I am fascinated by bridge structures since they form the linchpins of any rail or road infrastructure network. It always astonishes me to see that more than half of the bridge failures in the world are due to a single cause called 'scour'. My main goal at Cambridge has been to tackle this cause. Under the supervision of Professor Campbell Middleton, I have been developing a new vibration-based approach for monitoring bridge scour. This monitoring technique uses three vibration-based parameters, namely, modal spectral density, mode shapes and natural frequency to detect the presence of bridge scour. Such an approach with three parameters provides more insights than a single parameter approach with natural frequency studied in previous studies. We validated the feasibility of this technique with an experimental programme involving advanced geotechnical physical modelling and a six-month field test at a bridge in Bradford UK. I am very excited about the potential of this technique to provide real-time measures of bridge scouring at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.
I thoroughly enjoy being part of the Gates-Cambridge community of passionate future global leaders who take up some of the most challenging research and other projects with the hope of benefiting the masses.
University of Moratuwa