Honors Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-4-2020

Document Type



Hall, Lucas and Mark Nail. Material Tracking System. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2020.


Copyright Lucas Hall, Mark Nail 2020.


The solution was a full stack system that would allow construction workers to more easily find their materials. The hardware for the system involved “tags” which are small devices that are fixed to construction material. These devices communicate over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to “masters”, other small devices that are distributed throughout the laydown yard such that the entire laydown yard is within the BLE communication range. These masters are Internet of Things (IoT) devices that send MQTT messages over Wi-Fi to Azure IoT Hub. The content of these messages includes GPS coordinates and the nearby tags. From there, the messages are processed by our C# application and rendered on the front end. The application also has a database for persisting information between updates received. The application can also send messages through IoT Hub down to masters. To use this application, masters are associated with a “site” when activated and all data from that master will be associated with that construction site. Then, individual tags are activated and registered with the material that they are attached to. Material can then be moved freely about the laydown yard until needed. When workers want to find material, they search for it on the application to find the GPS location of the nearest master. After that, they can press a button on the application to make the tag on their material beep, which will get them the last 20-30 feet. Once they collect their material, they can remove the attached tag and place it in a bin for later reuse.