Sino-UK engineering seminar to explore structural health monitoring



15 May 2017 16:29:19.383

The Sino-UK Geospatial Engineering Centre (SUGEC), a joint venture established by the University of Nottingham and the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping, will hold a seminar exploring the Structural Health Monitoring of Infrastructure on Tuesday 16th May in Wuhan, China.

SUGEC will host up to 50 Chinese infrastructure and bridge owners, who will benefit from the knowledge and expertise that will be shared by consortium members involved in the GeoSHM Demo Project. The UK delegates will learn from their Chinese colleagues about the project’s progress to date, the latest achievements and the burning challenges in managing their infrastructure assets.

The GeoSHM, Project, which began in March last year with a sponsorship from the European Space Agency through the Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) Programme, is led by UbiPOS UK Ltd, a company that specialises in structural health monitoring and The University of Nottingham. It utilises Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Earth Observation (EO) technology to monitor the structural health of long span bridges. The latter includes the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland, as well as the Zhixi Yangtze River Bridge and Erqi Yangtze River Bridge in China. The data provided by GeoSHM helps bridge owners to make informed decisions on the safety, maintenance and operation of their bridges.

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Seminar participants will join in a series of presentations by various consortium members including The University of Nottingham and the China Railway Major Bridge Reconnaissance and Design Institute (BRDI), Asia’s largest construction company. The University of Nottingham signed an MoU with BRDI in November 2015 for joint structural health monitoring activities.

Dr Meng Xiaolin, Director of SUGEC and tech leader of GeoSHM discussed the details of the seminar and said, ‘Following the successful launch of the GeoSHM Demo Project and its positive Baseline Design Review last year, I am delighted to host the forthcoming seminar. The event will enable us to develop longstanding working relationships, engage directly with key asset owners and explore future opportunities for GeoSHM to set up a long and sustained future in China, the UK and beyond.’

The seminar will involve key stakeholders from the major cities across the Yangtze River. These include Shanghai and Wuhan which have 13 bridges, Chongqing which owns half of the bridges along the Yangtze River, and Yichang, where the famous Three Gorges Dam sits. Dr Meng added, ‘The seminar will have two-thirds of the Yangtze River bridge owners under one roof – this is extremely significant as they are the future users of the GeoSHM system. Engagement and discussion at this workshop amongst the key figures in this industry will prove essential to firmly establish the system’s future success.’ 

President of BRDI, Daoming Tian, has expressed his great support of the project. He said ‘On behalf of BRDI, we highly value our collaboration with this world leading infrastructure monitoring team over the last four years. We are delighted to be able to participate with the GeoSHM consortium to explore opportunities, address challenges and share our valued expertise. China is undergoing a rapid infrastructure construction phase and maintenance of existing infrastructure is a huge challenge. We are working together with the GeoSHM consortium to fully explore knowledge transfer opportunities in order to solve these critical maintenance and safety issues. BRDI and the GeoSHM consortium share the same view and will work closely according to our signed MoU.’

In addition to the GeoSHM Project, the seminar will cover a range of topics including:

  • BRDI’s work on bridge health monitoring
  • Using a novel Earth Observation technique to monitor subsidence along a river corridor
  • An introduction to bridge monitoring standards


About the GeoSHM Project

Since its launch, the GeoSHM Project has seen impressive development. This includes the installation of a variety of monitoring technology on bridges as test-beds and the development of a high level data strategy. The project will mark its second milestone with the Critical Design Review due the day before the seminar on 15th May, in Wuhan, China.

The GeoSHM Consortium is jointly led by UbiPOS UK Ltd and The University of Nottingham. Other members include Geomatic Ventures Limited, a spin-out company by the University, Leica Geosystems, Amey, Transport Scotland and BRDI. 


SUGEC is a leading centre for implementing effective knowledge transfer between China and the UK in geospatial fields. The centre operates both in China and the UK. The Chinese arm of the Centre was launched in December 2011 in Beijing. The UK part in Nottingham was launched in July 2012.


More information is available from Dr Meng Xiaolin, Director of the Sino-UK Geospatial Engineering Centre at The University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 84 66029 or (0)115 74 84197, or Shirlene Campbell Ritchie, Media Relations Manager at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 846 7156,

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Notes to editors:

Photo caption: GeoSHM consortium members working on the Forth Road Bridge.

The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and winner of both ‘University of the Year for Graduate Employment’, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide and ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16. More than 97 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is recognised internationally and it is 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

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Story credits

Shirlene Campbell Ritchie

Shirlene Campbell Ritchie MCIPR - Media Relations Manager (Faculty of Engineering)

Email:  Phone: +44 (0)115 846 7156  Location: University Park

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