A Road Map for Civil Engineers towards Bridge Engineering Through Academic Education and Professional Training

Document Type : Research Papers


1 PhD in Structural Eng., Senior Bridge and Structural Engineer, Road Maintenance and Transportation Org. (RMTO)

2 School of Civil Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


It is common in many countries that engineers having an academic degree in Civil Engineering are appointed responsible for different tasks related to Bridge Engineering. However, there are serious questions about whether formal university courses in civil engineering could cover the needs of a bridge engineer to fulfill his or her job successfully. Regarding the recent significant advances in the theory and practice of bridge engineering, the answer is clearly negative. Indeed, there is a huge gap between the knowledge of a typical graduate -having a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a Master’s degree in structural engineering- and the knowledge expected to be acquired by an engineer involved in various bridge engineering activities. This paper attempts to bridge this gap by introducing a road map through a proposed program of academic education and professional training. The proposed program has been dealt with in some details in the hope of opening a chapter for further scientific discussions and researches, as well as actual implementation, evaluation and improvement. The suggested programs contain a series of lessons defined within a number of modules. Universities across the world are encouraged to present such courses. Industrialized countries can play a paramount role in this process by presenting Master’s courses not only for their Native students, but also for students from developing countries. They can also contribute to training courses to be organized by authorities in developing countries.


Main Subjects

Adey, B.T., Klatter, L. and Kong, J.S. (2010). “Overview of existing bridge management systems”, The IABMAS Bridge Management Committee, International Association for Bridge Maintenance and Safety, Technical Report.
Akbari, R. (2013). “Crack survey in unreinforced concrete or masonry abutments in short and medium span bridges”, Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 27(2), 203-208.
Akbari, R. (2015). “Condition evaluation of road bridges in Iran”, Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization (RMTO), Technical Report, Tehran, Iran.
Akbari, R. and Rafiei, Y. (2014). “A general methodology for crack inspection and monitoring of short span bridges”, Life-Cycle of Structural systems: Design, Assessment, Maintenance and Management, Taylor and Francis Group, CRC Press, Furuta, H., Frangopol, D.M., Mitsuyoshi Akiyama, M. (eds.).
Akbari, R. and Maalek, S. (2009). “Evaluation of the shear modulus of elastomeric bridge bearings using modal data”, Journal of Testing and Evaluation, 37(2), 150-159.
Akbari, R. and Maalek, S. (2010). “Adequacy of the seismic analysis methods for single-column-bent viaducts considering regularity and higher modes effects”, Journal of Vibration and Control, 16(6), 827-852.
Akbari, R. and Maalek, S. (2016). “A review on the causes and mechanisms of damages of elastomeric bridge bearings”, Life-Cycle of Engineering Systems: Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering (IALCCE 2016), CRC Press.
Aria, M. and Akbari, R. (2013). “Inspection, condition evaluation and replacement of elastomeric bearings in road bridges”, Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, 9(9), 918-934.
ASCE. (2007). “The vision for Civil Engineering in 2025”, ASCE Report, Reston, Virginia.
ASCE. (2009). “Vision 2025 roadmap”, ASCE Report, Reston, Virginia.
Jessen, K. (1984). “The infrastructure and the Civil Engineer”, Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering, ASCE, 110(4), 151-156.
Lima J.M. and Brito, J.D. (2009). “Inspection survey of 150 expansion joints in road bridges”, Engineering Structures, 31(5), 1077-1084.
Maadani, S., Akbari, R. and Maalek. S. (2015). “Monitoring the dynamic characteristics of an urban bridge before, during and after widening”, Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, 11(7), 944-956.
Maalek, S. (1991). “Lecture notes on Bridge Engineering,” Department of Civil Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran.
Maalek, S. (1998). “The seismic assessment of the Nation’s vulnerable bridges,” Research Report, The Science Research Council, Tehran.
Maalek, S. (2005). “A proposed national bridge management system”, Research Report, University of Tehran, Tehran.
Maalek, S. (2007). “The national bridge inventory”, Publication No. 367, Transportation Research Center and Technical Bureau, Office of Strategic Planning and Supervision, Prepared in the University of Tehran, Tehran.
Maalek, S. (2008). “Guide manual for the seismic vulnerability assessment and retrofit of bridges”, Publication No. 511, Technical Bureau, Office of Strategic Planning and Supervision, Prepared in the University of Tehran.
Maalek, S. (2010). “The seismic vulnerability assessment and retrofit of Tehran bridges”, Technical Reports, Tehran Municipality, Prepared in the Natural Disaster Reduction Institute, Tehran.
Maalek, S., Akbari, R. and Maheri, M.R. (2009). “The effect of higher modes on the regularity of single-column-bent highway viaducts”, Bridge Structures, 5(1), 29-43.
Maalek, S., Akbari, R. and Ziaei-Rad, S. (2010). “The effects of the repair operations and replacement of the elastomeric bearings on the modal characteristics of a highway bridge”, Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, 6(6), 753-765.
Mickleborough, N. and Loi, F.T. (1987). “Bridge Engineering training course for Indonesian engineers”, Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering, ASCE, 113(4), 389-396.
Miyamoto, A. and Motoshita, M. (2015). “Development and practical application of a Bridge Management System (J-BMS) in Japan”, Civil Engineering Infrastructures Journal, 48(1), 189-216.
 “Post graduate programs catalogue in Bridge Engineering”, (2005). Civil and Structural Engineering, The University of Surrey, U.K., available at: www.surrey.ac.uk/eng.
Qingguo, C. and Youcheng, T. (1984). “The traditions of bridge technique and modern Bridge Engineers of China”, European Journal of Engineering Education, 9(1), 13-19.
 “Program brochure in Máster Internacional en Proyecto y Construcción de Puentes”, (2015). Global Institute of Technology, Spain, available at: https://www.e-zigurat.com/master-internacional-en-proyecto-y-construccion-de-puentes/
Riley, M. and Pickering, C. (1995). “Professional development skills for Civil and Environmental Engineers”, European Journal of Engineering Education, 20(2), 255-259.
RMTO Annual Report, (2015). “Annual statistics of Iran road network infrastructures”, Technical Report, Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization (RMTO), Tehran, Iran.
Sahrapeyma, A. and Hosseini, A. (2013). “Strategic planning for the national bridge stock of Iran”, Civil Engineering Infrastructures Journal, 46(1), 51-68.
Whiteside, R.E. (1988). “Transportation and Civil Engineers”, Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering, ASCE, 114(4), 428-430.