Image Credit: Department of Science and Technology–Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development

Image Credit: Department of Science and Technology–Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development

Mapúa University’s SmartBridge project to ensure safety of bridges in the Philippines

The 2018 Outstanding R&D Award for the Special Concerns Category was awarded by the Department of Science and Technology–Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) to the Mapúa University SmartBridge team.

According to the report released by the University, the Development of Wireless Sensory Network System for Structural Health Monitoring of Bridges (SmartBridge) Project is an example of how they are taking the lead in providing state-of-the-art solutions to problems of industries and communities in the Philippines.

SmartBridge is a joint project between the University and DOST-PCIEERD that advances the science of monitoring and evaluating the structural health of a bridge. This is made possible by vibration-based monitoring through micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS).

This is very useful as it aids in determining whether the bridges are in need of a repair or an upgrade or if it is still strong enough to withstand natural disasters.

Housed in the research facility of the University, which is the Yuchengco Innovation Centre, the project began in 2014. This project is valuable because it can accommodate the needs of different stakeholders like the government and private sectors as well as civil and structural engineering.

The DOST-PCIEERD recognises outstanding R&D projects in order to encourage more scientists, researchers, and engineers to participate in the R&D Agenda that aims to expand the pool of researchers, ushering more innovations that accelerate progress in the Philippines.

Image Credit: Royal Academy of Engineering

A by-product of SmartBridge, the USHER project received international recognition from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) in the UK.

The Universal Structural Health and Evaluation Recording System (USHER), is a building structure health monitoring system composed of an accelerograph or sensor and web portal system.

It is a weather and theft-proof system that enables the remote monitoring of the structural soundness of the bridges and buildings in real-time.

The USHER emerged as the best project presentation in the Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF), held in the United Kingdom last January, where the University’s Dean of the School of Civil, Environmental, and Geological Engineering Dr Francis Aldrine Uy presented.

Dr Uy, along with 14 other Filipino innovators and technology-transfer officers, underwent an intensive two-week training course on innovation to build capacity for entrepreneurship and commercialisation at RAEng.

The training that the participants received during the Fellowship allowed them to deepen their understanding of business innovation. They also received further training from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

The recognition will help them move forward with the first ever commercialisation project of the University.

LIF is aimed at researchers within partner countries who are in the process of developing a business proposition for their innovation.

It is delivered as a part of the Newton Fund, which is also known in the Philippines as Newton Agham (Science) Programme, by RAEng in partnership with DOST and AIM.

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