Walbridge is an ENR Top 50 Construction Company that desires to lead the construction industry in providing innovative solutions to protect workers from struck by incidents involving mobile construction equipment with blind spots. Our #1 Core Value is Safety: “Think, demand and deliver safety in all aspects of our business.”
Struck-by injuries are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries and the second most common cause of fatalities among construction workers, costing over $1.7 billion in workers compensation costs in 2016. These injuries occur when a worker is struck by a moving vehicle, equipment, or by a falling or flying object.
Challenges with currently available technology include false alarms, reliance on operator behavior change, ability to collect data and trends on interactions, and ease of installation.
Students on this team will develop a Proximity Warning Alert System (PWAS) that detects people, rather than objects, in the blind spots of mobile construction equipment. The PWAS will optimize the human and technology interface into normal behaviors and operations. Typical equipment to use the PWAS are telehandlers, articulated lifts, front end loader/excavators and other mobile equipment with significant blind spots moving near people. Solutions may include combinations of blind spot cameras, infrared, LIDAR, time of flight, sonic, radar sensors, etc. and computer vision integrated with sensor data.
The impact of an improved safety system is the reduction of injuries and fatalities among construction workers.
Sensor Development and Integration (2-3 students)
Specific Skills: Wide range of practical sensor development and system integration including any of the following: LIDAR, RADAR, motion, sonic based sensors. Hardware integration.
Please describe your experience in your personal statement.
Likely Majors: CE, EE, ECE
Computer Vision (2-3 students)
Specific Skills: Implementation and tuning of computer vision algorithms. Vision hardware.
Likely Majors: CS, ROB
Human Factors Design (1-2 students)
Specific Skills: Human factors design, user interface, design for safety.
Likely Majors: IOE, SI, KINES, PUBHLTH
Director of Innovation
Over his 37-year career, John has planned, designed, and built some of the most innovative technological solutions for the construction industry. Currently, John serves as a leader for innovation at Walbridge where he focuses on expanding the company’s operational excellence by configuring, adapting, and deploying advanced technologies. From AI-powered location sensors that track workers and equipment, to digital big rooms that utilize collaborative project management systems, John’s work consistently increases productivity and safety while reducing risk.
Senior Vice President Walbridge Innovation and Improvement Leadership
Over his 42 years with Walbridge, if there’s a department at Walbridge that Eric Twigg hasn’t run, it hasn’t been created yet. And Eric will probably be the person who starts it. Throughout his career, he’s led (and often created) virtually every department at Walbridge. Current responsibilities include leading the teams for: New Technology, Innovation, DEI, Quality/Lean, Training, Strategy and Leadership Planning support for all Business Units.
Vineet R. Kamat
Professor, John L. Tishman CM Faculty Scholar
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Vineet Kamat is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. His group researches methods to enable effective human-robot work collaboration in the construction, operation, and maintenance of civil infrastructure and the built environment. Our research has developed several licensable technologies that support automation and robotics, including modeling techniques that help on-site construction robots with autonomous decision making.
Course Substitutions: CE MDE, ChE Elective, CS Capstone/MDE, DS Capstone, EE MDE, CoE Honors, IOE Senior Design, ISD AUTO 503, ISD GAME 503, ROB 590, SI Grad Cognate
- This project is open to all students.
- International students on an F-1 will be required to declare part-time CPT during Winter 2023 and Fall 2023 terms.
IP/NDA: Students will sign standard University of Michigan IP/NDA documents.
Internship/Summer Project Activities: Students will be guaranteed an interview for a 2023 internship.
The interviews will take place November/December 2022. To participate in the Walbridge summer internship program students must:
- Be eligible to work in the US without sponsorship now or in the future.
- Pass a drug screening.