Colloquium with Behrokh Khoshnevis
Colloquium with Behrokh Khoshnevis
Monday, January 26, 2009 | 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Pattie Maes

The nature of construction has remained intensely manual throughout recorded history. Unlike in manufacturing, the growth of automation in construction has been slow. A promising new automation approach is Contour Crafting (CC). Invented by Behrokh Khoshnevis, Contour Crafting is a mega-scale fabrication process aiming at automated construction of whole structures as well as subcomponents. The potential of CC became evident from investigations and experiments with materials and geometries. Using this process, a single house or a colony of houses may be constructed automatically in a single run with all plumbing and electrical utilities imbedded in each house; yet each could be a different design. The implication is especially profound for emergency shelter construction and low income housing. NASA is exploring possible application of CC in building on other planets. This new mode of construction will be one of the very few feasible approaches for building on planets such as Moon and Mars, which are being targeted for human colonization before the end of the century. CC has received international attention and could soon revolutionize the construction industry.

Behrokh Khoshnevis is a professor of industrial & systems engineering and civil & environmental engineering, director of the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies (CRAFT), and director of the manufacturing engineering graduate program at USC. He is active in CAD/CAM, robotics and mechatronics related research projects that include the development of novel solid free form, or rapid prototyping, processes (Contour Crafting and SIS), automated construction of civil structures, development of mechatronics systems for biomedical applications (e.g., restorative dentistry, rehabilitation engineering, haptics devices for medical applications), and autonomous mobile and modular robots for assembly applications on earth and in space. He routinely conducts lectures and seminars on invention and technology development. He is a fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the Society for Computer Simulation, and a senior member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineering. His inventions have received extensive worldwide publicity in acclaimed international media and have been the subjects of numerous radio and television programs. The automated construction invention, Contour Crafting, was selected in 2006 as one of top 25 best inventions from more than 4000 candidate inventions by the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the History Channel's Modern Marvels program.