IABSE Webinars

IABSE Webinar: "Incremental Launching - Multispan Steel Bridges”

Moderator: Rafael Martinez (Spain), Speaker: Javier Martinez (Spain).


Date: 4 February, 2021, 14-15 hrs (CET).


Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_XMIMbEdIRKWOWBeAARxqTw

No fees. After registering (4 February 2021) you shall receive the Zoom meeting link, before the webinar.


Description: This webinar is an initiative by IABSE Task Group 4.14 (Commission 4) on Special Heavy Lifting Equipment, Chaired by Javier Martinez. This online presentation and Q&A session will review the different technologies and specific tools developed during the last few years for incremental launching multispan bridges showing different types of soiutions, depending on the geometry of the deck, length of spans, and even regions. Please register to take part.


About the Speaker: Javier Martinez, born in Madrid, Spain, graduated as Naval Architect at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and thereafter his interest was focused in the transport and installation of oversized pieces, as in offshore as in onshore sectors. In 1983, he founded the company LASTRA in Spain. LASTRA specialized in the engineering and final installation of heavy equipment which couldn’t be installed by a crane. He was involved in the design of new tools and concepts of skidding and lifting.  Around the end of the 80’s, vital civil projects were performed in the European Community, which gave rise to the Universal Exhibition at Sevilla, and the Olympic Games in Barcelona. LASTRA designed and implemented innovative solutions, transferring such knowledge and experience to other countries. In 1991, LASTRA was sold to the Australian Industrial Group BRAMBLES and later on to UK ALE. Both companies gave the financial support needed to continue with the development and new designs. In January 2020 ALE was sold to MAMMOET where J. Martinez is the Global Commercial Director.


About the Moderator: Rafael Martinez was born in Madrid in 1979. He graduated as BEng in Civil Engineering by the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid in 2004. His whole career has been related to the civil engineering business, starting in with Spanish civil contractor Acciona. In 2007 he joined former ALE Lastra, guiding his professional activities to the applications of heavylifting for civil projects, and showing from the beginning a particular interest in bridge construction by heavlifting methodologies. He was Project Engineer at ALE Lastra during 4 years and was involved in landmark projects such as the Bridge Pavilion in Zaragoza by Zaha Hadid, and many other bridge launching jobs, among other heavylifting projects. Later on and still with ALE Lastra, he oriented his career into a commercial role focused on the civil market. In 2014 he joined Mammoet, being first Account Manager and afterwards and for the last couple of years, Manager of the Spanish Branch. In 2020, after the acquisition of ALE by Mammoet, Rafael met up again with his former ALE Lastra colleagues where developed many of his skills in civil heavylifting. Currently he is responsible for civil market commercial activities within Mammoet.


IABSE Webinar: "Use of Structural health Monitoring in Condition Assessment of Bridges: Potential & Challenges

Moderator: Prof. Eleni Chatzi (ETH Zurich Switzerland) Prof. Vikram Pakrashi (University College Dublin)​


Date: 12 February, 2021, 14-15 hrs (CET).


Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_accuzYGeTRS37qZcjkT8xA

No fees. After registering (12 February 2021), you shall receive the Zoom meeting link, before the webinar.


Summary: The signs of deterioration in bridge infrastructure worldwide, as prominently evidenced by the recent collapse of the Ponte Morandi in Genoa, call for a reinvention of our approach on managing existing infrastructure. Structural Monitoring can offer a valuable decision-support tool for engineers, infrastructure operators and owners in optimizing the operation and maintenance of infrastructure assets, while ensuring safety. Despite technological advancements however, the current approach to infrastructure condition assessment remains largely manual, with visual inspection still comprising the primary means to this end. This webinar initiates with an introduction offered by Prof. Eleni Chatzi and Prof. Vikram Pakrashi on the opportunities and challenges offered by adoption of Structural Health Monitoring as a tool for assessment of the condition of bridge infrastructure. Utilizing the Egnatia roadway project in Greece as an example case study, Prof. Costas Papadimitriou will elaborate on scientific/methodological aspects of SHM for bridges, while Dr. Panagiotis Panetsos will offer an overview of the Egnatia project and the benefits that practitioners/ engineers can gain  from adoption of monitoring practices. 


