Optic Fibre Sensing in Geotechnical Engineering Monitoring

Dr Mahdi Disfani

Despite the revolution in data mining and data driven design in other sectors, an overwhelming majority of projects in the infrastructure sector are still designed, constructed and operated without a robust and reliable data collection regime. This is due to lack of capability in collecting reliable data in harsh environments encountered in geotechnical projects. Any data driven design and construction predominantly relies on availability of reliable and robust data. Innovative monitoring assists in obtaining reach data which can support understanding the performance of structures from construction to the end of design life.

Fibre optic sensing (FOS) is an emerging technology, capable of obtaining data over the lifespan of geotechnical structures due to the use of long-lasting material. FOS allows collection of high spatial resolution data, as well as real-time acquisition of large volume of data; hard to be achieved by traditional instrumentation.

This technical presentation provides an overview of optic fibre technology and its contributions to different sensing solutions, and reports on two unique local projects in Victoria monitored using this technology including driven mini piles and pipe-jacking, which help understanding of soil-structure interaction and underground construction process.

About the speaker

Dr Mahdi Disfani Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering, The University of Melbourne

Dr Mahdi Disfani is a senior lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering at The University of Melbourne leading research on experimental investigation of geo- materials and field monitoring of soil-structure interaction. He is particularly interested on cross-disciplinary projects including working with optic fibre and communication technology experts to develop new sensors for geotechnical engineering applications. His work in collaboration with industry and supported by federal and state government agencies has led to impact in areas of transportation geotechnics, soil erosion and sustainable geotechnics.

He is currently representing Australia on ISSMGE Technical committees TC 202 (Transportation Geotechnics) and TC 220 (Field Monitoring in Geomechanics) and is a member for Standards Australia CE-009 (Testing of Soils for Engineering Purposes) committee.

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