22 June 2020

Industry

Read Time 2 mins

Shortlist Spotlight: Construction Soil Test Technology

Chathurangi Edussuriya was a final year student at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka when she won the 2019 COINS Grand Challenge Undergraduate Competition and COINS Innovation Prize. Find out more about her winning idea for a cost saving new construction technology...

Tell us more about your idea.
My idea for the COINS Grand Challenge is a site-based soil test for construction. Often during construction projects you are required to perform soil tests. Usually these are performed in laboratories, so I came up with an idea where you can perform the soil test directly at the construction site, instead having to send the sample to a laboratory for testing.

How will it make a difference?
For this let me give an example. Let's assume the construction is a road. If the road is 100 kilometres long, altogether it's like 10,000 tests which they have to perform if they spend something like $50 for one test then this would amount to more than $400,000 just for the testing. But with the method that I'm proposing all this money could be saved – this would also save time.

What is unique about your idea?
The most unique thing about my idea is there's no system to perform soil tests at the construction locations this way at the moment.

What inspired you?
My idea is based on the research which is conducted in the Geotechnical Engineering Department in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, in my own city. The research is about finding correlations between soil resistivity and the other types of soil parameters. So, I found out about this research and with my knowledge in computer engineering, I devised a method of how to apply this in a manner which could be very useful for the construction industry.

What is your experience in this field?
As a final year student in Computer Engineering I understand software engineering and hardware engineering. My university is believed to be the best in this engineering field and within my first year we learnt the basics about civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering.

How will your construction technology be implemented?
I have built a prototype to check whether this actually works, which I then cross-checked the results that I obtained with the actual laboratory results, and I'm happy to say the results that I obtained are extremely accurate.

Why did you enter the COINS Grand Challenge?
I entered the COINS Grand Challenge because I think that it is the ideal platform for me to show the great idea that I have to the world.

Could your idea be a winner?  Entries are now open for the 2020 COINS Grand Challenge - visit coins-grandchallenge.com

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