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March 16, 2018 | Structural Health Monitoring (SHM): a pioneering initiative

SHM 1France’s first National Structural Health Monitoring Day was held on Thursday, March 15 at Digiteo Saclay. The purpose of the event was to get stakeholders in SHM technologies and markets thinking about ways to effectively support development in this emerging field.

Structural Health Monitoring, or SHM, leverages integrated sensors to give structures smart capabilities for the purposes of detecting defects and predicting failures. SHM can reduce maintenance costs, limit the downtime of critical industrial components and infrastructures, and produce more reliable diagnostics and predictions than conventional methods.

SHM draws on know-how in a variety of disciplines: materials, non-destructive testing (NDT), sensors, embedded systems, and communications networks—but also data analysis and modeling. SHM can be used by virtually any industry—from aeronautics and civil engineering to energy and more—and is closely aligned with industry’s current shifts towards the digitization of processes and artificial intelligence.

The world’s first SHM systems have now made it out of the lab and onto the market.[1] In France, research labs need targeted support to transform their innovations into marketable solutions.

The March 15 event brought in more than 100 people with a broad range of backgrounds spanning academic research and industry. One of the key take-aways of the day was a shared commitment to creating a professional association to promote SHM. List[2], a CEA Tech institute, and IFSTAR, who co-organized the event with the support of Precend and COFREND, plan to continue to work together to build on the momentum created on Structural Health Monitoring Day.

[1] The first-ever SHM system was certified for the aeronautics industry in 2016; Permasense, a spinoff of Imperial College London that developed a wireless corrosion monitoring system for high-temperature pipelines, was acquired in 2017 at a high valuation.

[2] List earned the prestigious Institut Carnot seal in 2006 (Institut Carnot TN@UPSaclay).