The Michigan Engineer News Center

Professors and alumnus receive ASCE Wellington Prize

Their winning paper seeks to enhance assisted navigation of wheeled mobility devices. | Short Read

Carol Menassa, Associate Professor and John L. Tishman CM Faculty Scholar of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Vineet Kamat, Professor and John L. Tishman CM Faculty Scholar of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Clive D’Souza, Assistant Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering; and Bharadwaj Mantha have been awarded the 2021 Arthur M. Wellington Prize by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The award recognizes outstanding papers on “transportation on land, on the water, in the air, or on foundations and closely-related subjects,” according to the ASCE website

The team’s winning paper, titled “Evaluation of Preference- and Constraint-Sensitive Path Planning for Assisted Navigation in Indoor Building Environments,” was published in the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering in January 2020, and identifies research gaps in indoor path planning of wheeled mobility devices. The team developed fundamental rules for the creation of an algorithm that can determine optimal paths for assisted navigation. 

Significantly, the team also integrated their findings into an interactive user interface, paving the way for increased independent mobility for people who rely on these technologies. Greater independence can enhance their quality of life, allowing for greater social inclusion and promoting self-esteem while reducing caregiver burden.

Mantha was the lead author on the paper, which he wrote while completing his PhD in Civil Engineering at U-M. He graduated in 2018 and is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Sharjah.

The award will be presented at ASCE’s Annual Convention, which will be held online from October 6-8, 2021. 

Jessica Petras

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Jessica Petras
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Researchers
  • Clive D’Souza

    Clive D’Souza

    Assistant Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering

  • Vineet Kamat

    Vineet Kamat

    Professor and John L. Tishman CM Faculty Scholar of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Carol Menassa

    Carol Menassa

    Associate Professor and John L. Tishman CM Faculty Scholar of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The outside of the Ford Robotics building

U-Michigan, Ford open world-class robotics complex

The facility will accelerate the future of advanced and more equitable robotics and mobility | Medium Read