Hello and welcome to my personal research webpage! I am Nicholas Charron, a PhD student at the University of Waterloo. I am pursuing a joint PhD degree in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering (MME). In CEE, I am working as a member of Structural Dynamics, Control and Identification (SDIC) Lab, lead by Professor Sriram Narasimhan. In MME, I am working in the Waterloo Autonomous Vehicles (WAVE) Lab lead by Professor Steven Waslander. I completed my Bachelor's of Applied Science at the University of Waterloo (2016) in Civil Engineering with a certificate in structural engineering.

Research Interests

My broad research interests lay in using robotics for common civil engineering tasks. Some of the most promissng areas in civil engineering that could greatly benefit from robotics technologies include inspection and health monitoring, construction progress and quality control monitoring, as well as structure decommissioning and demolition. My research is focusing on how we can use current robotics technologies to perform these tasks and how we need to implement and alter these mechatronics algorithms to work well in specific civil infrastructure environments.

The first and current stage of my research involves implementing state-of-the-art 3D mapping algorithms including Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) using computer vision, lasers, inertial measurement units and other sensors. The overall goal is to develop a cost effective solution to achieve millimetre level 3D mapping accuracy using inexpensive robotics platforms and sensors. Other research has been performed pertaining to autonomous detection of specific defects common to civil structures including cracks, spalling, and delamination of concrete as well as corrosion of steel and large deformations. The use of aerial vehicles to perform these tasks has also been assessed and will be considered and tested throughout the remainder of my research.

Personal Interests

  • Skiing
  • Golfing
  • Motocross
  • Fishing
  • Rock Climbing