BROOKLYN, New York, Thursday, July 11, 2019 - The Institution of Civil Engineers will honor the research of a New York University professor who employed terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to examine Ireland's historic Guinness Bridge.The research paper, published in the journal Engineering History and Heritage, garnered the 2019 Manby Prize from the institution, which lauded it for its exceptional quality and benefit to the civil engineering, construction and materials science community.It provided both a case history of a significant structure and a framework for assessing other historic wrought iron bridges using data.Debra Laefer, a professor of civil and urban engineering at NYU Tandon who also serves as a professor of urban informatics and director of citizen science at NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), chose to examine the structure using TLS, a non-contact method by which researchers can quickly, cost-effectively, and safely acquire three-dimensional (3D) topographic data on the visible surfaces of structural members with millimeter-level accuracy.Much bridge assessment is conducted by means of visual inspection, which is subjective and highly dependent on an inspector's experience, particularly in poor weather conditions or when there is limited site access.TLS is a ground-based version of airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR); Laefer has been widely celebrated for collecting the world's densest urban LiDAR dataset, which at over 300 points per square meter is more than 30 times denser than typical, capturing above-ground urban geometry at unprecedented detail.
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