Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Terry Wipf

Second Advisor

Brent Phares


This dissertation summarizes the development of an autonomous, continuous structural health monitoring (SHM) system that can be used to monitor typical girder bridges. The developed system features two key uses. First, the system can be integrated into an active bridge management system that tracks usage and structural changes. Second, the system helps bridge owners to identify overload occurrence, vehicle collision to the structure, damage and deterioration.;The primary objective of this research was to develop a SHM system that could be used to monitor typical girder bridges for detecting and identifying overload occurrence, vehicle collision to the structure, changes in structural behavior, identification of damage and deterioration, and for tracking usage. These specific needs were established to give owners the tools to better manage bridge assets and were accomplished by completing three distinct work tasks.;The first task involved developing bridge-specific live load structural analysis software, BEC Analysis. Like many analysis software packages, the fundamental algorithm was based upon classic beam theory and the direct stiffness method structural analysis. BEC Analysis can be used for (1) analyzing beams or girders under moving loads, (2) computing absolute maximums in each span or at a specific location, and (3) generating envelopes of maximum moments and strains.;The second task involved developing the field data collection and analysis software that integrates with select data acquisition hardware. The software was designed to automatically collect, process, and evaluate the measured response of a bridge. Its use may allow bridge owners to quantitatively monitor a bridge for potential damage as well as gradual change in behavior. Significant effort was given to developing algorithms that include temperature compensation and fundamental sound data reduction and data mining techniques.;After the development of the SHM system was completed, the system was tested and implemented on a highway bridge to demonstrate and verify its general usage. The system was validated and several observations were given concerning the overall bridge performance during the brief monitoring period.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Yoon-Si Lee



Proquest ID


OCLC Number




File Format


File Size

311 pages