A New Approach for Technology Transfer of SHM and NDT Technologies to the Bridge Industry

Traditional technology transfer practices for advanced nondestructive evaluation (NDE), structural health monitoring (SHM) and innovative repair methods are often ineffective within the bridge industry. Private companies have a difficult time realizing an effective return on investment (ROI) on technologies emerging from universities due to the conservative nature of bridge engineers and the slow adoption rates. This is particularly true when further research and development (R&D) is needed to make a product “field ready”. The ROI is too far out for most private companies to view the bridge industry as a good investment of time and resources. A new approach is to scour other industries, such as aerospace, petrochemical, nuclear, and even commercial appliances for already established technologies that only need minor modifications to make an immediate impact for bridge management. Additionally, this approach includes making ROI evident for bridge owners which would likely encourage early adoption. This new approach, which includes a comprehensive vetting process, third party verification testing and some cost benefit analyses, will be presented as well as a case study demonstrating this new approach.

1. Conference program, “Looking Beyond Traditional Technology Transfer,” Association of European Science & Technology Transfer Professionals, Fall Seminar 2006. 2. Rutgers Office of Technology Commercialization, www.otc.rutgers.edu. 3. Tech Brief: Standard Bridge Crack Arrest Holes Vs. FTI’s StopCrackEX Process.
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