Security, Maintenance, and Renovation of the Transportation Infrastructure

Kansas State University

Asad Esmaeily


The failures and deficiencies associated with the aging civil infrastructure poses a considerable danger to the wellbeing, safety and security of the nation. This is more pronounced for the transportation infrastructure in general, and bridges as the fundamental component of the transportation system, in particular. Progressive collapse of a number of the aging bridges and buildings in recent years, were initiated by local damages, not detectable by visual inspection or other conventional methods. Damage detection is a necessary part of a system for continuous monitoring of bridges, buildings and other important components of the nation's civil infrastructure. It serves as the first assessment step to make solid decision on a proper renovation method including retrofit or replacement of a deficient structure.


SMaRTI is a research group in the Department of Civil Engineering at Kansas State University (KSU) that focuses on issues related to the security, maintenance, and renovation of the transportation infrastructure. The areas of research activities of this group falls under the mission and purpose of the KSU University Transportation Center (UTC). The group has also integrated its research with undergraduate teaching to help attract new high school students to Civil Engineering.

SMaRTI flow chart


A signal-based pattern-recognition intelligent computing approach is used for structural damage diagnosis with a single or limited number of input/output signals. The approach is based on extraction of the features of the structural response that present a unique pattern for each specific damage case. Experimental tests and case studies further validated the overall feasibility of the method for damage detection.


Results on the detection side, provides the critical information needed for decision making when it comes to maintenance of the aging structures. Several methods in change detection including the aforesaid method are either studied or being studied. The parallel ongoing research on the retrofit alternatives complements the detection process for an efficient and effective maintenance and renovation of the civil infrastructure.

Core competencies

  • Bridge Maintenance and Renovation BMR (Monitoring/Damage Detection, Retrofit/Repair and Replacement, Renovation of transportation infrastructure)
  • Security Of the Transportation Infrastructure SOTI (Site and Remote Monitoring, Security Oriented Research on Material, Bridge Systems)

Current research team members

  • Dr. Hani Melhem
  • Dr. Robert Peterman
  • Dr. Asad Esmaeily
  • Dr. Hayder Rasheed
  • Fatemeh Shirmohammadi (GRA)
  • Ahmad Al-Rahmani (GRA)
  • Nader Tadros (GRA)

Recent Ph.D. graduates

  • Long Qiao
  • Ahmed Al-Fattah