UCLA Civil & Environmental Engineering Department
C&EE 200 Section 1 Seminar
Structural, Geotechnical and Civil Engineering Materials
Mobile Ground Robotics for Infrastructure Condition Assessment
Sriram Narasimhan, PhD, P.Eng.
Professor and Canada Research Chair, University of Waterloo, Canada.
A majority of structural condition assessment tasks for critical infrastructure such as bridges and nuclear facilities
are manual, qualitative, time-consuming and subjective. Such an exercise—not surprisingly—often produces
qualitative and unreliable outcomes. There is a pressing need to introduce automation into the process of infrastructure
condition assessment, while producing quantifiable results, reduce subjectivity in the assessment outcomes,
and to minimize overall time taken for routine inspections and assessment cost.
In this talk, the speaker will present highlights of work being carried in his laboratory at the University of Waterloo,
to address such challenges, which includes details of two ground-based robots and decision support tools that
enable automating many routine condition assessment tasks. Examples of recent case studies which include
bridges, parking garages and industrial facilities will be presented to highlight the capabilities of these platforms
and machine learning approaches to condition assessment. The speaker will focus on practical challenges in
the development of these platforms related to sensor calibration and mapping, while motivating the link to broader
asset management and maintenance planning. Finally, the speaker will introduce robotics and machine learning
is likely to shape the future of structural condition assessment and maintenance.
Where: CS76 Young Hall
When: 1:00 – 1:50 PM, Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Dr. Sriram Narasimhan is a Professor in the departments of Civil and Environmental
Engineering & Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo
in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where he also holds the title of Canada Research
Chair in Smart Infrastructure. Dr. Narasimhan’s main research areas are in structural
dynamics, system identification and condition assessment of structural and mechanical
systems. His recent work involves the development and use of autonomous
ground vehicles for various structural engineering applications. He established the
Structural Dynamics, Control and Identification Laboratory in 2008 at the University
of Waterloo, which is now home to several state-of-the-art measurement and robotics
equipment.
Dr. Narasimhan received his PhD in 2005 from Rice University in the area of control
of base isolated structures. Subsequently, he joined the University of Waterloo in 2006 as an Assistant Professor,
where he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2012 and Professor in 2018. Prior to joining
the University of Waterloo, Dr. Narasimhan was with the Risk Consulting Division at the American Bureau of
Shipping in Houston, Texas. Dr. Narasimhan is active in various international technical committees and is currently
an Associate Editor for the ASCE Journals of Bridge Engineering and Structural Engineering. He also
serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Structural Control and Health Monitoring. He is also the recipient
of various awards, including, recently, the 2018 ASCE Associate Editor award. For more details on Dr. Narasimhan’s
research, visit http://www.civil.uwaterloo.ca/snarasim/.

UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering

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