Graduate Research Assistant

Employment Details: 

Position: Graduate Research Assistant

Company: South Dakota State University

Dates: May 2016 – December 2017

As a Graduate Research Assistant at SDSU, drone technology was studied to develop innovative bridge inspection procedures. The primary goal of this project was to evaluate drones as a supplemental bridge inspection tool for bridges that present accessibility challenges for inspectors. To achieve this, independent research conducted under the direction of a faculty member allowed the development of the new technology. Further, research related publications including progress reports and technical papers were prepared to be published in recognizable civil engineering journals and national engineering conferences. Additionally, engaging in literature searches has permitted to produce quality work within the research project and to gain knowledge of state-of-the-art of drone-based implementations.

To complete the research tasks, recreating several bridge components in 3D virtual space using Agisoft PhotoScan allowed the development of skills in the photogrammetric processing of images for bridge reconstruction purposes. Also, evaluated the performance of drones as a bridge inspection tool to aid future inspection procedures and developed a recommended six-stage inspection procedure to aid future generation inspections. Finally, attended professional structural engineering conferences, such as Structures Congress in Denver, Colorado, to develop and gain professional insight of current engineering practices and on-going research.

To view some of the work done as a Graduate Research Assistant, please visit the project Evaluation of Drones as Bridge Inspection Tools


Research, literature searches, Structural Engineering, writing, Microsoft Office, finite-element modeling, bridge inspection, drone technology, critical thinking, communication.