By Syed Ibrahim Hassan
I started my industry placement on 1st October 2021 at Pavement Management Services (PMS) ltd. Athenry, Co. Galway. PMS (https://www.pms.ie/) is a civil engineering consultancy firm in Ireland, specializing in testing, evaluation, and management of roads, airports, and ports. The contact was first made with PMS at an Engineers Ireland event on “Pavement Management for Regional and Local Roads – The 2018 Regional Road Pavement Condition Survey” in January 2020. I started working collaboratively with them, with PMS providing domain knowledge and data for my PhD research work “Assessing the Condition of Pavements (Road Surfaces) using Computer Vision & Machine Learning”. During my placement at PMS, I have acquired domain knowledge about civil infrastructure, how pavement inspection works and the process of acquiring data on different road networks across Ireland including the airport runways.
The advanced pavement data collection machines and software that process all the recorded videos/images, allows me to better understand the overall process of pavement assessment system. The whole process was very complex and interesting and at the same time motivates me to apply different machine learning techniques to improve the current pavement assessment process. By integrating the machine learning techniques to the current manual visual inspection process, we are developing the working towards a pavement inspection system for improving the performance and accuracy of manual visual inspection process. Such a system could be used to evaluate the recorded images/videos by automatically identifying the pavement defects. Moreover, I had an opportunity to learn about the most challenging aspects that associated with this task and needs to be solved with machine learning.
I am highly thankful to ML-Labs, and PMS. I am learning about the scope of pavement assessment process and incorporate my machine learning and computer vision skills in this field. I have successfully completed my placement on 1st March 2022 and will continue to work on future projects with PMS Ireland.