Our History



What started as a university research program during which hard work and living “under bridges” were the engine that kept it going, became the foundation of one of the prime providers for diagnostic testing, infrastructure monitoring, and nondestructive evaluation in the world.


Bungee Jumping 1990


Once BDI was formed, one of the first projects consisted of recording data for a startup company that offered bungee jumping from hot air balloons. The testing system was configured to record data from the gondola supports to ensure an adequate factor of safety was being maintained. Testing was overseen by an FAA representative, and payment consisted of eight free bungee jumps.

Long-Term Monitoring


Based on experience gained through all of the temporary field testing, BDI began installing equipment for longer-term data collection.


Supporting Research Efforts 1991 - Present


Many of BDI’s first projects consisted of supporting research institutions by conducting field tests on highway bridges and providing data for specialized analysis. Soon, railroad bridges and river control structures were also being added to the project list.

Developing & Manufacturing Hardware

Also, during this exciting period, development began of a new “modular” testing system to be manufactured and sold to clients to complete their own testing. The experiences gained by developing this new “Structural Testing System(STS) launched another entire revenue stream for the company that led to providing systems and training around the country and world. China became the largest STS customer, with many other countries soon being added as customers including Australia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

China became the largest international STS customer

Developing Safety Programs

Critical to completing the field testing, several safety programs needed to be developed specifically for construction, highways, railroads, and river control structures since they are all under the jurisdictions of different agencies. Ropes access program has been developed which has required a great deal of specialized training for project personnel. A very large and comprehensive program was developed which is still followed and periodically updated.