The US Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) has awarded a $320K research grant to Moss Department of Construction Management’s faculty. Dr. Leonel Lagos (CM Associate Professor) will lead a team of researchers including faculty from FIU’s Mechanical Engineering, Applied Research Center’s researchers and DOE’s Savannah River and Argonne National labs scientists. The research will develop a robotic remote system with plug‐and‐play interchangeable tools for inspection and repairs of DOE’s nuclear infrastructure. The grant was awarded by DOE’s Minority Serving Institutions Partnering Program (MSIPP). The research project will also support several undergraduate and graduate research assistants.


The proposed system will be able to automate routine inspections and repairs of the various type of facilities/structures, including pipelines, walls, floors, ceilings, pits, equipment, tunnels, and one-of-a-kind nuclear facilities. The system will be designed so that it is also capable of being deployed in emergency first response missions. Under this conditions, the system will be able to conduct reconnaissance, damage assessments, and in-situ damage control and repairs.


Dr. Lagos is also the Principal Investigator on a current two-years $520K MISPP research project aiming to develop a sensor package integrating LiDAR, 3D cameras, temperature and humidity sensors for the inspection and characterization of radioactive nuclear waste repository facilities. This research is being conducted in collaboration with Los Alamos National lab, Pacific Northwest National lab, the University of New Mexico, and the Applied Research Center engineers.