CE5802 – SHM

Welcome to Structural Health Monitoring CE5802 course web site.

Course Outline

INSTRUCTOR:  Prof. Dr. Ahmet TÜRER (Structures Lab. K7 Room 106)

                             Tel: (312) 2105419 aturer@metu.edu.tr

Class hours: Thursdays between 9:00 and 12:00 @ K2 building, Classroom 106


General concepts in structural health monitoring; necessities; commonly used monitoring techniques; fields of application; data acquisition systems and transducer types; non-destructive testing; determination of critical measurement types and location; design of measurement setup; cost estimation; alert systems; remote communication; analytical simulation; structural properties extraction from data; analytical calibration; structural condition evaluation; damage detection; basic electrical circuits, introduction to neural networks, heuristic and statistical approaches in monitoring.


This course is intended for graduate level students but may be taken by last year (senior) students as well. Students from engineering departments other than Civil Engineering may also take the course. Basic principles of measurement and issues on structural health monitoring of civil engineering structures will be discussed. Measurement basics, data acquisition systems, and instrumentation applications will be a part of the class content. Students will utilize their knowledge from mechanics, strength of materials, and structural analysis for the selection of instrumentation type, analytical modeling, and simulation.

The course originally planned as 3 hours of lecture; however, simple demonstrations and experiments will be conducted during class hours in the classroom or in the lab.

By the end of the course, the students are expected to 1) understand and be capable of implementing fundamental concepts of structural health monitoring, 2) develop intuition for instrumentation type and location selection for real life applications, 3) be capable of combining finite element modeling and field measurements for realistic loading simulations and spatial extrapolation of measured data, model updating, and 4) be able to make cost and duration estimates.



One term test, one term project exam, homework assignments, and one final exam will be given. The grading will be temporarily based on 28%, 28%, 10%, and 34% for the midterm, term-project, homework, and final exam, respectively. The grading system and percentages may be changed based on the class progress. Term-project will be orally presented in class using a slide projector. Team work for term-projects is strongly encouraged. No specific textbook will be followed; therefore, class attendance is a must for the success of students. 5% bonus grade for more than 90% attendance. NA grade will be given for less than 70% attendance. There will be only one make up exam, which will be given after the final exam and will cover all the subjects in the course regardless of the missed exam.



  1. Structural Health Monitoring conf proceedings, Editor F-K Chang,. California, 2005 & 2009.
  1. Ambient Vibration Monitoring, Helmut Wenzel, Dieter Pichler, Wiley, 2005.
  1. Health Monitoring of Aerospace Structures, W. Staszewski, C. Boller, G. Tomlinsaon, Wiley, 2003.
  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 1997, NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings, FEMA 273
  1. Structural Condition Assessment, R.T. Ratay, 2005.
  1. Theory of Vibration with Applications, W. T. Thomson, M. D. Dahleh, 5th edition, 1998.
  1. Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring; Wiley, Christian Boller (Editor), Fou-Kuo Chang (Editor), Yozo Fujino (Editor).

No specific text books will be followed. Teaching material will be class notes, occasionally distributed printed copies, and electronic documents as email attachments.




  1. Week: Introduction (scope of health monitoring, necessities, importance)
  1. Week: Commonly used measurement techniques and instrumentation types (bridge, building, soil, dam, tunnel monitoring techniques; modal parameters; cable vibration; gage types; types of strain, deflection, acceleration transducers)
  1. Week: Approaches to a monitoring problem; options; constraints (cost, duration, site specific issues, vandalism); parameters; goals. General overview of structure types including historical structures. Introduction to sensor types and technology; biological sensors.
  1. Week: 5min in-class presentations by students to briefly explain five SHM examples from the world (internet search homework).
  1. Week: Basic measurement sensor types and their working principles. Sensor calibration examples in the classroom.
  1. Week: Data acquisition systems, working principles of A/D converters, memory requirements versus measurement type and frequency.
  1. Week: Preliminary modeling, selection of critical measurement locations, measured data comparison by analytical simulation, analytical model calibration. Design of measurement setup, installation, and cabling issues.
  1. Week: Remote communication and control; alert system, thresholds; cost estimation. Programming of data acquisition systems. Differences between short-term, repeated, long-term data acquisition.
  1. Week: Short-term field testing, post-processing of long-term field measured data
  1. Week: Vibration measurement, modal analysis, modal frequencies, FFT, analytical modeling and simulation of test/ambient loads.
  1. Week: Noise effect on measured data, minimization of noise. Correlation of results; basic model updating and optimization techniques; sensitivity analysis.
  1. Week: Strain rosette, principal strain magnitude and direction calculation. Simulation impact load location and impact point detection; multilateration and triangulation techniques. Simple applications of objective function definition and optimization.
  1. Week: Moving FFT and wavelet analysis techniques; Neural Networks and practical applications.
  1. Week: Semester project presentations of each group. Discussions on the extensions and improvement possibilities of each project. Budgetary and implementation phase scheduling issues. Client driven alternative application discussions.