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Devin Harris - Civil Engineering, Cyber-Physical Systems, Smart Cities

Science & Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering (Engineering Systems and Environment)
Supervising Faculty Member: 
Devin Harris
Research Focus: 

Communities are built on the premise that their role is to ensure that the services and infrastructure they provide meets the quality of life standard of their citizens. This basic model still remains, but we are currently in an era where communities are out of touch with their citizens and not able to effectively meet the needs of their citizens. However, with the continued evolution of technology, we are reaching a point where communities are in need of cost-effective and flexible solutions that can be used to guide decision-making within a community. The research we are pursuing centers on the emerging theme of smart cities and connected communities, where emerging technologies are leveraged to enhance the quality of life. The research will focus on exploring relevant technologies and data processing to achieve this goal. Examples of some of the tools and technologies that can be explored include:
• Cellphones, Smartbands, Google Glass, Microsoft HoloLens, and GoPro cameras
• Virtual and Augmented Reality
• Computer Vision
• Autonomous systems

My research group is named the Mobile Laboratory for Rapid Evaluation of Transportation Infrastructure (MOBLab). The MOBLab, supports research related to in-service condition and behavior of infrastructure systems. Much of our current focus centers on the development and deployment of non-invasive measurement technologies to assess and describe the performance of infrastructures components (bridge, buildings, etc.). These technologies include camera, video, and mobile devices and include various data interpretation techniques including digital image correlation, image processing, and machine learning.

Position Description: 

Students will have the opportunity to work within my research group (MOBLab) and will work to establish a framework for creating a local smart and connected community within UVa/Charlottesville. The research may include a focus on virtual or augmented reality for inspections or citizen engineering through crowd-sourcing. The selected student will have the opportunity to work in the laboratory and potential contributed to field testing of existing infrastructure. The student will have the opportunity to work with the faculty member, graduate students, other undergraduate students, and the infrastructure lab manager for the proposed work. We have a number of hands on experiments that are going on in our lab and this position would be able to contribute immediately and also help develop new experiments in the future.

Required Skills: 

I am looking for students with a variety of skills including data collection, image analysis, programming and app development, etc., but these skills are not a requirement for the position (only helpful). The required skill set includes self-motivation and the ability to work independently and in a team, good communication, and persistence.

What will you learn: 

Develop a research question
Work well on a collaborative team
Link work to the broader impact on society

Civil Engineering, Cyber-Physical Systems, Smart Cities