monitoring.

  • What are the primary challenges you identify in quantifying the Value of Information?

  • What fact sheets would you consider as useful for the aims of the COST Action TU1402?

- Fact sheets helping people to identify the appropriate methods and tools.
- Fact sheets with specific examples following an overall structured process.
- Fact sheets on identifying costs.
- Fact sheets on cost-efficient SHM applications. E.g. case-studies where the value added by SHM has been positive.
- Fact sheets on categorisation of performance indicators.
- Fact sheets on categorisation of monitoring methods in regard to quantity indicated.
- Fact sheets on categorisation of structural performances types in regard to influencing indicators.
- A collection of technologies, methods, tools.
- General guidelines/flow chart of how the value of SHM could be quantified with available data and few illustrative cases of main types of structures.
- Fact sheets focusing on exploiting the potentials of Value of Information analysis in the context of identifying optional SHM strategies to manage the seismic risk associated with structures.
- A fact sheet summarising what owners/operators need from SHM.

  • Where do needs / opportunities arise for the introduction of SHM into performance assessment?

- Both viewpoints are necessary: the first should basically address the aims while the latter should provide (advancements in) methods & tools
- Academics should work on development of procedures that should be usable in the industry practice.
- Potential reduction of Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs.
- The need for introduction of SHM into performance assessment arises when the performance of a considered structure has a critical impact to the society. The need for the SHM becomes important when the level of certainty (associated with the predicted performance) that can be achieved using classical engineering approaches is not sufficient to keep the risk associated with misperformance at a tolerable level.
- SHM helps advancements in structures maintenance approach , allowing to shift from a ‘preventive maintenance’ defined a priori without a link with the actual structural conditions to a ‘condition based decisions approach’ which can take into account the actual state of the structure.
- SHM is strategic in real-time assessment of the structural state in emergency situations allowing to a) promptly detect a possibly critical condition thus allowing interventions; b) establish a hierarchy of interventions. In order to facilitate the introduction of SHM into performance assessment, the link between the information recovered through SHM and its benefits on asset management should be clearly assessed and made evident. To this last aim could be useful to dispose of a large database relevant to a benchmark case: an extensively monitored structure with data freely accessible to researchers; on which several types of sensors could be installed (producers could be interested). Data would be used to test both SHM methodologies and decision making tools. Results should be extensively disseminated to show the impact of SHM on decisions. The use of low cost but robust sensors and acquisition systems to extensively monitor the structures would of course facilitate SHM applications.
- In my subjective opinion those areas are: earth dams (thermal monitoring), railway infrastructure, big energy, mining, chemical, oil companies that operate huge (often ageing) assets - I think for them the possibility to increase profits and financial indicators linked with valuation of their company should be welcomed.
- Academic opportunities are many, from the point of view of (funded) research investigations and development of theoretical algorithms, techniques and approaches, which may be attractive to structure manager/owner at the conceptual stage. However, in many cases techniques are not well developed beyond theoretical stage, lack industry input, or are not effective in practice.
- There is a need and an opportunity to bridge the gap between industry and academia for the majority of structures where SHM could be beneficial.
- A widely available SHM framework or guideline (similar to that presented by WG2/3 at Istanbul) which also outlines general requirements of Practitioners/managers/owners for different structural types would help to shape more targeted research (effective techniques) in this area.
22 JULY 2024