Moderators Prof. Eleni Chatzi (ETH Zurich Switzerland)

Prof. Vikram Pakrashi (University College Dublin)


Prof. Costas Papadimitriou (University of Thessaly, Greece)

Dr. Panagiotis Pantetsos, Egnatia Odos SA (Greece)


Short Bios

Eleni Chatzi is the Chair of Structural Mechanics and Monitoring in the Department f Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at ETH Zurich. Her research interests are in the areas of Structural Health Monitoring and System Identification, data-driven and hybrid (fusion of data & models) methods for condition assessment of engineered systems. Her work in the domain of self-aware infrastructure was recognized with the 2020 Walter L. Huber Research prize, awarded by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).


Vikram Pakrashi, Chartered Engineer, is Director of the Dynamical Systems and Risk Laboratory (DSRL) at UCD. He is active in structural dynamics with applications around structural health monitoring and control of built infrastructure (e.g. bridges, wind/wave devices, pipelines), assimilating fundamental physics, novel technologies and bespoke signal processing. He is the recipient of the 2020 Research Laboratory of the Year award (Irish Laboratory Awards) for his work on built infrastructure and further served as President of the Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland.


Costas Papadimitriou is the director of the System Dynamics Laboratory of UTH. His research interests include Bayesian inference for uncertainty quantification, probabilistic structural dynamics, structural health monitoring and structural reliability. He is the recipient of the 2014 European Association of Structural Dynamics (EASD) Senior Award in Computational Structural Dynamics.


Panagiotis Panetsos is the Head of the Structures Health Monitoring and Maintenance Unit, Maintenance Department, Egnatia Odos S.A. As supervisor of the Unit, consisted by 12 engineers and technicians, he is responsible for the preparation and execution of all types of inspection and evaluation of existing (constructed or under construction) bridges, tunnels and geotechnical works in Greece and in Balkans.




IABSE Discussion: Pure tension! Two bridges in the heart of the new A5 motorway north of Vienna


Speaker: DI Dr. Michael Kleiser, ASFINAG Baumanagement GmbH

Date: 17 December 2020, 14-15.00 Hrs CET

Organised by: IABSE Austrian Group.

Register in advance for this meeting: Click Here 

No fees, IABSE Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein/German speaking countries are most welcome to join, as it will be primarily held in German. This will be a zoom meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Abstract: At the end of 2017, ASFINAG erected two new bridges in the immediate vicinity of the north part of Vienna, which generated tension in different ways. The “Satzengrabenbrücke” is designed as an integral structure and contains new, maintenance-free roadway crossings, consisting of precast concrete elements placed next to one another that distributes the temperature-related displacements evenly over the asphalt above. This way, the stresses in the asphalt are limited to a tolerable level so that it remains free of cracks. Furthermore, the overpass bridge “A5.Ü20”, as an inclined post construction, triggers tension in the psychological sense of perception. A dynamic play of shapes with inclines and curvatures, which visually underpin the force transfer of the bridge, increases the overall expression and, thus, sets an accent in the middle of the new A5 north / Weinviertel motorway.


Spannung Pur! - Zwei Brücken im Herz der neuen A5 nördlich von Wien

DI Dr. Michael Kleiser, ASFINAG Baumanagement GmbH


Kurzfassung: Die ASFINAG errichtete Ende 2017 zwei neue Brücken in unmittelbarer Nachbarschaft im Norden Wiens, die in unterschiedlicher Weise Spannungen erzeugen. Die als integrales Tragwerk konzipierte Satzengrabenbrücke beinhaltet neuartige, wartungsfreie Fahrbahnübergänge, die die temperaturbedingten Verschiebungen durch aneinander gereihte Betonfertigteile gleichmäßig auf den darüber liegenden Asphalt verteilen. Dadurch werden die Spannungen im Asphalt auf ein erträgliches Maß begrenzt, sodass dieser rissefrei bleibt. Des Weiteren löst die Überführungsbrücke A5.Ü20 als Schrägstielkonstruktion Spannung im wahrnehmungspsychologischen Sinn aus. Durch ein dynamisches Formspiel mit Schrägen und Krümmungen, die die Kraftabtragung der Brücke visuell untermauern, wird der Gesamtausdruck gesteigert und somit ein Akzent in der Mitte der Neubaustrecke A5 Nord/Weinviertler Autobahn gesetzt.