With another hurricane season beginning June 1 — and some forecasters predicting another busy one — researchers in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering are working on a tool to help first-responders use Twitter activity to identify developing crises after a storm while also helping civilians more effectively plug in to disaster response efforts.
Just days after a major earthquake struck central Mexico in September 2017, Alejandro Martinez, MSCE 2012, Ph.D. 2015, found himself at the site taking vital measurements of the disaster. “It was a shocking day for everyone,” Martinez says.
Georgia Tech has been intensifying its smart cities initiative, including membership in the national MetroLab Network and the launch of a new faculty council with members from more than a dozen university units. Tech has long been working in the, but the now the Institute is organizing all the research that’s happening to have a bigger impact.
Disasters at nuclear power plants present all kinds of problems for search and rescue teams, from lethal radiation exposure to danger from weakened structures. Associate Professor Yong Cho has begun work on a new project that could one day put robots on the ground in the immediate aftermath of a meltdown or other catastrophe, helping to rescue people trapped in the plant and contain dangerous nuclear material in situations where quick action is critical.
For a researcher who studies the ways society’s infrastructure systems are interconnected and interdependent, the Interstate 85 collapse this spring in Atlanta had a silver lining. School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Iris Tien told Atlanta public radio station WABE that shutting down one of the city’s main thoroughfares presented a rare opportunity — despite the disruption to businesses and the extra travel time for residents.
Chloe Johansen, a School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. student, is working on an idea with Assistant Professor Iris Tien they think will make a difference in improving America's crumbling infrastructure. It's work with so much potential that Johansen is working with other Georgia Tech and Emory University graduate students to commercialize her research.