ASCE Construction Institute's Thomas Fitch's Rowland Prize awarded to 3 University of Utah researchers

Department Researchers Gain National Recognition

Three Department of Civil and Environmental Engineer researchers recently received the ASCE Construction Institute’s 2023 Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize for the paper “Automated Framework to Translate Rebar Spatial Information from GPR into BIM,” which was originally published in Journal of Construction Engineering and Management in October 2021. A formal award ceremony will be held later this year.

The researchers included:

  • Dr. Zhongming Xiang, who earned his PhD from the department in 2021;
  • Abbas Rashidi, Assistant Professor of Construction Engineering;
  • and Professor Gaby Ou, former Assistant Professor for the department.

Their research integrated image processing, machine learning, and BIM development algorithms to automate the process of translating spatial information of embedded rebar scanned by Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) scanners into BIM models. The automated framework can significantly improve the current state-of-practice for as-built modeling of buildings containing both surface and embedded elements.

The project highlights how CvEEN graduate students get to work on ground-breaking research along with their professors while gaining national recognition.

Dr. Xiang, after earning his PhD from our very own department at the U, is currently working at Stantec Consulting as a Senior Transmission Line Engineer.

Read the researchers’ full publication, or browse CvEEN’s various research opportunities.