Date of Graduation


Document Type

Problem/Project Report

Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Udaya B. Halabe

Committee Member

Hema J. Siriwardane

Committee Member

Bhaskaran Gopalakrishnan


The repair and maintenance of aging infrastructures, in the United States alone, are estimated to have backlogs of trillions of dollars. This has posed widespread concerns about the existing and proposed infrastructures to adequately sustain the quality of life in the near future. Efficient and cost-effective approaches, such as nondestructive testing (NDT), are therefore required to better shape our future. Various NDT techniques have been developed over the past two decades with cutting-edge advances towards investigation and condition assessment of civil infrastructures. While the performance of NDT techniques has reached unparalleled heights, limitations remain. On one side, are the instrument limitations such as penetration depth, resolution, data analysis, accessibility, etc., that are being addressed by the constantly evolving field of NDT. On the other side, there are gaps in the validation and strategic standardization of the techniques for their application in the field. These gaps are further broadened by the lack of experience and understanding of the techniques by the officials with the authority of repairing and maintaining infrastructures, such as the federal and state Department of Transportation (DOT) personnel.

This report aims to be a comprehensive review of state-of-the-art nondestructive testing techniques such as Impact-echo, Ultrasonic Testing, Infrared Thermography, and Digital Tap Hammer. Research and innovation integrated into contemporary features and possible future trends of such techniques for rapid and inclusive condition assessment of concrete and timber structural members are presented in the report. As the future of NDT, this report reviews the alignment of NDT techniques with novel automated technologies, including Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). Such practices have shown promising results in the effective and proactive condition assessment of structures with greater ease and at significantly lower cost, without the need for extensive knowledge about the techniques. Hence, it is recommended that the responsible bodies such as federal and state DOTs utilize nondestructive testing techniques to improve the resiliency and service life of our infrastructures effectively.