Autonomous drones can help search and rescue after disasters

Phys.org | March 05, 2019

When disasters happen - whether a natural disaster like a flood or earthquake or a human-caused one like a mass shooting or bombing - it can be extremely dangerous to send first responders in, even though there are people who badly need help.
Drones are useful and are helping in the recovery after the deadly Alabama tornadoes, but most require individual pilots, who fly the unmanned aircraft by remote control. That limits how quickly rescuers can view an entire affected area, and can delay actual aid from reaching victims.
Autonomous drones could cover more ground more quickly, but would only be more effective if they were able on their own to help rescuers identify people in need. At the University of Dayton Vision Lab, we are working on developing systems that can help spot people or animals – especially ones who might be trapped by fallen debris.

Spotlight

One morning, about a year ago, a stranger walked into a credit union with a letter typed from their home office. Using this letter, this individual was able to obtain access to the internal financial systems behind the teller counter - with permission and without supervision. How did they do it? By obtaining small amounts of access - bit by bit from a number of different employees in that organization. First, they did research about the company for several days before even attempting to set foot on the premises.

Spotlight

One morning, about a year ago, a stranger walked into a credit union with a letter typed from their home office. Using this letter, this individual was able to obtain access to the internal financial systems behind the teller counter - with permission and without supervision. How did they do it? By obtaining small amounts of access - bit by bit from a number of different employees in that organization. First, they did research about the company for several days before even attempting to set foot on the premises.

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SignOnSite is licensed by Trillium to provide unique contactless worksite safety platform to help manage risk for complex construction projects

SignOnSite | October 19, 2020

SignOnSite, the construction safety management system, today announced an agreement with Trillium CNG. Trillium is the Texas subsidiary of the Love's Family of Companies that builds and manages compressed natural gas (CNG), electric vehicle (EV), and alternative energy fueling stations across the United States. Trillium will be using the SignOnSite personnel safety application to manage and protect workers at new CNG station building projects. SignOnSite provides construction companies and their workers with a robust, but simple risk and safety management system that leverages the technology already on construction sites. SignOnSite takes a highly unique approach to risk and safety management. Current systems require a top-down management model, where companies not only have to implement risk and safety management policies and procedures, but also have the burden of ensuring that the workers on site actively participate in them. With SignOnSite, however, this model is flipped. The people on site are empowered with simple, straightforward technology that lets them easily engage with and participate in risk management processes. The construction company is then enabled with digital control of their sites and remote risk management capabilities.

