Additional Participants

Graduate Student

Paul Melrose
Samantha Fifield
Antonis Michael
Benjamin Herzog
Adam Haskell
Rodrigo Silva-Munoz
Benjamin Souza

Undergraduate Student

Aimee Young
Katherine Stephens
Brian Martel
Roy Shawn
Christopher Mundie
Chad Havu

Other Collaborators or Contacts

Thomas Sandford, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering
Barry Goodell, Professor of Wood Science and Technology

Project Period

March 15, 2001-February 28, 2007

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



The CAREER proposal will develop a framework to characterize durability of composites in civil infrastructure by integrating fiber-optic embedded sensors with damage mechanics models and life prediction methods. To tackle this problem, a combined analytical and experimental methodology is proposed, as follows: 1) Integrate embedded sensors in composites fabrication by VARTM and filament winding; 2) Implement strain, temperature, moisture and chemical degradation fiber-optic sensors; 3) Evaluate the embedded sensor system with controlled damage; 4) Develop a damage mechanics model and life-prediction methodology for durability analysis based on interrogating senors; 5) Assess reliability of sensor data and scale to composite structures (bridge decks and pipe walls); and 6) Validate the durability methodology and synthesize into a health-monitoring protocol. The educational approach is two-fold encompassing student recruitment and advanced graduate education. First, and educational collaboration is being developed with an applied technology center at a high school in Maine. The objective is to introduce high school students to the engineering experience by collaborating with civil engineering juniors in a composite bridge design and fabrication project. Second, an advanced graduate course on composites in civil engineering will be developed.

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