Lehigh University’s Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Engineering Research Center, in conjunction with the International Association for Bridge Maintenance and Safety (IABMAS), recently organized the Fifth International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management (IABMAS2010). The conference, held July 11 through 15, 2010, at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, brought together all of the very best work that has been done in the field of bridge maintenance, safety and management and helped to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
ATLSS PRESENCE AT CONFERENCE
The presence of the ATLSS Engineering Research Center was evident throughout the duration of the conference. Dan Frangopol, the first Fazlur R. Khan Endowed Chair of Structural Engineering and Architecture at Lehigh, and Richard Sause, the Joseph T. Stuart Professor of Structural Engineering and Director of the ATLSS Center, co-chaired the conference. John Fisher, professor emeritus of engineering who co-founded ATLSS in 1986, served as honorary chair. Chad Kusko, ATLSS Administrative Director, was the Chair of the conference’s Local Organizing Committee, which also included emeritus faculty members Ben Yen and Al Pense. Shamim Pakzad, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, served as the Secretary of the International Scientific Committee. ATLSS Senior Research Scientist Sougata Roy presented on his research during the conference. Ian Hodgson, ATLSS Research Engineer III, and Frank Stokes, Manager of ATLSS Structural Testing Program, manned the ATLSS exhibit booth, which highlighted the capabilities of the ATLSS Engineering Research Center to conference participants. Jim Ricles, Deputy Director of the ATLSS Center, attended the conference.
Conference organizational efforts were led by ATLSS Conference Coordinator and IABMAS2010 Conference Secretariat Mary Ann Cahalan and IABMAS2010 IT Manager and ATLSS IT Manager Peter Bryan. Tommy Marullo, Lehigh’s NEES IT Manager, led the onsite conference IT support activities. In addition, 21 ATLSS graduate students were onsite to support the operation of the conference, including presenting during technical sessions, manning the registration booths and assisting with the execution of conference technical sessions.
Over 100 visitors toured the ATLSS Engineering Research Center on Sunday, July 11, as part of conference activities. Current research projects were highlighted by Pakzad, Ricles, and Roy, while Sause provided tour attendees with an overview of the Center’s operation.
CONFERENCE DRAWS RECORD NUMBERS
Over 700 participants, including researchers, engineers, and practitioners, from 39 countries travelled to Philadelphia to participate in the conference, which included over 500 technical papers scheduled across 73 technical sessions. Included in the technical sessions were plenary sessions highlighted by a T.Y. Lin Lecture and 9 keynote lectures, 17 mini-symposia, 26 special topics, and 12 general topic sessions. The conference papers are contained in a proceedings volume and a 4,000 page CD-ROM which provides both an up-to-date overview of the field of bridge engineering and significant contributions to the decision process for bridge maintenance, safety, security, serviceability, risk-based management, and health monitoring using traditional and emerging technologies. In addition, 37 organizations operated exhibit booths, showcasing their organizations strengths to the conference attendees.
COMMONWEALTH AND FEDERAL PARTICIPATION
The mission of the conference enabled ATLSS to attract both state and federal leaders in the bridge area. Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell highlighted the conference activities with an address highlighting the establishment of Building America’s Future, which is a bi-partisan coalition of elected officials dedicated to bringing about a new era of investment in infrastructure, and which was co-founded by the Governor in 2008. Additional Pennsylvania leaders in the bridge area that participated in the conference included Scott Christie, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration and Tom Macioce, PennDOT Chief Bridge Engineer. Myint Lwin, the United States Federal Highway Administration Director of the Office of Bridge Technology, also participated by addressing attendees during the conference’s Opening Ceremony.
SPONSORS OF CONFERENCE
The conference was supported by the financial generosity of the following organizations: Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA), the ATLSS Engineering Research Center, T.Y. Lin International, Digitexx Data Systems, Inc., and Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. Additionally, 42 organizations from 10 countries provided non-financial support to the conference.
RELIVING THE CONFERENCE EXPERIENCE
We welcome you to relive some of the highlights of the conference by reviewing the IABMAS2010 article on the Lehigh University website and by browsing the IABMAS2010 photo gallery available on the conference’s website.