Distributed fibre optic monitoring of a sprayed concrete tunnel lining, St Albans

6 December, 2016 | 18:00 - 20:00

Distributed fibre optic sensors being installed in the sprayed concrete lining at Crossrail
Distributed fibre optic sensors being installed in the sprayed concrete lining at Crossrail's Liverpool Street Station.

About this event

Distributed fibre optic sensors (DFOS) are very much the new kid on the block in the field of civil infrastructure monitoring. This technology has several advantages over traditional instrumentation, but perhaps the biggest attraction is that it can be used to measure a quasi-continuous strain or temperature profile in a structure, rather than point measurements. Used correctly, and for the right applications, DFOS can provide a wealth of information about a structure's performance, and at an unprecedented level of detail.

This presentation will primarily focus on the application of DFOS to monitor a sprayed concrete tunnel lining (SCL), which the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) at the University of Cambridge pioneered in 2014. DFOS were embedded within the (SCL) in one of the enlargement chambers of Crossrail's Liverpool Street Station concourse tunnel. This allowed the CSIC research team to measure the strain changes in the SCL during the staged excavation of cross passages linking the three station tunnels together.

The compressive and tensile strain maps that were obtained from the monitoring data reveal interesting details that were impossible to measure before. These new insights into the performance of the tunnel lining could have significant implications on the design (and cost) of future SCL tunnels.

The Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) is an Innovation and Knowledge Hub, based at the University of Cambridge, where academia and industry engage to develop, trial and deliver new technologies that offer real value to the construction and infrastructure industry.

CSIC collaborates with a wide range of significant Industry Partners, to develop commercial technologies, tools for data analysis, visualisation and management, best practice guidance codes and specifications for scale up and standardisation. These are implemented by industry through a range of activities including deployment on live sites, industry training, developing supply chain networks, input to standards and dissemination.

CSIC takes a whole-life and sustainable approach to infrastructure – from planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance to whole-life asset.


For more information please contact:

Andy Palmer
e: andy.palmer@aecom.com


Dr Nicky de Battista

Dr Nicky de Battista obtained a Bachelor's degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering from the University of Malta and a Master's degree in Structural Engineering and a PhD from the University of Sheffield. He has practiced as a design structural engineer for a number of years in Malta, where he holds the warrant of Architect and Civil Engineer.

Nicky is currently a Research Associate at the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction at the University of Cambridge. He specialises in designing and deploying instrumentation systems for monitoring civil infrastructure, based on the latest state-of-the-art technology, and in interpreting the acquired data. He is particularly experienced in the development and use of wireless sensor networks and fibre optic sensors. He also has field experience in testing and interpretation of structural dynamics. He has been involved in the monitoring of a wide variety of infrastructure, such as tunnels, pile foundations, road and pedestrian bridges and a high-rise building.

Nicky is also a Director and founding partner of Epsimon Ltd., which provides specialist instrumentation design and monitoring services for civil infrastructure applications.