Applied Bayesian pre-posterior and life-cycle cost analyses for determining and optimizing the value of structural health monitoring for concrete structures


  • Eline Vereecken
  • Geert Lombaert (supervisor)
  • Robby Caspeele (supervisor)


Many bridges are currently reaching the end of their anticipated service life. Questions often arise on their safety level and the remaining service life. Inspections or measurements can be performed on the structure to gain more insight on its actual behaviour, which can then be related to the degradation state and the corresponding safety level. However, a proper framework for assessing the safety of degrading structures that can take into account results from monitoring is still missing in current practice. Monitoring and the eventual repairs required based on monitoring outcomes involve a certain cost. Nevertheless, management of bridge infrastructure is often executed under tight budgetary constraints. Since the resources for management of the bridge patrimony are limited, it is important to ensure that they are used in an optimal way. To provide solutions to the given problem statements, this project focusses on: 1. The development of a framework that allows to assess the spatial distribution of the degradation state of existing concrete bridges (and the corresponding safety level) taking into account available monitoring information by Bayesian methods; 2. Determining and optimizing the value of monitoring over the lifetime of the structure taking into account the time-dependent behaviour, enabling an optimal allocation of the limited resources available for asset management.

Graphical abstract FWO project Eline Vereecken


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This research is funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) under grant number G013317N.