The Engineer's Impact - Ayan Sadhu

Your inside look at faculty’s research and its effect on society

In this new Q&A series, we’ll feature Western Engineering faculty members to gain a succinct overview of their research, understand its impact on society, and discover intriguing little-known facts.

Meet Civil and Environmental Engineering Associate Professor Ayan Sadhu

Zhao-profile-pic.pngCan you describe your research?

Civil infrastructure such as bridges is rapidly aging due to extensive usage, increasing traffic, and climate change. However, the existing infrastructure and asset management systems are yet outdated to inspect critical structures in a timely manner in North America’s extreme weather conditions. My research addresses these practical challenges of infrastructure protection using smart sensors and Artificial Intelligence (AI). My research team is developing smart monitoring technologies to make structural inspection rapid, remote, real and robust using next-generation devices such as drones, high-speed cameras, robots, passing vehicles, smartphones, augmented reality devices, and IoT sensors with AI.

How does your research impact society in everyday life?

My research contributes to developing smart infrastructure for future smart cities and communities to prepare our nation for a more sustainable and resilient society against natural disasters. I am leading a CFI JELF-funded Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) laboratory, as well as a Dynamics, and Smart City laboratory, where our students receive valuable training and mentorship in smart infrastructure. This multidisciplinary research creates next-generation engineers to solve the emerging challenges of smart infrastructure and develop cost-effective asset management technology for our society. It leads to efficient maintenance solutions with a decrease in wasted time, money and resources, and therefore increases safety, provides zero highway bottlenecks, and offers improved satisfaction to Canadians.

What’s an interesting, little-known fact related to your research?

America’s public infrastructure receives a grade based on its overall performance over the years. As per the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2021 report card, America’s infrastructure received a grade of C-. SHM technology considers structure as a human being, where the engineers assess the current health condition of an aging structure using the measured data. My team’s cumulative effort is to improve the performance grade of our infrastructure and make our structures more smart and resilient for future smart cities and communities.