Research Projects

We are currently involved in diverse research projects on infrastructure asset management, both nationally and internationally.

SAFE-10-T

Development of a safety framework to ensure high safety performance while allowing longer life-cycles for critical infrastructure across the road, rail and inland waterway modes. 

https://www.safe10tproject.eu/

Safeway

SAFEWAY’s main aim is to design, validate and implement holistic methods, strategies, tools and technical interventions to significantly increase the resilience of inland transport infrastructure by reducing risk vulnerability and strengthening network systems to extreme events.

https://www.safeway-project.eu/

ProZENT

The goal of the research project was to analyse and compare probabilistic approaches with the aim of implementation in Pavement Management Systems (PMS). In parallel, the quality of the existing data to be integrated into a probabilistic prediction model was assessed.

AMSFree

The AMSfree project analyses the architecture of Infrastructure Asset Management Systems (IAMSs) used by National Road Authorities (NRAs), as well as the asset information content in current IAMSs in order to establish detailed technical requirements for linking IAMS and Building Information Models (BIMs) as infrastructure asset databases on a macro and micro level.

http://amsfree.eu/

BIM4AMS

Over road structures’ lifetime, their relevant material properties will be documented and defined within a thorough and consistent BIM-framework with the asset management of roads in mind. The framework will be connected with currently in place asset management data solutions.

http://bim4ams.tech/

MAPFALKE

The improvement of long-term costs and long-term maintenance planning through a development of a method for improved prediction modelling with consideration of a dynamic calibration approach dependent on different material properties and behavior.

Reliability-Based Structural Monitoring​

A concept and technical solution for reliability-based inspections was developed and implemented in a prototype. Bayesian networks, in which all input parameters and their distribution functions are taken into account, were defined for estimating the reliability index.

COST ACTION tu1406

Our president Rade Hajdin partook in the COST action TU1406 on quality specifications for roadway bridges. Based on that cooperation the group Eurostruct was formed. Read more about the European association on quality control of bridges and structures here: 

https://eurostruct.org/

INFRAROB

Workers on road construction sites are exposed to a variety of potential hazards and immissions from existing traffic and the construction machinery in use.

The mission of InfraROB is to reduce workers’ exposure to traffic as well as construction machines, reduce the cost of repetitive tasks, and increase the safety of road users, while increasing the availability of the transport network. To this end, the project promotes significant advances in automating, robotising and modularizing the construction, upgrade and maintenance of the road infrastructure on roadbed and pavement.

Maintenance management of tunnels - development of a decision model

In the project EP4, a broad-based solution approach with combined decision-making is pursued. The different damage processes (actionable and non-actionable) are analysed with regard to their current and future damage potential. For actionable damage processes, best practices in decision making, taking into account uncertainties, are used to identify long-term options for action and their costs. For non-traceable, hidden damage processes – any failure caused by them thus occurs unexpectedly – risk considerations are used in the decision model. This approach can also be further generalised to sudden events, such as natural hazards. In particular, the proposed approach supports the so-called “what-if” analysis, which is particularly useful when the overriding interests have to be taken into account.

Maintenance management of tunnels - development of a COST model

For the road operator, cost estimation is one of the essential decision elements of maintenance planning. Essentially, a cost model should be developed that can be used in the context of maintenance planning. The costs should be structured to such an extent that a comparison between the costs of the same or similar construction elements or groups of construction elements is feasible. The level of detail should not be too low and the cost units should be applicable for compact elements (building element). The cost model will define the cost parameters for typified maintenance measures on object or building elements and make them available for use in the decision model. During the development, a cross-comparison will also be made with the existing cost structures for engineering structures, track and electromechanical installations.

Use of asphalt reinforcement for the maintenance of roads

Asphalt reinforcements are partly used in the road surface for maintenance measures in high and deep paving. The aim of this research project is to evaluate the potential of asphalt reinforcements for use in road maintenance and to create the necessary methodological basis for consideration in the planning processes. This will ensure optimal use in road maintenance. The grids commonly used in Switzerland are considered. The aim is to propose a design methodology for asphalt construction with grids and to define the design rules (best practice) in terms of practical aspects relating to the assessment of properties, installation, inspection and performance evaluation. Necessary adaptations in the national standards (e.g. SN 640 324 and SN 640 733) will be identified.

Development of methods for the (partially) automated creation of BIM models for existing road bridges

Within the scope of the project, a concept for the (partially) automated creation of BIM models based on existing data as well as point clouds of existing bridges of the German trunk road network obtained with modern surveying techniques is to be developed. This is intended to significantly reduce the effort required to create such models and to create the basis for a comprehensive coverage of BIM models in the entire federal trunk road network. The concept is to be implemented in a prototype and tested on practical examples.

Development of a tool for indicator-based, cross-modal life cycle management of structures

The aim of the project is to design an indicator-based tool on the basis of an international literature study, on the basis of expert surveys in the context of workshops and on the basis of the existing data bases of the three modes of transport, which can be used for a future life cycle management of infrastructure structures. In particular, the current developments with regard to new forms of data acquisition and processing in the condition assessment of engineering structures using a Bayesian approach are to be taken into account. Finally, an IT prototype is to be developed on the basis of the review and evaluation of the available data bases and applied to exemplary data.

Estimation of the remaining service life of bridge structures by developing and testing hybrid models

Forecasts of the remaining service life of bridges and their components are essential for optimising maintenance strategies.

In this project, a hybrid approach is used to make existing information from condition databases usable for forecasts, to integrate physical damage models and to incorporate comprehensive expert knowledge. The merging of the different approaches is carried out via statistical procedures, whereby the quality underlying the respective prognosis is taken into account.

Potential investigation of point clouds for engineering geodetic purposes

Procedures for the generation and evaluation of point clouds for engineering geodetic purposes are playing an increasingly important role, for example for the creation and use of digital twins, inventory, monitoring of buildings and construction progress as well as for defect detection.

The project includes a documentation of the measurement systems available on the market, a comparison of effort and benefit as well as recommendations for the comprehensive application of the systems for various work processes and areas in the context of roads. The potential of repeated measurements over the entire life cycle of planning, construction, operation, monitoring, maintenance and deconstruction will also be evaluated.