The implementation of smart structures technology in the design, construction and maintenance of civil and mechanical systems have been shown beneficial to the performance enhancement, operating efficiency and reliability of structural systems. However, most of today's engineering students are unaware of the remarkable properties of smart sensors and many applications of smart structures technology. It is thus desirable to prepare the future engineers of the society for the cutting-edge technologies in smart structures, for which they may see broad application in their generation. Pioneering work in incorporating smart structures technologies into civil engineering curriculum has been done by the writer at Lehigh University and is described in this paper. In particular, a graduate-level course entitled "Smart Structural Systems" has been taught in the Spring Semester of Year 2004 at Lehigh University. To better convey the course material to students, a smart structures test-bed, which is used not only to showcase various technological aspects of a smart structural system but also offer students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience by doing experiments has been under development at Lehigh University. The hands-on experience that could be developed with the smart structures test-bed is believed being essential for students to have a good understanding and mastering of the smart structures technologies.
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Yunfeng Zhang, Yunfeng Zhang, } "Educating next-generation civil engineers about smart structures technology", Proc. SPIE 5765, Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems, (17 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.598162; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.598162

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