The bridge doctor
Since Conchita Wurst’s victory at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, metaphorical bridges have been built all over Vienna under the motto “Building Bridges”. In the meantime, risk expert Helga Allmer is looking after the real thing.
In fact, she is something of a bridge doctor. With the help of statistical programs and computerised modelling, the graduate mechanical engineer calculates the unreliability of all kinds of bridges for the award-winning Viennese consulting firm Vienna Consulting Engineers (VCE). In technical terms, the mother of four practises structural health monitoring alongside research and asset management. Even bridges can be ill - due to their age, for instance. Or due to rust, water damage and material defects.
Recognising such faults at the right time, and subsequently being able to repair them, can prevent true catastrophes. Allmer also measures vibrations, analyses data recorded by special apparatus which is fixed onto the bridges, and can therefore eliminate potential risks or react to them appropriately.
In 2012, the bridge specialist, who was born in 1971, was awarded the FemPower-Call by the Vienna Business Agency, and has been its project leader and testimonial every since. Her current project - “C2T2: Characteristics of Cables with Dampers due to Time and Temperature Effects” - takes a close look at cable vibrations and is intended to result in a better understanding of the dynamics of ropes and cables. Allmer develops the software for this herself.
“The support was essential in ensuring that the project came about at all, and of course was jointly responsible for the fact that I was entrusted with the project leadership. Through this, I have been able to show that I can take on such a task very well, and complete it successfully despite a number of difficulties. This has also had a positive effect on my position in the company,” says Helga Allmer about the support given by the Vienna Business Agency within the scope of the FemPower programme.
It awards companies that develop women in leadership positions and support projects that are primarily realised by women.
Services/grants provided by the Vienna Business Agency
- Funding by the BEFOR program
- Funding by the Vienna Spots of Excellence program
- Funding by the Innovation Support program
- Funding by the FE PUBLIC program
- Funding by the KU Calls program
- Funding by the FemPower program
- Funding by the City 2020 program
VCE Vienna Consulting Engineers ZT GmbH