Students Turn Bridge Into Living Laboratory
November 13, 2009 CAEE students are gaining real-world experience with their latest experiment, the “Learning Bridge Project.” Students will use more than 100 sensors installed on their living laboratory, the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, to learn how bridges operate.
“The learning bridge will be a way of integrating the academic world with the real world,” says Jeffrey Dowgala ’10 (CAEE).
The team, made up of undergraduate and graduate students, will use $200,000 worth of monitoring equipment to capture real-time data from the bridge span and approach highways. This National Science Foundation funded collaborative research project is creating a new form of engineering education, designed to enhance safety by exposing future engineers to live, real-world data. The students will use the sensors on the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge to capture real-time data on traffic levels, temperature and overall stress. Information collected from the bridge, which has 50,000 users daily, will be streamed to students and researchers in the classroom for review and discussion.