UH professor uses bridge movement to power sensors

HONOLULU (AP) - A University of Hawaii professor is using slight movements of bridges to generate power for sensors that monitor their stresses and deterioration.

Tianwei "David" Ma of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department has received a $223,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to perfect a method of harvesting energy from the natural motion of bridges to power smart monitoring devices.

The device converts that energy into power by means of electromagnetic induction or piezoelectricity.

The power will serve sensors that detect fatigue and deterioration experienced by bridges and similar structures.

Department Chair C.S. Papacostas calls Ma's work "a stroke of genius."

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