fulbright Taiwan online journal

fulbright Taiwan online journal

Author: Kenneth Loh 羅健晃

Picture of Kenneth Loh 羅健晃
Dr. Kenneth Loh is an Associate Professor in Civil Engineering at the Nano-Engineering and Smart Structures Technologies (NESST) Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan. He conducted his Fulbright research in bridge scour monitoring at National Taiwan University. His research interests include multifunctional materials and resilient structures.

Smart Sensors for Safer Bridges: An International Collaborative Effort

Bridge Scour      The erosion of soil, sand, and riverbed materials near bridge foundations due to flowing water (or wind in some cases) is a phenomenon known as bridge scour. Despite our awareness of its occurrence, bridge scour remains one of the deadliest causes of overwater bridge failures worldwide, particularly in the United States and in Taiwan.      For instance, a notable scour-induced bridge collapse in the United States was the Schoharie Creek Interstate Highway Bridge incident in Mohawk River, New York, which happened in April 1987. The 32-year-old bridge collapsed due to extensive flood-induced scouring at one of its piers, and 10 people lost their lives. In Taiwan, similar incidents have occurred as well. More recently in September 2008, Typhoon Sinlaku brought heavy rainfall across many parts of Taiwan. The Houfeng Bridge collapsed due to flooding and severe scouring near one of its piers, although it was suspected that long-term riverbed degradation following the Chi-Chi earthquake in 1999 also contributed to its failure.      Events like these could be traced back through the histories of both countries. Even worse is that overwater bridge collapses after scouring continue to occur and threaten public safety. The inability to

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Research & Reflections

fulbright taiwan online journal