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MARKET

SOCOTEC GROUP FURTHER EXPANDS ITS PRESENCE IN THE NETHERLANDS

SOCOTEC GROUP | January 18, 2022

After its first acquisition in 2021 in the Dutch market, the SOCOTEC Group, a trusted third party and a leading company in building and infrastructure risk management, announces the acquisition of Inpijn Blokpoel, a major player in the Dutch ground investigation and geotechnical market. With the acquisition of Inpijn Blokpoel Engineers, SOCOTEC is strengthening its position as a key player in the Dutch construction and infrastructure TIC market and is expanding its service portfolio to better serve its customers. The ambition of the group is to become the leading company in testing, inspection and certification services in the construction and infrastructure sectors, alongside the lifecycle of any built environment. Founded in 1975 and headquartered in Son, close to Eindhoven, Inpijn Blokpoel Engineers, employs more than 100 people and has a turnover of over 12 million euros. With three main locations around the country (Son, Waddinxveen and Groningen), it is a key player in geotechnics, geophysics and environmental services, some of the core services of the SOCOTEC Group whose global ambition is to meet the growing challenges of environmental, energy, regulatory and digital transitions in the construction and infrastructure sectors. Inpijn Blokpoel Engineers is a specialist in the field of geotechnical and environmental consultancy services using the most modern ground investigation equipment and a cutting-edge laboratory. Consultancy services are provided in the areas of building foundations, construction pits, drainage, wind turbines, logistics centers, structural damage analysis, geophysics, dykes etc. During construction phase, full geotechnical supervision and monitoring can be supplied. Inpijn Blokpoel's clients are contractors, property developers, structural engineers, large engineering companies but also private individuals and of course most Dutch water boards, given its specific know-how in the field of dykes. Inpijn Blokpoel Engineers' core expertise in geotechnics is highly complementary to Hanselman Group acquired by the SOCOTEC Group last August 2021, as the company offers technical expertise for claim management, construction site nuisances management and monitoring services as well as technical inspection in the real estate market. "We are thrilled to have Inpijn Blokpoel as part of our group. Inpijn Blokpoel's brand reputation in the Netherlands and entrepreneurial culture fit extremely well with our organisation and internationalisation strategy. Also, Inpijn Blokpoel broadens our service offering following the acquisition of Hanselman Group. Even if they will remain independent, both companies will be much stronger together and will support the development of the SOCOTEC brand in Europe. With a €25.0m of combined turnover in the Netherlands, SOCOTEC is now a key player in the country and the only one able to offer such a range of services to the Dutch construction and infrastructure markets. Finally, Inpijn Blokpoel complements our existing network of pan-European experts in geotechnics and monitoring across France, the UK, Germany and Italy, from which I expect great technical synergies as well as commercial benefits." -Hervé Montjotin, CEO of the SOCOTEC Group Erik Geurtjens, Managing Director of Inpijn Blokpoel Engineers added: "Joining the SOCOTEC Group is a great opportunity for our organisation, our people and our customers. With the support of SOCOTEC and its technical expertise, we will be in an even better position to accomplish what we have been striving for as a team, over the last 45 years: to minimise the geotechnical and environmental risks for our clients when developing projects in the construction and infrastructure sectors, always looking for the most economical and sustainable options. In the near future, we will be able to expand our market further, serving our customers throughout the entire life cycle of a project." ABOUT THE SOCOTEC GROUP At the service of companies for almost 70 years, the SOCOTEC Group, chaired by Hervé Montjotin, has built its reputation as a trusted third party in the fields of risk management, compliance, safety, health and environment in the Construction, Infrastructure and Industry sectors.As a guarantor of the integrity and performance of assets as well as the safety of people, SOCOTEC develops a range of services in testing, inspection and certification (TIC) for companies in the public and private sectors for their buildings, equipment, infrastructures or constructions. SOCOTEC contributes to the optimisation of their performance by controlling the risks inherent to their activity. Its expertise enables SOCOTEC to support its clients throughout the life cycle of their projects and assets, resulting in a long-term partner position.N°1 in construction inspection in France, and a major player in TIC services in the Construction and Infrastructure sectors in Europe and the United States, the SOCOTEC group will achieve a consolidated turnover of €1bn in 2021 (50% of which was generated outside France) with 200,000 clients. With a presence in 23 countries and 9,700 employees, it has more than 250 external accreditations, enabling SOCOTEC to act as a trusted third party in many projects. In France, it has more than 150 locations throughout the country, including 32 training centers.

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DESIGN

AECOM to provide architecture and engineering services for Kennedy Space Center and other NASA facilities

AECOM | September 24, 2021

AECOM , the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, today announced that it has been selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide architecture and engineering services as part of its Southeast Regional Architect and Engineering (SERAE) program. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ), multiple-award contract has a shared program ceiling of $300 million for its five-year term. Our relationship with NASA dates back over fifty years and we’re looking forward to building on that legacy through this integral work,As NASA has grown, evolved, and continued to push the boundaries of space exploration, AECOM has been there to support its globally impactful missions and cutting-edge operations. We’re immensely proud to be granted new opportunities with the administration that highlight our shared values of integrity, collaboration, and inclusion while maintaining a keen focus on the impacts we’re leaving on the world. -Karl Jensen, executive vice president AECOM’s National Governments business. AECOM’s work will focus on the rehabilitation, modernization, and development of new systems for facilities, utilities, and ground support at several prominent NASA locations across the United States. These include Kennedy Space Center in Florida; Johnson Space Center, Sonny Carter Training Facility, and Ellington Field in Texas; White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico; Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama; Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana; Stennis Space Center in Mississippi; other NASA assets; and additional launch or landing sites worldwide. “From the Mercury and Gemini programs through today, AECOM has been honored to work alongside NASA on all of its facilities spanning the country. This new contract allows us to continue our successful and longstanding partnership,” said Sean Chiao, Chief Executive of AECOM’s global Buildings + Places business. “We’re excited to leverage our intimate knowledge of the administration’s enterprises and best practices to deliver unmatched professional services that advance NASA’s goal of leading an innovative and sustainable program of space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research to the next frontier.” Under the contract, AECOM will provide a wide range of architecture, civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical infrastructure services across all project phases, including planning and feasibility, permitting, preliminary engineering, final design, engineering services during construction, activation, and commissioning. These services include architectural design, field investigations and surveys, engineering and environmental reports, trade studies, design specifications, construction site inspections, and scheduling and cost estimating. About AECOM AECOM is the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle – from planning, design and engineering to program and construction management. On projects spanning transportation, buildings, water, new energy and the environment, our public- and private-sector clients trust us to solve their most complex challenges. Our teams are driven by a common purpose to deliver a better world through our unrivaled technical expertise and innovation, a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion, and a commitment to environmental, social and governance priorities. AECOM is a Fortune 500 firm and its Professional Services business had revenue of $13.2 billion in fiscal year 2020. See how we are delivering sustainable legacies for generations to come at aecom.com and

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