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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information

The Role of the Civil Engineer in an Increasingly Automated Infrastructure World, Prof. Jerome P. Lynch

The field of civil engineering is radically changing based on the emergence of sensing, data and modes of automation previously unimaginable.  As sensors proliferate across our industry, the ability to collect data on the performance of our infrastructure is shedding new light on how infrastructure systems perform including how they deteriorate over time.  Data is at the core of exciting new approaches to modeling our built environments and revealing in new ways how our society uses infrastructure.  Together, sensing and data analytics is also empowering a new generation of autonomous systems ranging from autonomous mobility services to cloud actuated urban watersheds. However, with this change comes some challenges including equitable access to automated infrastructure services and domain encroachment from other disciplines. This presentation provides an overview of the growing importance of automated built environments and explores the importance of civil engineers serving in the role of lead innovator in their design, deployment, and accessibility. The research will highlight the speaker’s own experiences with deploying autonomous and intelligent systems in a variety of civil engineering applications ranging from autonomous sensing systems that optimally sample data to autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles that collect data pertinent to advancing our understanding the built environment.        


Dr. Jerome Lynch is the Donald Malloure Department Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan; he is also Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In 2016, Dr. Lynch was appointed the Director of the University of Michigan Urban Collaboratory, a research institute that works closely with city stakeholders to prototype solutions to urban challenges using smart city technologies.  Prior to the University of Michigan, Dr. Lynch completed his graduate studies at Stanford University where he received his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2002, M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1998, and M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2003. Dr. Lynch also received his B.E. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Cooper Union in New York City.  His current research interests are in the areas of wireless cyber-physical systems, cyberinfrastructure tools for management of sensor datasets, computer vision methods for assessing societal resiliency, and advance sensors for damage detection and structural health monitoring.  Dr. Lynch has been awarded the 2005 ONR Young Investigator Award, 2009 NSF CAREER Award, 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2012 ASCE EMI Leonardo da Vinci Award and 2014 ASCE Huber Award.

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Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 - 17:00 to 19:00
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