A research project headed by CECS Assistant Professor of Computer Science Dr. Dalei Wu has been named one of the 50 best in the country.
The Underground Infrastructure Sensing project, was chosen by Smart Cities Connect Media and Research for the award. The project is a collaboration with faculty of the University of Vermont (UV).
“We are thrilled to know that our project was recognized by this award,” Wu says. “Success with this research will enable cities to manage, maintain and grow their underground infrastructure in manners that improve service, sustainability and resilience, while reducing costs, energy consumption and wasted resources.”
The project involves undergraduate and graduate students and utilizes equipment such as radar and magnetic sensors to search underground and document the location and condition of water and sewer pipes, electrical conduits, fiber optic lines and other infrastructure. The data is fed into high-speed computers at the SimCenter and turned it into spreadsheets, graphics and other easy-to-use documents.
Documentation for underground infrastructure can be out of date or inaccurate, depending on the city, so data gathered by the sensing project can be used by city engineers, planners and maintenance supervisors, as well as construction companies, to locate pipes, conduits and other utilities before digging begins, reducing the danger of damaging critical equipment.
Use of the Electric Power Board’s (EPB) fiber-optic network has been critical to the project’s success. David Wade, president and CEO of EPB and CECS alumnus, commented on the College’s research capabilities noting, “the efforts of the College’s professors are leading research initiatives that engage local officials and our community’s outstanding infrastructure assets in pioneering new ‘Smart City’ technologies.”
Cooperation among UTC, EPB and other organizations in Chattanooga is setting the stage for even more growth in the city’s technology sector, says Christy Gillenwater, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. “Working together we can continue to position our community as a test-bed for next generation technologies,” she says.