‘MTSU On the Record’ flies over construction sites...

‘MTSU On the Record’ flies over construction sites to check stormwater runoff

The use of drones to inspect construction sites for stormwater runoff prevention practices was the subject of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program. 

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Blake Whitman, an assistant professor in the School of Concrete and Construction Management, first aired July 20 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and

Dr. Blake Whitman, assistant professor, School of Concrete and Construction Management

Dr. Blake Whitman

Gina K. Logue, MTSU News and Media Relations specialist

Gina K. Logue

You can listen to their conversation via the Soundcloud podcast link above.

Whitman is the co-author of a study in which 18 unmanned aerial systems flights were conducted between March and October 2019 by remote pilots certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Each flight reached an altitude of about 200 feet, and the flights captured more than 700 images of a site where construction was in progress.

While the drones were not intended as replacements for on-site, ground-level inspections by humans, Whitman and his colleagues found them to be tools that could improve the inspections by collecting more specific and accurate data.

“It’s been used in the past mainly to count cars at intersections,” Whitman said. “We took this particular algorithm and said, ‘Let’s apply it to pictures that we take of construction sites.’ We make these giant mosaics. Essentially, we take a lot of little pictures, tie them all together and make this giant picture.”MTSU School of Concrete and Construction Management logo

The study was published in April 2021 in the academic journal Sensors.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.