Case Western Reserve University, Case School of Engineering

Through a first-of-a-kind joint research project, Case Western Reserve University and IBM are advancing the monitoring of the structural health of civil infrastructures like bridges to improve safety

Published on 29 Jun 2011

Having the ability to evaluate disparate events recorded by sensors affords us the capability to dynamically assess the integrity of material that supports our nation’s roadways, with reduced man power. In the end, we want to help provide a cost-effective means to maintain our bridges and ensure everyone’s safety.

Dr. Brian MetrovichAssociate Professor of Civil Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University, Case School of Engineering


Deployment country
United States


Case Western Reserve University is one of the country’s leading private research institutions, offering a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Its faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Its nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. Within the Case School of Engineering, the Department of Civil Engineering actively conducts research and is involved in sponsored programs funded through grants.

Business need
With more than one in four existing bridges either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, the engineering school’s Department of Civil Engineering needed greater insights into the operating conditions and structural deterioration of bridges to better assess the current and future reliability of these structures.

Understanding traffic patterns and other operating conditions on the nation’s interstate bridges, as well as stress factors such as corrosion, is vital to helping inspectors and engineers more efficiently assess and maintain these structures. A new solution allows sensors to be added for continuous real-time monitoring. Damage data from a truck passing can now be correlated across sensors that measure different physical (acoustic, strain) parameters. By detecting complex patterns of events from these sensors, automated notifications can trigger alerts when safety thresholds are exceeded.

- Projected to save money by efficiently using funds for limited maintenance - Improved monitoring efficiency without compromising safety - A vast improvement in the quality of the nation’s transportation infrastructure will lead to safer conditions for commercial and private travel


IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Cognos 8 Workforce Performance, WebSphere Business Events, WebSphere Message Broker

BA - Business Analytics, Business Resiliency, Cloud & Service Management, Enabling Business Flexibility, Enterprise Modernization, Smarter Planet, Virtualization

Legal information

ContactUs Case Studies on your mobile device

Join the Conversation

TwitterGoogle YouTube