The Michigan Engineer News Center

Talking trash in Jakarta

CEE graduate student Frank Sedlar has developed a system combining time lapse cameras and computer vision algorithms in order to better understand how the complex urban environment clashes with its powerful natural forces.| Short Read
Known for its susceptibility to quick and severe flooding, the rivers of Jakarta, Indonesia also suffer from an excess of trash dumping.

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Known for its susceptibility to quick and severe flooding, the rivers of Jakarta, Indonesia also suffer from an excess of trash dumping. This trash dumping, in turn, clogs flood canals and reservoirs causing even more devastating floods. Michigan engineering graduate student Frank Sedlar has developed a system combining time lapse cameras and computer vision algorithms similar to the ones used by cell phone cameras to detect faces in order to better understand how the complex urban environment clashes with its powerful natural forces.

About the expert

Frank Sedlar is a masters student in civil engineer studying the convergence of the world’s urban population with the effects of climate change, particularly flooding, in megacities around the world. Specifically his work focuses on building the tools necessary to understand both the technical and societal responses of these complex urban systems. These instruments include developing camera systems to track garbage in flood canals , designing and prototyping emergency flood shelters and using drones to map informal, flood prone settlements. He has presented this research internationally through invited talks and gallery exhibits to audiences ranging from the urban poor in the slums of Jakarta to the World Bank. Frank is a recently named Fulbright Fellow to Indonesia where he will work with PetaJakarta.org and the DKI Jakarta government to coordinate an Urban Drone Research Program. Frank is a current Foreign Language Area Studies Fellow at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and a soon to be masters graduate of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, both at the University of Michigan. Frank was recently awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Indonesia.

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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

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