Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Nielson, Bryant G

Committee Member

Schiff , Scott D

Committee Member

Sparks , Peter R


Detecting damage location and severity in civil engineering structures has become an important research topic in the past several decades. Various non-destructive damage identification methods using dynamic properties from ambient and forced vibration have been developed. Researchers have shown that higher order derivatives of mode shapes of the 2nd and 4th order can be effective in detecting damage in civil engineering structures. Furthermore, these higher order derivatives are sensitive to small changes in global stiffness facilitating the detection of small degrees of damage.
In this study a modal analysis is performed on analytical and experimental simply supported beams using the Higher Order Derivative Discontinuity method for damage detection. Analytical results from applying the HODD method validate the theory of using the sensitivity of higher order derivatives to detect damage. A multi-reference impact test was performed to obtain fundamental frequencies and their respective mode shapes. Inconclusive experimental results in detecting damage were obtained when applying the HODD method. Proposals for further research are presented before accepting the HODD method as a viable damage detection indicator in civil engineering structures.



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