e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

ESF Student Wins at COINS Grand Challenge

Award recognizes innovation in construction management

William "Liam" Byrne, a freshman at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) won an award for innovation at the Construction Industry Solutions (COINS) Grand Challenge.

Byrne received the COINS Software Innovation Award, a special discretionary award for the most promising software-related submission in the Grand Challenge. He will receive a three-month internship with COINS research and development to further develop his idea. The award also included an all-expenses-paid trip to San Antonio, Texas, for the awards ceremony earlier this month.

His award-winning paper titled Integration of Artificial and Mechanical Intelligence to Prevent Onsite Injuries was based on how new technologies could be used in the construction industry. Byrne examined how drones, motion sensors and robots would lower injuries on the construction site as well as improve efficiency on job sites.

"Overall the idea came from knowledge gained in my first year of college," said Byrne. "As a freshman I didn't have a huge background in construction but between classes I took with Paul Crovella and Dr. Mohamed ElZomor I learned safety is an important issue in the construction industry. I paired that with my basic knowledge of which technologies I thought would be most impactful to the industry."

The paper was submitted through ElZomor's course CME 215_Sustainable Construction.

The COINS Grand Challenge is a global competition to uncover innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders with ideas that can improve the built environment.