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SmartBridge: Smart monitoring and inspection of bridges infrastructure


There are approximately 80,904 bridges in the UK continuously subjected to destructive effects of material aging, deterioration, widespread corrosion in concrete/metal structures, increasing traffic volume and overloading. These factors combined with defects in design and construction and accidental damage, prompt the deterioration of bridges and result in the loss of load carrying capacity of bridges. The condition of heavily used urban bridges is even worse: one in three is classified as aging or unable to accommodate modern vehicle weights and traffic volume.

In the UK more than 67% of bridges are more than 30 years of age and 8% are above 40 years old. Therefore, a significant number of these structures need strengthening, rehabilitation, or replacement. According to an RAC foundation study, more than 2,300 road bridge structures in Britain are inadequate. Bridges can suffer structural deterioration due to aging, misuse or lack of proper maintenance. Among many factors, which have led to the unsatisfactory condition of bridge structures, one factor that has been neglected is the unsatisfactory inspection and monitoring of existing structures.


The SmartBridge platform will allow bridge operators to do lifecycle and behaviour analysis of a bridges degradation considering the application of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems to perform a controlled lifetime extension of the bridges with known problems has greatly increased in recent years. SmartBridge will continuously forecast and update information on health, condition, reliability and remaining life of infrastructures/ bridges enabling new and enhanced levels of safety and reliability without overdesigning infrastructure. SmartBridge will enhance competitiveness and productivity of partners involved by generating in 5 years post commercialisation; £81million in revenue, £36 million in gross profits and 367 skilled jobs.

Conceptual and systematic layout of project
Candidate bridge near Watford
Stabilisation diagram for system identification


Revolutionising the monitoring and maintenance of bridge infrastructure by developing an innovative knowledge-based digital platform that will enable the visualisation of bridges’ condition and degradation.

Brunel Innovation Centre's Role

Development of data ingestion algorithm and advanced signal processing technique for damage sensitive feature extraction. This analytics functionality will be implemented for a bridge health monitoring system with digital model distributed by BIC and Innvotek.

Project Partners

TWI Ltd 

James Fisher 


Brunel University London


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Tat-Hean Gan
Professor Tat-Hean Gan - Professional Qualifications CEng. IntPE (UK), Eur Ing BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronics Engg (Uni of Nottingham) MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering (University of Warwick) MBA in International Business (University of Birmingham) PhD in Engineering (University of Warwick) Languages English, Malaysian, Mandarin, Cantonese Professional Bodies Fellow of the British Institute of NDT Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology Tat-Hean Gan has 10 years of experience in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Condition Monitoring of rotating machineries in various industries namely nuclear, renewable energy (eg Wind, Wave ad Tidal), Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Construction and Infrastructure, Aerospace and Automotive. He is the Director of BIC, leading activities varying from Research and development to commercialisation in the areas of novel technique development, sensor applications, signal and image processing, numerical modelling and electronics hardware. His experience is also in Collaborative funding (EC FP7 and UK TSB), project management and technology commercialisation.

Related Research Group(s)

woman engineer

Brunel Innovation Centre - A world-class research and technology centre that sits between the knowledge base and industry.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 12/10/2023