Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Howard, Isaac L.

Committee Member

Gullett, Philip M.

Committee Member

Woodson, Stanley

Committee Member

Tian, Wenmeng

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


The need for advancements in geospatial monitoring of structures has evolved naturally as structures have become larger, more complex, and technology has continued to rapidly develop. Greater building heights generally lead to greater challenges for surveyors, limiting the practical use of traditional measurement methods. For this reason, a new complimentary method was developed and implemented to support elevation monitoring activities during construction of the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, California. While some studies have explored the use of strain gauges to monitor strain development within individual members, the primary contribution of this work is that it presents a practical and proven to be implementable approach to estimating elevation changes throughout a multi-story reinforced concrete core wall tower during construction while utilizing strain measurements acquired at intermittent levels.

Construction in urban landscapes has the potential to impact existing infrastructure. Identifying and mitigating any associated construction impacts is critical to public safety and construction progress. The development of Automated Motorized Total Stations (AMTS) has provided an effective means to monitor deformations in structures adjacent to construction activity. AMTS provides real time results so that movements may be immediately identified and addressed. However, the design, implementation, management, and analysis of these systems has frequently been problematic. Inadequate monitoring specifications have led to systems that fail to perform as intended even when project requirements were satisfied. A collection of monitoring specifications and AMTS projects have been reviewed to identify why certain problems have occurred and recommendations have been made to increase the probability of success on monitoring projects. A deformation monitoring approach that defines location specific threshold values based on a statistical analysis of baseline measurements is also presented in this dissertation. Identifying potential causes for monitoring specifications to fail to perform as intended and a deformation monitoring approach that defines location specific threshold values are secondary contributions of this dissertation.