Ass. Prof. Yonas Zewdu Ayele
Faculty of Engineering
Østfold University College, Fredrikstad, Norway

Ass. Prof. Abbas Barabadi
Department of Engineering and Safety
UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway

Kamal Achuthan, Lecturer
Centre for Transport Studies
Dept. of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
University College London, London, UK

Dr. Davide Roverso
eSmart Systems AS, Halden, Norway


Session Description

Over the last decades, it has been evident that the society heavily relies on infrastructure systems to provide and maintain vital societal functions. Currently, Europe and the US are facing deteriorating roads, bridges, water/sewer and power grid systems, and are in a crucial need to upgrade their aging infrastructure. To ensure safety and operations of these critical infrastructures, regular inspection and maintenance of them are critical. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) technology, commonly referred to as drones, has found its way into a number of civilian applications in the last 20 years, predominantly due to lower cost and tangible scientific improvements.

This special session is aiming at sharing lessons learned from adapting a UAV-based inspection to reduce time and costs of bridge and power grid inspection and establish the research needs associated with the processing of the (big) and complex data produced by such autonomous technologies. It aims at providing a platform for collaboration between cross-disciplinary research institutes, active engagement of stakeholders, and end-users, which consequently create socio-economic impacts. This session thus seeks to establish an alliance between professional practitioners, researchers, engineers, and stakeholders to evaluate the state-of-the-art and adapt the UAV-based inspections for practical implementation considering stakeholder needs. The participants can contribute with abstracts, technical and opinion papers, and/or initiate or lead discussions. The following themes are encouraged, but not limited to:

  • Building on existing knowledge & carrying out UAV-based inspections:to explore existing successful implementations of the UAV-based inspections and challenges of their implementation
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) data management and analytics models and algorithms:to exploit the state-of-the-art AI deep/ machine learning techniques for processing and analysing UAV image data
  • Dynamic resilience assessment algorithms and frameworks: to scrutiny models and algorithms for assessing the resilience of bridges & power grids, based on UAV image segmentation
  • Decision support systems to optimize inspection & maintenance:to assess the risk holistically along with inventory, dynamic resilience and structural condition data based on new sets of UAV inspection data to optimise maintenance and inspection
  • Socio-economic impact assessment: to assess the concrete socio-economic impacts from applying advanced AI deep/ machine learning and autonomous UAV-based inspection systems

For more information, please, feel free to contact the session organizers.


New Abstract Submission Deadline : 30 January 2021

Contributions to the Special Session should only be submitted online at When filling the form don’t forget to select the name of the Special Session in the dropdown menu ‘Abstract Topic’.