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Institute of Geotechnology

Aerial view of construction on UT campus taken from IoG drone.

Drone-Based Engineering Services

Institute of Geotechnology drone on landing pad.The UT Institute of Geotechnology (IoG) offers drone-based engineering services for engineering companies all over East Tennessee. IoG is uniquely positioned in the region to provide industry partners with these services thanks to the combination of years of experience with state-of-the-art equipment.

The institute’s two drones are equipped with excellent payload capabilities that are adaptable to the individual needs of each new project and can be used in many applications, such as:

Geological and Geotechnical

  • Identify orientation of rock fractures for the design of safe underground openings
  • 3D modeling for geological structures
  • Slope failure monitoring
  • Surveying


  • Progress tracking by aligning UAV-acquired point cloud with BIM model
  • Volumetric measurements for quantity take-off

Search and Rescue Missions

Post-Disaster Assessment


  • Building, façade & structural inspection
  • Utility inspection
  • Bridge Inspection

Institute Faculty Members

Khalid Alshibli


Khalid Alshibli

Director of the UT Institute of Geotechnology and Professor Khalid Alshibli is the associate department head for graduate programs and coordinator for the Geotechnical and Materials Group within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Alshibli has directed many engineering and research projects including a redesign of the levee system in southern Louisiana after hurricane Katrina. He is a registered professional engineer in Tennessee and Louisiana.

Shuai Li

Assistant Professor

Shuai Li

Assistant Professor Shuai Li has developed computer vision techniques for inspecting bridges, highway, and buildings, and measuring construction progress. He is interested in integrating drones, computer vision techniques, and building information modeling for 3D survey and inspection.

Get in touch to discuss how IoG can assist your organization’s needs:

Khalid Alshibli, PhD, PE