Fiatech Honors Significant Advancements in Engineering and Technology

Georgia Tech and the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering made an impressive showing at the 2012 Fiatech Technology Conference & Showcase, an annual event recognizing achievements in the engineering and technology fields. This year's three-day event was held at the Marriott Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami, Florida on April 2-4, 2012.

Fiatech is an international community of global leadership organizations focused on innovation in the capital projects industry. The organization's Celebration of Engineering & Technology Innovation (CETI) Awards recognize significant achievements in technology research, development, and implementation. Established in 2006, the CETIs recognize both organizations and individuals: organizations for successfully implementing new and emerging technologies, and individuals for making significant strides in advancing innovation in research and development. 

The 2011 CETI recipients included 11 honorees in nine categories. Three of this year's honorees represented Georgia Tech. They include:

Outstanding Early Career Researcher

Dr. Ioannis Brilakis: Dr. Brilakis teaches at Georgia Tech and is known for his groundbreaking research in infrastructure object recognition and reconstruction. The National Science Foundation recently awarded Brilakis a grant for research that may revolutionize the way infrastructure is mapped. Beyond research, however, Brilakis is known for advancing academia, developing curricula, and mentoring rising stars in the engineering and construction industry. In education, Brilakis has focused on creating research-based interdisciplinary courses and providing elementary, high school, and college students with the opportunity to engage in research.

Outstanding Student Research Project

Man-Woo Park: Georgia Tech Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. candidate Man-Woo Park has made notable strides in the promising technique of vision tracking. Two or more cameras and a processor are the only equipment required. Each camera view is continuously searched for workers, equipment, and materials. Once a resource is detected, its image is represented by a 2D vision. Detection is possible by characterizing visual patterns and then matching those visual patterns. This fully automated on-site monitoring technique can track a large number of entities, covers a vast area, and is fast and economical.

Intelligent and Automated Construction Job Site

Georgia Tech & Metalforming’s Rapid, On-Site Digital Fabrication of Sheet Metal Roof Panels: Researchers from Georgia Tech and Metalforming invented a technology that automates the entire on-site sheet metal fabrication process. Recent advances in machine vision algorithms and high-res video cameras allowed researchers to develop a roof surveying technology. The captured video data, stored on a laptop, provided a 3D wire diagram of the roof. Detailed dimensions allowed a download of that data to a USB flash drive, where it was used to automatically roll, form, and cut the roof panels.

Lisa Grayson, chair of the jury and project department program advisor for ExxonMobil, was impressed with all of the entries. “It’s clear that the pace of technological innovation in the capital projects industry is gaining momentum. Fiatech serves both as a catalyst for new ideas and a platform for recognizing those whose achievements are outstanding,” she said.

Awards jury member Jim Purvis, group director of engineering systems for WorleyParsons, also stressed innovation. “In a global industry like capital projects, innovation helps us use fewer resources while delivering the expectations of our clients,” he said.

Jim Newman of AREVA, also a jury member, echoed Purvis’ assessment. “The real-time ability in the field to see changes and next steps is vital to perform on time and budget. Those honored tonight prove that innovation can be deployed on real projects, not just on prototype applications,” he said.

In addition to Grayson, Purvis, and Newman, the jury for the CETI awards consisted of John Fish, Ford, Bacon & Davis; Raju Hingorani, Jacobs Engineering; Harold Monk, Autodesk; Tom Sawyer, ENR; and Dr. Jochen Teizer, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Congratulations to Dr. Brilakis, Man-Woo Park, and the entire research team!