There are increasing concerns regarding the environmental impact of human actions, the use of the environment and climate changes. These are coupled with ageing infrastructure systems, continuously growing and changing demands on the built and natural environments as well as limited financial and depleting natural resources. Until now, research has been focused on the development of proactive risk-based approaches for civil infrastructure reliability and management with benefits in improved performance, safety and cost.However, there are significant uncertainties associated with the various predictive models directly affecting the quality of the decision making mainly due to the limited amount of information available on the condition, demands and actual performance of various systems.
Recently, a new generation of miniature wireless sensor platforms which utilize novel digital signal processing has emerged. These can be adopted to obtain large quantities of highly diverse sensor data that are continuously collected over a long period of time from multiple locations providing significant insight on the condition, demands and performance of the system. These developments open up a completely novel area of multidisciplinary research towards the ‘smart’ management of sustainable environment. Even though there are top research institutions working in the field of wireless sensors and others in the civil infrastructure reliability and management, most of the activity is fragmented and there is no significant activity in performing multidisciplinary structured research for developing integrated smart and dynamic systems for effective management of the built and natural environment. The aim of SmartEN is to fill this gap and push innovation through the development of an ITN network that will focus on the development and effective integration of emerging technologies targeting key application areas of current interest to the European Commission and internationally.
Keywords: infrastructure management, infrastructure engineering, structural monitoring, smart structures, life-cycle engineering, Wireless Sensor Networks, Digital Signal Processing, Wireless Communications
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