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Kevin Han

Associate Professor & Edward I. Weisiger Distinguished Scholar

Fitts-Woolard Hall 3351


Dr. Kevin Han is an associate professor and Edward I. Weisiger Distinguished Scholar in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Construction Engineering and Management emphasis) and Master of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a MS in Civil Engineering (Construction Engineering and Management emphasis) and a BA in Architecture/Minor in Structural Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

Prior to joining NC State, Dr. Han was a founding member and Lead Construction Management Engineer at a startup called Reconstruct that provides a web-based visual platform that continuously reconstructs and visualizes Reality directly within 4D Building Information Modeling (BIM), measures progress and productivity, and analyzes risk for delay.

Dr. Han’s research focuses on creating and validating new computer vision and machine learning analytics that leverage emerging and often already existing visual data (images, videos, and point cloud data) and BIM for effective construction project controls, enhancing site-to-office and office-to-site communications, safety and hazard recognition, and safety training and monitoring. He is particularly interested in new modalities of information and user interaction, including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Augmented Virtuality. Other areas of interest include robotics for automating management of civil infrastructure systems (subtopics to include autonomous navigation for data collection and analytics) and project-based learning for STEM education.

He teaches BIM in Construction, Mechanical and Electrical Systems for Buildings, Visual Sensing for Civil Infrastructure Engineering and Management and Design of a Robotic Computer Vision System for Autonomous Navigation.

More information about his research group, Construction Automation and Robotics Lab (CARL) can be found here:


Ph.D. Civil Engineering University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 2016

M.C.S. Computer Science University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 2015

M.S. Civil Engineering University of California, Berkeley 2012

B.A. Architecture/Minor in Structural Engineering University of California, Berkeley 2010


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Date: 10/01/20 - 9/30/24
Amount: $199,999.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Due to the nature of Civil Engineering problems, students have had limited hands-on experiences in classrooms (e.g., learning concepts of structural behaviors of a bridge on a piece of paper if not on a computer screen). The proposed work aims to bring real-world problems in Civil Engineering into classrooms. The main goal of this proposal is to validate the proposed interactive learning tools that promote physical interaction among students and instructors can improve students?????????????????? understanding of Civil Engineering concepts. Moreover, there are no traditional courses in Civil Engineering that introduces emerging technologies to undergraduate students and students simply have limited chances to learn about them, according to the research team??????????????????s observation at their three institutions ?????????????????? North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Texas A&M. Increasing engagement and interaction through emerging technologies in classes has a significant potential to address such educational challenges and prepare our future Civil Engineers for the emerging and non-traditional Civil Engineering career opportunities, in addition to the traditional opportunities. The proposed work is driven by the hypotheses that 1) undergraduate students will better understand Civil Engineering concepts through physical interactions that provide engaged student learning, and 2) they will be better prepared for leveraging advanced technologies that will shape their field of Civil Engineering in their near future. The research team foresees the potential for increasing awareness and interest in Civil Engineering among freshman engineering students before declaring their majors, which will help them make informed career decisions. The proposed work focuses on developing and evaluating two Student-centric Cyber-Physical Systems (SCPS) research prototypes and implementing them in one Engineering and four Civil Engineering undergraduate courses at various levels ?????????????????? freshmen to senior. Two Civil Engineering concepts of structural engineering and building science will be taught in these five undergraduate courses.

Date: 08/15/21 - 7/31/24
Amount: $332,184.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Recent policy documents for graduate STEM education note that engineering programs do not adequately help students develop abilities to work in collaborative and team settings, to communicate to diverse audiences, and to deal with diverse opinions, ideas, and backgrounds. Additionally, the emergence of new fields at the interface of two or more disciplines requires a workforce with the ability to work collaboratively with people from different disciplines. Moreover, most engineering problems in the field involve multiple heterogeneous teams working on subsystems that need to be integrated as a working system. Students need to learn how to work within and across teams - and disciplines. In this project we seek to improve graduate engineering education by studying students?????????????????? interactions and learning within and across collaborative groups, when integrating into professional engineering endeavors, and when engaged in interdisciplinary projects, in order to identify promising approaches, identify obstacles, and generate theory for the effective preparation for the workforce of graduate engineering students. We are guided by the theoretical framework of communities of practice (CoP), which has a strong emphasis on collaboration, diverse groups and audiences, and the need to communicate across disciplinary and cultural backgrounds. The CoP framework also provides mechanisms for the enculturation of novices into disciplinary groups, as well as for the dissemination of ideas across such groups. We have selected three courses from three different departments to foster and study this CoP approach. The selected classes afford CoP-guided studies of different grain sizes, using diverse concepts from the CoP framework, and in a variety of disciplines. Through this approach that involves various settings and granularities, we seek to develop a broader view of CoPs in engineering that can build theory for this field and guide implementation across subfields of engineering education.

Date: 08/16/21 - 6/30/24
Amount: $1,200,006.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Energy (DOE)

A DT-DAP (Digital Twin Development and Assessment Process) methodology has been formulated at NCSU in the ARPA-E sponsored project. DT-DAP can be very effective in guiding the design, training, testing, and application of DTs to improve effectiveness, accuracy and acceptance of system design and safety analysis.

