A case for structural health monitoring (SHM) and civionics enhances the evaluation of the load carrying capacity of aging bridges

  • Aftab MuftiEmail author
  • Karim Helmi
Technical Note


This paper discusses the reasons why civil engineers are very conservative in the design of new structures and the evaluation of existing structures. It is argued that structural health monitoring will assist in providing data that could be used to fine-tune the calibration of load and strength factors leading to more efficient and economical designs and better utilization of the strengths of existing structures. For major changes in design, construction and evaluation to be accepted, it is necessary that innovative structures be monitored for their health so that the required data bank can be developed. To assist in achieving this goal, civil engineers in Canada are developing a new discipline, which integrates civil engineering and electrophotonics under the combined term ‘civionics.’


Civionics Conservative Data Decision Designs Efficient Evaluation Risk Safety index Structural engineers Structural health monitoring SHM 



The financial support of NSERC and SIMTReC Centre is gratefully acknowledged. The extensive and productive discussions with Dr. Baidar Bakht and Mr. Andy Horosko are incorporated in this paper’s content. Some of the ideas presented in the paper have been published.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.ISIS Canada Resource CentreWinnipegCanada

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