Whereas traditionally the structural engineer conceives buildings and bridges as a self-standing project, the Intelligent Infrastructure Group regards structures as cells that belong to a complex system – the civil infrastructure network. Recent advances in sensors, smart materials, communication technology and computing power suggest that in a near future major infrastructures and buildings will be permanently connected to a distributed management network and continuously provide information so that owners and possibly users will be able to check the actual state. Design specifications, real-time operation and any decision on maintenance, upgrading and retrofitting of a single cell will depend on the whole system and properly account for environmental impact and sustainability.
The Intelligent Infrastructure Group (IIG) is an academic research team of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, which is active in civil structural health monitoring and bridge management consulting. Thanks to a 15-year experience and the work of many graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and faculties, it currently does research on the most innovative topics, delivers optimal solutions to public authorities and assists companies to take major decisions concerning bridge management policies. The team members regularly present scientific contributions at the major conferences in the field, including the EWSHM series, the IWSHM series and those organized by the SPIE, SEM and IABMAS. The group also officially collaborates with the Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies of the National Research Council and with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.