Jill Walsh, Ph.D., PE, assistant professor of civil engineering, has earned significant funding support from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for a research project that will assist WSDOT’s Bridge and Structures Office in determining the deterioration rates for reinforced concrete bridge substructure elements.
WSDOT’s Bridge and Structures Office is responsible for managing the State of Washington’s bridge inventory. Managing the bridge inventory includes performing routine inspections, identifying repair and maintenance needs, and prioritizing these needs. To assist with planning and budgeting activities in the State Legislature, the Bridge and Structures Office has been directed to begin looking beyond the current needs and start forecasting future needs based on expected element deterioration. To accomplish this, the Bridge and Structures Office must establish deterioration rates for each bridge element.
Walsh spoke about the project and explained its importance. “Saint Martin’s is thrilled to support the WSDOT Bridge and Structures Office in the important task of asset management. In addition to financial support, this grant provides a graduate student the opportunity to research one of the most relevant issues facing our nation today: responsible management of our aging infrastructures. WSDOT is a leader in the country for bridge research and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with them.”
“This research project allows Dr. Walsh and her student to both advance the state of technical knowledge and to help solve a pressing infrastructure modeling problem for the state,” said David H. Olwell, Ph.D., dean of the Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering. “It is an excellent partnership.”