Dr. Andrew Bechtel and Dr. Thomas Brennan traveled to London earlier this year to receive an award from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) for “Best Paper” in the ICE Journal of Transportation Asset Management for 2018.
The paper outlines a research project where Bechtel and Brennan show how data taken from GPS signals in cell phones can be used to determine if bridges are functioning properly. They located bridges that were causing congestion at their location across the State of New Jersey. This is the same data they use to make the roads on Google Maps turn yellow, orange, and red. They then correlated it to a database of bridge condition. When combining the data, out popped bridges that were decaying and causing congestion. These bridges are easy candidates for replacement. Bechtel says, “The paper is about using available data to make better decisions about what infrastructure to repair and replace.”
Kevin Gurski ’16 and Jessica Ansley ’16 were listed as co-authors of the paper since they developed the tools to analyze the data during the summer of 2015 as part of the Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience (MUSE) under Dr. Brennan. Gurski currently works at Hardesty and Hanover, a leader in engineering consultant industry, and Ansley works for the New Jersey Department of Transportation.