Founder and CEO

    Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
    University of California at Berkeley

Using drones to map methane in landfills

Paving the way for the capture and use of methane, University of Michigan researchers can pin down concentrations of the gas in landfills using autonomous drones equipped with lasers. Traditionally, the EPA requires landfills to use surface measurements, where a person walks and takes methane concentration measurements at certain intervals across an entire landfill and this data is used for compliance only. The new method could offer greater precision and reduce the time and effort required, and generate data that can help us understand the ongoing biodegradation processes in the landfill. 



Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Satellites to Map Fault Rupture and Landslides Following the Kaikoura 2016 earthquake in New Zealand

A story and a video of our work to map ground failure caused by the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck New Zealand's South Island on Nov. 13, 2016. Using satellite stereo-imagery, our team created 3D geometries of an area that is approximately equal to the State of South Carolina and compared the results with Ultra-High Resolution imagery from UAVs


Use of Drones to Map Landslides following the Gorkha 2015 earthquake in Nepal

More than 20,000 landslides took place in Nepal during the Mw 7.8 Gorkha earthquake on April 25th 2015 . This video describes the landslide mapping efforts of researchers from the University of Michigan (Dr. Marin Clark, and Dr. Dimitrios Zekkos), University of Southern California (Dr. Josh West) in the US and Tribhuhan University (Dr. Deepak Chamlagain) in Nepal. The research team used drones and photogrammetry principles to view map and create 3D models of large rock slides, debris flows and even rockfalls. The drone was particularly needed in this case, because of the steep topography and the large size and runout length of some of the landslides, that made it nearly impossible to map otherwise. Video prepared by Geoengineer.org staff.

Drones and Natural Disasters

Outreach video explaining our research focus on the use of drones in post-earthquake reconnaissance. Developed by the University of Michigan College of Engineering (MCONNEX). More information about this research project can be found here.

Unprocessed Drone-based Video Footage Following the 2015 Lefkada Earthquake

Raw Data video of reconnaissance following the Mw 6.4 earthquake that occurred near Lefkada island in Greece, on November 17th 2015. Our team deployed within less than 48 hrs following the earthquake and collected drone-based video footage of affected areas. The UAAV successfully by-passed roads that were closed by landslides and other damaged infrastructure that impacted accessibility. Footage was released immediately following UAAV deployment to make available data and footage that may prove valuable to first responders, engineers, rescue operators and damage assessors. More information about this research project can be found here.

Research Highlight Video: Municipal Solid Waste Landfills and Seismic Risk Mitigation.

This video discusses research on the seismic response of Municipal Solid Waste and highlights Dr. Zekkos’ and his collaborators research performed to improve the seismic design of landfills. More information about this research project can be found here. If you are interested in receiving updates about this research project join the research project webpage on GeoWorld here. This research project is funded by the National Science Foundation through the NEES program, Award No.: 1041566 . NSF website

Outreach Video: Introducing the Network for Women in Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Michigan

This video describes the vision and activities of NeWinCEE, the Network for Women in Civil and Environmental Engineering, that was established at the University of Michigan. NeWinCEE aims to provide female undergraduate and graduate students with the mentorship, support and guidance necessary to achieve excellence in the Civil and Environmental Engineering field. Through a number of activities that include a lecture series, a research and internship summer program, networking, a mentorship program and an awards program, NeW in CEE aims to promote excellence in academics, and leadership in the Profession. The network also intends to strengthen the ties between current students with alumni and friends of the University of Michigan CEE Department. More information about NeWinCEE can be found at its LinkedIn website here.