Michael Baker has been and continues to be a main provider of bridge and tunnel inspection, load rating and design training material and course delivery for clients across the country. We literally wrote the book on bridge inspection, authoring the popular Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Bridge Inspector’s Reference Manual (BIRM).
We have developed more than 15 different courses taught through approximately 1,100 course deliveries for 35,000 bridge engineers over the last 25 years. Inspection courses of note include “Safety Inspection of In-Service Bridges,” “Fracture Critical Inspection Techniques for Steel Bridges” and “Tunnel Safety Inspection.” We also teach and update the “Fundamentals of LRFR and Applications of LRFR for Bridge Superstructures.” Bridge design courses have included “LRFD for Highway Bridge Superstructures,” “LRFD for Highway Bridge Substructures” and “LRFD and Analysis of Curved Steel Highway Bridges.” Our courses even extend into the realm of constructability with our “Engineering for Structural Stability in Bridge Construction” course.
Creative and award-winning training methods such as “Virtual Bridge and Tunnel Inspection” modules allow for a more comprehensive, first-person perspective inspection experience without the logistical challenges, risks and costs associated with prior field inspection exercises. We continue to implement new research and analysis techniques via our “Design and Evaluation of Bridges for Fatigue and Fracture” and “Strut-and-Tie Modeling (STM) for Concrete Structures” modules.
We have also pioneered innovative applications for bridge inspection and design including the use of SPRAT inspection teams and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for difficult access locations and improved data collection. Our SPRAT inspectors are engineers and national leaders in the use of cost-effective rope-access inspection techniques for major bridges. Michael Baker was one of the first engineering firms to receive certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate multiple types of UAS. We now have 40 air frames and pilots performing multiple types of surveys and inspections. The use of UAS for bridge inspection allows for quick and high-resolution visual and infrared data collection to identify problem areas for more in-depth inspection. These innovative inspection techniques provide a safer, more intricate and sophisticated solution to supplement traditional inspection methods.