I am currently a PhD candidate in Structural Engineering (Civil and Environmental Engineering). I have a Master's degree in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and another Master's degree in Structural Engineering at the University of Alberta. I received my Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China. Personal website: www.qipeimei.com
What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?
Infrastructure construction is a major reason for carbon emissions and other environmental problems. Poorly maintained infrastructure could not only result in losses of lives and properties but also increase the environmental impacts during their life cycles. Therefore, continuous monitoring should be implemented on the existing infrastructure systems to ensure they are properly maintained in a timely manner.
My research aims to use crowdsourced data from citizens for civil infrastructure monitoring. In this research, the goal is to let everyone participate into the civil infrastructure monitoring using their smart devices. This research can overcome issues in traditional civil infrastructure monitoring techniques such as high costs and inefficiency.
How did presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help explain your research?
Before participating in the 3MT competition, all my presentations were given to the experts in my research area. I am used to putting professional terminologies, complex formulas, massive figures, and tables in my presentations — hoping the audience could understand. The 3MT competition gave me an opportunity to rethink about my presentation style. During the preparation for the competition, I have to think about how to attract audiences’ attention, how to use simple words to deliver the complicated concepts, and even how to use my body language to enhance the presentation. These skills will definitely help me explain my research in the future.
Define "For the Public Good" in your own words.
“For the Public Good” is the university’s institutional strategic plan. I can feel that everyone at the University of Alberta is working together towards it. With this in mind, the university creates an environment with equity, diversity, and inclusion. As a student whose first language is not English, I know how this environment has helped me overcome the challenges during my studies. I will remember the words “For the Public Good” and take this spirit to my life and to wherever I am going to work.
What inspires you to do research?
I would say my supervisor, Dr. Mustafa Gül, inspires me to do research. He teaches me how to do research, how to write papers, how to come up with new ideas, how to present my work, etc. All of these have made me interested in research.
If you have to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?
I would like to dedicate my research to my family especially my wife and my two sons, and my friends Fei Han, Ran Ding, Jian Jiang, Baokui Zhang, Md Riasat Azim, Ngoan Do, Nima Shirzad and Haiyang Zhang. Many thanks to my supervisor, Dr. Mustafa Gül, as well for guiding me throughout this journey.
3MT Keywords: pothole; AI; smartphone