Date of Award

Winter 2017

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Erin S Bell

Second Advisor

Eshan Dave

Third Advisor

Ricardo A Medina


Condition assessment of in-service structures, is highly depending on subjective visual inspections. While technology exists to collect objective measurements related to structural response, these techniques are costly in terms of equipment and field setup, often requiring lane closure and special equipment for sensor installation. This thesis aims to investigate cost-effective and efficient non-contact methods of structural response measurement. Digital Image Correlation (DIC) can be an effective measurement technique for displacement and strain in 2D and 3D applications. With any experiment, test setup is vital to ensure collection of accurate measurements. Also, the methods of data collection must be appropriate for the expected level of structural response. In order to evaluate the appropriateness of DIC, laboratory experiments and three field applications of DIC are included in this study. A four-point bending test was used to evaluate data collection protocols and environmental conditions collected via DIC and Go Pro® cameras. Structural strain measurements were collected at Six Flags New England in Agawam, MA and the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth, NH, while structural displacement measurements were collected at the Bagdad Road Bridge in Durham, NH. These studies showed that the DIC setups herein are appropriate to collect bridge deflection data but they did not have the required strain range to collect meaningful strain measurement for in-service bridges structures. This study also presents a load rating procedure that is enhanced by the deflection information collected with DIC.