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2009 News in Brief



Grad student attends Asia-Pacific Summer School on Smart Technologies

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Ph.D. candidate Simon Laflamme spent three weeks in July at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign attending the Asia-Pacific Summer School (APSS) on Smart Technologies. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the APSS program gathered researchers from Japan, China, South Korea, Italy and the U.S. for lectures and labs on structural health monitoring, structural control and smart materials. Students formed eight teams of five to six people and competed on field tasks for structural health monitoring and structural control, plus oral presentations on the results. Laflamme’s team placed first with the highest combined score. “For the health monitoring task, we had to determine the modal frequencies of an existing bridge, which in our case was a two-span steel truss bridge. The second task was to design a controller to stabilize a double inverted pendulum, which was a highly nonlinear system,” said Laflamme. He also gave an invited talk, “Adaptive Neurocontrol for Civil Structures.”

Laflamme jumps up and down on a bridge to create an excitation.

To monitor the health of the Mahomet Bridge in Mahomet, Ill., Simon Laflamme (far right) jumps up and down to provide an excitation, while other student team members (left) determine the modal frequencies of the bridge.