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SAEA Members in the civil and structural engineering profession have expressed interest in the development and use of unmanned or uncrewed aerial system technologies, and how they are shaping our built environment. Several members are also engaged in the mechanical and electronic systems of drones via graduate research or current employment

They engaged with an ASCE Interchange Live featuring Blaine Wruck, a transportation engineer for Deschutes County, Oregon, who specializes in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Wruck recommends the use of UAS to improve the efficiency and safety of existing operations such as bridge and pavement condition surveys on busy roads and highways. Numerous applications also exist for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in damage surveying and reconnaissance missions conducted post-disaster. After the recent earthquake in Syria UAVs served as a second set of eyes to expedite the determination of the condition of buildings and structures that are difficult to access to are unsafe to reach.

During Earthquake Response Task Force meetings, SAEA members discussed their experiences with drones across the various engineering profession, academia, and government sectors and debated more ways of implementing the technology today.