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Design of a Novel Undergraduate/Graduate Course on Terrestrial LiDAR

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Tech Tools and Tips

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Gustavo O. Maldonado Georgia Southern University

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In 1981, Dr. Gustavo O. Maldonado obtained his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering (six-year curriculum) from National University of Cordoba, Argentina. Initially, he worked in consulting firms and later completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech. He worked as an Earthquake Engineer in California and was an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. Later, he served as Chairperson of Engineering at Miami Dade College. During his academic career, he has taught more than 25 different undergraduate and graduate courses in Argentina, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the USA, most of them in the Civil and Construction Engineering fields. He is a California licensed professional engineer and a member of ASCE. Currently, he is a faculty member at Georgia Southern University and his research interests include structural analysis and design, vibrations, earthquake and wind engineering, remote sensing and education.

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Shahnam Navaee Georgia Southern University

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Dr. Navaee is currently a full professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction in the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Computing at Georgia Southern University. Dr. Navaee received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University, and his Ph.D. in Engineering from Clemson University. Prior to his current faculty position, Dr. Navaee served in several administrative rolls. One year as the Interim Chair of the Dept. of Civil Engineering and Construction Management, and seven years as the Associate Dean of the College of Science and Technology at Georgia Southern University. Dr. Navaee’s main research interests are in the area of structural mechanics and educational research.

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Marcel Maghiar Georgia Southern University

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Marcel Maghiar, Ph.D., CM-BIM, AM ASCE is an Associate Professor at Georgia Southern University and teaches courses at junior and senior level in the Civil Engineering and Construction Department at Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Computing. His research experiences include development of computer syntaxes to unequivocally describe construction activities and development of a consistent methodology to explicitly classify and quantify construction methods (emerging taxonomy of construction methods). Marcel’s main expertise is in computer modeling of construction processes and his doctoral work allows the profiling of each journeyman’s affinity for productivity, quality and safety. He is also interested in educational contributions and research opportunities towards integrating field-level construction knowledge in BIM models and their pedagogical benefits in classroom environment.

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In today’s Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, Terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (T-LiDAR), or ground-based laser scanning, is becoming an affordable and ubiquitous modern technique to produce accurate, virtual, three-dimensional (3D) point-cloud models of various existing spatial geometries. However, currently only a few engineering programs offer courses in this area. The goals of this article are twofold: (1) to present the main characteristics of a novel, project-based, technical elective course on Introduction to T-LiDAR for students in the Civil Engineering (CE), Construction Engineering (ConE) and Construction Management (CM) programs at Georgia Southern University, and (2) to assess students’ acquisition of knowledge through the adopted hands-on approach. This work describes details of the developed course to expose students to the fundamentals of T-LiDAR and engage them in specialized activities involving this modern technique to successfully complete 3D point-cloud models of real, service-learning projects. These projects benefit the community and could assist universities in attaining or maintaining their Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The paper presents not only the scholastic and assessment components of the discussed course, but also the necessary instruments, related software packages, and training needed by instructors to deliver it, including various student sample projects to further illustrate their sizes, and the way they assist in achieving the course objectives, in terms of student academic and professional developments. Given the numerous and growing applications of T-LiDAR, it seems plausible to include a course similar to the one described in this article to the potential list of technical electives in the AEC educational curricula.

Maldonado, G. O., & Navaee, S., & Maghiar, M. (2021, July), Design of a Novel Undergraduate/Graduate Course on Terrestrial LiDAR Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36918

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