Health monitoring of concrete elements research project – Concrete MRI receives Two-Year Mitacs Research Grant.
VANCOUVER, Jul.15, 2020 – Canada Concrete MRI Inc. (Concrete MRI), a startup in incubation at Empowered Startups Ltd, is honoured to announce that its collaborative research project with Simon Fraser University (SFU) – School of Mechatronics Systems Engineering is being partially supported through a $160,000 two-year grant from the Mitacs Accelerate Program. This grant enables Concrete MRI to conduct further research supporting the development of an intelligent device to monitor concrete quality.
About the Concrete MRI / SFU partnership
Concrete MRI is committed to offering the best solution, superlative timely at a reasonable cost for structure engineers, real estate developers, civil and infrastructure maintenance service in monitoring concrete quality in the building and infrastructure by developing a revolutionary device based on Intelligent Piezoelectric Transduction system in real-time anytime and anywhere, without the requirement of direct access to construction site area.
“Many civil infrastructures and buildings all over the world would benefit from having a new device that can identify anomalies in the concrete on a real-time basis. This will reduce costs and workforce requirements to monitor concrete quality. We have been searching for a suitable partner to create and improve this idea. Fortunately, we have found that authentic partner in Simon Fraser University – School of Mechatronics Systems Engineering. I believe that the cooperation with the researcher from the School of Mechatronics System Engineering, support funding from Mitacs, will create a perfect device for this purpose.” – Hoang Nhan Nguyen, CEO/Founder of Concrete MRI.
(Photo source: https://www.telekom.com/en/blog/group/article/bridge-the-gap-525500)
SFU has a world-class reputation and is regularly recognized as one of Canada’s top comprehensive universities – thanks to its renowned student and faculty, achievements, low teaching ratios, robust support services and many research grants. School of Mechatronics Systems Engineering, a division of SFU, was founded to meet today’s high-tech industries’ ever-changing needs. Their training is hands-on and relevant to the marketplace, and their faculty and students collaborate deeply with industry partners to apply their research and development in the real world.
“This project is a great example of utilizing modern technology to develop smart civil structures that outperform existing ones in terms of safety and performance. Current civil structures are mainly passive, requiring regular manual inspections that can miss certain catastrophic structural failures. Concrete MRI utilizes advanced signal processing and intelligent algorithms (machine intelligence), along with reliable sensor and actuator technologies, to develop innovative civil structures that are empowered with real-time self-monitoring and fault diagnostics features.” – Dr. Mehrdad Moallem, Professor, SFU – School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
The research will create an intelligent monitoring device that is expected to have a significant role in enhancing future building structures and infrastructure systems.
Concrete has the highest consumption rate among all manufactured materials, which is even higher than any other artificial content. Concrete is material of choice for many critical civil structures and infrastructure, such as dams, bridges, tunnels, skyscrapers, hospitals, schools, public buildings and concrete-based transport infrastructure, due to its affordability, flexibility and energy efficiency. Many desirable properties of concrete, such as the ability to cast into virtually any shape or form, allow design liberty and almost infinite variety of applications, low production cost, relatively high compression strength. It is a crucial material widely used in the civil/ infrastructure field; therefore, control of its quality is highly critical.
However, it is not a simple job to check the concrete quality at the joint areas between beams, columns, slabs, and foundation areas backfilled by soil. Furthermore, in various situations, one would like to check the concrete quality in foundation areas after disasters happen, for example, after earthquakes or fires. Besides, the monitoring concrete quality in real-time at the beam of a bridge for maintenance or replacement purpose is also a significant concern.
The project goal is to develop a smart concrete testing mechanism, based on piezoelectric transduction devices embedded in critical points in a concrete structure at the time of construction. Another attractive feature of the invention would be its capability to transfer all data to an end-user in real-time through Wi-Fi, 3G/4G signals. Therefore, the user enables to check concrete quality in real-time anytime, anywhere, without the requirement of direct access to the construction site area.
About Concrete MRI
Concrete MRI, founded in 2019, is a pioneer for technical innovation in concrete quality monitoring for civil, industrial and infrastructure systems. We create and develop cost-effective, time efficiency and man power-saving solutions in monitoring concrete quality. We use the latest technology to enable users to monitor concrete quality in real-time anytime, anywhere, without the requirement of direct access to the construction site area.
CEO/Founder: Hoang Nhan Nguyen (Jerome)
Address: Suite 420-744 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 1A5, Canada