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Department of Engineering

US award for Department lecturer

US award for Department lecturer

Presentation of Collingwood Prize to Ioannis Brilakis (third from left) and Zhenhua Zhu by Greg DiLoreto and Patrick J. Natale

Dr Ioannis Brilakis, Laing O'Rourke Lecturer of Construction Engineering in the Department of Engineering, has been honoured by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Ioannis and his former students at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Zhenhua Zhu (now of Concordia University, Canada) and Stephanie German(now of EPFL, Switzerland), were awarded the 2013 Collingwood Prize from ASCE for their paper titled "Visual Pattern Recognition Models for Remote Sensing of Civil Infrastructure". In selecting this paper, the committee particularly noted its contribution to engineering knowledge.

This paper stemmed out of Ioannis' CAREER Award from the US National Science Foundation. It outlines his fundamental theory on how to create recognition models for civil infrastructure elements, such as columns, beams, walls, slabs, decks, etc. followed by example applications that have proven successful. The paper essentially formalises the process of creating new Visual Pattern Recognition (VPR) models to simplify the steps needed to create each mathematical description and provide a set of common tools necessary for this purpose. This will automate the transformation of infrastructures' 3D surfaces into information-rich, 3D element models with the help of machine vision.

Ioannis explained: "This way, instead of manually recognising each element every time it is encountered, we need only recognise its characteristics once and automatically detect it each subsequent time. This is analogous to defining an alphabet (letters = characteristics) so that this project will build the words (element models) and find them in a text (3D surface), instead of having to manually find the words in every text we encounter. "The benefit comes from the ability to reuse the known letters (characteristics) and words (element models) every time we have a new text (3D surface).

"The immediate advantage that will result from this work is the ability to automate the element recognition step of the "as-built" model generation process."

For more information about Ioannis' work, visit his group homepage.