Field Engineer 3.0: Inventory of promising techniques for automation and digitization

Bison code: L.28228

In the Field Engineer project we work towards an automated fieldwork process for the execution, assessment and reporting of environmental, geophysical and archaeological soil research. We do this in order to make this process more efficient, to absorb the outflow of experienced drill masters and to add new value to this fieldwork process.

In this process, we distinguish three coherent perspectives:

  1. Chain optimization – the business angle for process optimization. For the time being, we assume a chain that starts with ‘the need for a client to carry out environmental, archaeological and/or geotechnical (field) research to enable construction in the physical living environment’, and which ends with ‘delivering the result of this field research for decision-making on this building’.
  2. Technological perspective – the use of innovative techniques (automation, digitization and a.i.) in the existing chain.
  3. Knowledge and skills: preservation and development of explicit and implicit knowledge, impact on desired skills and knowledge of the professionals involved.

A number of things are important:

We consider the fieldwork to be a process chain in which the various parts must jointly lead to an optimally functioning chain. In addition, optimization of one part of the chain can lead to suboptimal functioning of the entire chain.

We consider development at two mutually reinforcing levels:

  1. An integral redesign of the chain from ‘need for (field) research up to and including delivering results/advice’, with which new working methods and values can be created in the work process.
  2. The development and integration of specific (innovative) working methods and technologies, which are part of this integral redesign and/or can improve the current process in specific areas. In this we work together with Antea Group, Lectoraat Mechatronica and University of Twente Department of Pervasive Systems.

In this assignment, students develop promising techniques for the automation and digitization of the current process. These techniques should focus both on the entire process, on the parts of the process and on the use of knowledge and skills of fieldworkers in it. On the basis of an initial inventory, the group/student elaborates a number of technologies concretely on feasibility.

Cluster: Remote Sensing and Soil Measurements 1