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CE Doctoral Student Delivers Keynote Address at GeoMEast Conference

Friday, December 7, 2018

Surya Sarat Chandra Congress, a UTA civil engineering doctoral student, delivered a Bright Spark Keynote Lecture on his research “Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – Close Range Photogrammetry (UAV-CRP) for Monitoring Infrastructure Assets” at the GeoMEast-2018 Conference in November in Cairo, Egypt.

Surya SC Congress, third from right, receives an award at GeoMEast 2018He is working under the supervision of University Distinguished Professor and College of Engineering Associate Dean for Research Anand Puppala.

“It was a wonderful experience to deliver the lecture in front of technical experts who have come from all around the world,” Congress said. 

The International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) created the Bright Spark Lecture Award to give promising geotechnical engineers/academics aged 36 or younger an opportunity to play a major role in various international and regional conferences by delivering keynote and invited lectures. No more than four lecturers are selected for any single conference.

After the lecture, Congress was presented an award by Robin Kemper and Norma Jean Mattei, the current and former presidents of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Glenn Hewus, president of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, in the presence of Puppala and Hany Farouk, organizer of GeoMEast 2018.

Congress has been involved in several research grants with Puppala, including a National Science Foundation RAPID grant after Hurricane Harvey where he used a UAV to capture images of debris stockpiles in Beaumont, Texas, then used those images to build 3D models and orthophotos to estimate the volume of the stockpiles that can be helpful for debris removal planning of city agencies. 

The analyzed aerial data also identified problematic areas of the pavement, which can be used by cities for prioritizing their rehabilitation projects.

He also worked on a TxDOT project to determine how to use unmanned aerial vehicles to perform remote sensing and collect high-definition photos while conducting pavement forensics, 360-degree bridge inspection and collecting data on the condition of railroad tracks and crossings on a section of track in south central Texas.