New (and Unreachable) Heights: Making Room for Drones in JBCI’s Toolbox
Whether you are looking for aerial photographs, updated construction surveys, a closer view of facade damage or a forensic determination for safety, a drone is your best bet!
Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Systems (aka UAVs aka Drones) continues to be a hot topic for engineers and designers. “Drones have become an integral part of our work; allowing us to see more facade and building exterior from the ground. This saves not only money, but time.” says Diane Goschler, EIT, JBCI Sr. Project Manager.
JBCI is utilizing drones for exterior surveys, inspections and forensic engineering projects. This includes areas that are too dangerous for humans or structures where rigging can be difficult or impossible. Two of our engineers, Michael Salera, PE and Tyler Logar, EIT renewed their Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating this summer allowing them to fly small unmanned aircraft. Mike and Tyler surveyed Princeton University’s Carnegie Lake Dam where we carried out a full restoration using our newest drone – a Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. We currently have three licensed pilots on staff.
“It’s exciting to spearhead the use of new technology at our company,” says Mike. “It is an important step for us to add yet another tool to help our clients.” Mike first brought his interest in drones to a team meeting when staff was asked to suggest technologies for the firm to invest in. Drones were not the only investment JBCI made that came out of that meeting. The staff decided to invest significantly in new printing software and hardware and purchase a fleet of new tablets to make field reporting easier.
“I was only here for a few months and I was supported by the team to go after this certification,” says Tyler. “There were some mentions of drone usage in school but now that I am in the field, I understand why this technology can be extremely helpful in certain situations.”
JBCI plans to support the certification for all members of the engineering department so drones become as incorporated into site visits as our tablets.