An engineer could determine whether or not a structure is able to survive a period of time accurately if all information about a structure was known, including all material properties in the structure, all loads to which the structure is and will be subjected, and how the structure does and will behave when subjected to these loads. Since it is not possible to know each of these parameters exactly, engineers must make conservative approximations and estimations, which allow structures to be designed and assessed. With each approximation and estimation there is associated uncertainty, and assessment calculations are necessary to judge if the level of risk is acceptable or not.
The figure illustrates uncertainties present in today’s critical infrastructure that will be addressed by TRUSS ITN. New monitoring systems and algorithms developed in TRUSS ITN will provide assessments of both the capacity and demand of infrastructure to quantify its current state, and with the use of forecasting models, its future condition. Gaps identified for each individual research project in the state of the art and expected results can be found in the Research Section