Date: 04/05/23 - 5/31/24
Amount: $99,999.00
Funding Agencies: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.

In recent years, there is an increasing interest in the nuclear industry to focus on identifying tools, methods and opportunities to optimize construction activities and reduce costs of operation and maintenace. One of the promising tools is the use of digital twins. A digital twin is a continuously updated representation of an actual structure as it degrades. It uses the observations from maintenance and sensor data as input to continuously update the simulation and data-driven models while considering the effect of uncertainties. There is a need for more demonstrations of digital twins use cases to open the door for more nuclear industry applications. Conduct an exploratory project to demonstrate the various steps needed in the development of a digital twin on a piping system and to develop a computational framework for assessing degradation mechanisms. To achieve the high level objective, the contractor will build a piping system consists of individual pieces of pipes, elbows and flanges. The details of the piping system will be discussed with the EPRI project manager (PM).

Date: 01/01/22 - 12/31/23
Amount: $171,702.00
Funding Agencies: NCSU Center for Nuclear Energy Facilities and Structures (CNEFS)

There have been and will continue to be rapid advances in 3D scanning and augmented/virtual reality technologies to improve construction costs and schedules, especially in the nuclear energy industry that has suffered from construction cost escalation and delays. A key challenge faced in the implementation of these modern technologies relates to changes needed in the regulatory practice and approvals. It is vital for regulatory agencies like USNRC to understand the fundamental basis of these technologies and characterize the accuracy and consistency in them. This project is aimed at conducting the research needed to support this effort which would eventually be needed in the near future. More specifically, it is proposed to: (i) characterize technical specifications and the associated parameters that govern the accuracy of virtual inspections, and (ii) identify items at a construction or manufacturing site that are conducive to virtual inspections and the items that are not.

Date: 01/01/21 - 8/14/23
Amount: $224,005.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The purpose of this research is to assist the NCDOT Traffic Management Unit (TMU) and the Value Management Office (VMO) in assessing issues regarding the construction of Diverse, Modern, and Unconventional Intersections and Interchanges (DMUII). Assessing the constructability of these emerging DMUII is a new area of study that has not yet been previously explored. Therefore, this research will identify factors affecting construction projects prior to construction and develop a schedule and cost payout model (based on prior NCDOT projects) that identifies problems related to expenditure, schedule, and obstruction of traffic during construction.

Date: 09/17/18 - 8/15/22
Amount: $1,013,498.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Energy (DOE)

Huge escalations in overnight construction costs and schedule delays have rendered nuclear energy commercially unattractive. Much of the research and development has focused on developing new reactor designs with accident tolerant fuels and passive safety systems intended to reduce operating and lifecycle costs. There has been little to no investment in research on nuclear construction management. Moreover, Hopf [1] argues that the primary reasons for construction cost escalation and schedule delays are related to: (i) extremely stringent nuclear safety and quality assurance standards, (ii) inexperience in managing and staffing to nuclear QA standards, (iii) excessive paperwork, and (iv) supply chain delays due to rework. To ensure the success of implementation and deployment of a new reactor (i.e., Versatile Test Reactor (VTR)), design, construction, and testing processes should be integrated. Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) using Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been proven to be a solution that bridges gap between design and construction [cite]. Furthermore, it has been used as a project control tool [cite]. BIM as a central hub of digital data exchange can bring different experts (i.e., engineers with different disciplines and contractors who build and manage construction projects) virtually together. All stakeholders have a shared resources of knowledge to help identify and minimize risk during design, construction, and operation and maintenance phases [cite]. This proposal proposes to investigate and help INL better understand the capabilities of BIM that can support the integration of design, construction, and testing of the VTR. Furthermore, the research team will pick one of the analysis (i.e., pipe stress) and develop a software/plug-in that produces 2D/3D models that can be directed imported by the analysis tool.

Date: 12/23/20 - 6/23/22
Amount: $20,000.00
Funding Agencies: National Academy of Sciences

Document the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) by state DOTs during construction. Information to be gathered includes, but is not limited to current use of UAS by state DOTs, how DOTs procure UAS application services (e.g., DOT staff or outsourcing), identification of potential obstacles of UAS applications by state DOTs (e.g., legal implications, technical expertise, and training). Information will be collected through literature review, a survey of DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.

Date: 08/01/19 - 10/31/21
Amount: $241,229.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Recent advances in small unmanned aerial systems (UASs) and sensing technologies have enabled relatively low cost and effective surveying methods for preconstruction, construction, and slope sites. However, the commercial software that accompanies these technologies produces inconsistent and unreliable survey results and there are no guidelines for ensuring the quality of the data. Without proper guidelines and specifications, repeated surveying at a designated area over time (e.g., construction site with periodic data collection) is not ideal.

Date: 07/12/19 - 8/31/21
Amount: $9,000.00
Funding Agencies: Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)

The effort will focus on developing an educational case study that focuses on construction safety challenges. The case study will be designed for use by university professors in construction programs and contractors for professional training and educational purposes.

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