CCEE Professor Kevin Han tapped for Daniel W. Halpin Award for Scholarship in Construction 

Kevin Han

CCEE Professor and Edward I. Weisiger Distinguished Scholar Kevin Han won the 2024 Daniel W. Halpin Award for Scholarship in Construction from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE)  Construction Institute (CI). The award will be presented at the 2024 CI and Construction Research Congress (CRC) Joint Conference on March 22 in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Daniel W. Halpin Award for Scholarship in Construction was established to recognize individuals with outstanding scholarship that advances construction engineering as a science. It was named in honor of Dr. Daniel W. Halpin, a distinguished member of ASCE, who is recognized as one of the leading authorities in the world on the use of simulation in studying construction processes.

Han was selected for his  “innovative contribution to advances in construction automation and robotics, teaching innovations and services to the academic community,” according to a letter from ASCE.  

“This is the most prestigious award I can get as a construction researcher at my career level, and I am very honored to receive one,” Han said. “I still remember the first Construction Research Congress I attended in 2014 and the awardee of the Halpin award giving a presentation of his research. I never thought I would be receiving the same award 10 years later.”

Han, who received his Ph.D. in civil engineering (construction engineering and management emphasis) and Master of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, first joined CCEE in 2016 as an assistant professor and received tenure in 2022. His 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 building information monitoring (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, and robotics for automating management of civil infrastructure systems (subtopics to include autonomous navigation for data collection and analytics). He has published 31 journal papers and 49 conference papers.

“Kevin has been making important scholarly contributions to construction automation through advances in robotics, computer vision, and building information modeling,”  said E.I. Clancy Distinguished Professor Edward J. Jaselskis in a nomination letter. “He has secured over $6.6 million in research grants, $4 million of which as the leading principal investigator. In addition, he is an innovator who brings his technology to the market. He has three patents and was actively involved in founding two startups that branched out of his research. His work has been recognized through various awards and top journal publications.”

Han also has an interest in 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.

“Kevin brings innovations to construction education,” Jaselskis said. “He has National Science Foundation projects on developing, implementing and assessing new approaches and tools to teach construction students. Kevin and his students are always actively engaged with K-12 visitors coming to the university, showing off cool welding robots and autonomous vehicles. He always hosts high school interns over the summer to give them a headstart on research experience.”

Learn more about Han’s research and background here.