Monica Arul takes top prize in international structural health monitoring competition

Monica Arul

Monica Arul, a doctoral student in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, has been awarded first place in the 1st International Project Competition for Structural Health Monitoring (IPC-SHM 2020).

The competition was organized by the Asia-Pacific Network of Centers for Research in Smart Structures Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and four leading companies in the field of structural health monitoring.

Seventy-five students from universities around the world participated. They were assigned three projects focusing on problems related to full-scale long-span bridges. They were judged on accuracy, innovation, and creativity.

Arul’s winning work, “Data Anomaly Detection for Structural Health Monitoring of Bridges using Shapelet Transformation,” also will be published in the Journal of Smart Structures and Systems.

“We are excited for this well-deserved recognition,” said Arul’s advisor Ahsan Kareem, the Robert Moran Professor of Engineering and director of the NatHaz Modeling Laboratory.

“The ingenuity of Monica’s approach stems from her use of a Shapelet Transform based ‘white-box’ machine learning model versus current ‘black-box’ models.

“This makes the data much easier to visualize and helps domain practitioners gain more accurate and more reliable insights to better ensure health of our infrastructure.”

— Nina Welding, College of Engineering