Press Release: Carnegie Mellon's Burcu Akinci and Bruno Sinopoli Tapped To Head Pennsylvania Smarter Infrastructure Incubator-Carnegie Mellon News - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon's Burcu Akinci and Bruno Sinopoli Tapped To Head Pennsylvania Smarter Infrastructure Incubator

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 / swaney@andrew.cmu.edu

SinopoliAkincPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University researchers are working to make cities and businesses more intelligent.

As new co-directors of the Pennsylvania Smarter Infrastructure Incubator (PSII), an interdisciplinary research lab at CMU, Burcu Akinci and Bruno Sinopoli are fostering the creation of technologies to help cities, government and industries worldwide develop smarter infrastructures.

"I am very pleased that professors Akinci and Sinopoli have agreed to co-lead the PSII. They are well known and highly regarded for their respective research activity related to smarter infrastructure. Together, they will bring exciting new ideas and research programs to the PSII. They will also continue the excellent PSII tradition of cooperation among the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) and many other departments in the College of Engineering and other colleges," said James H. Garrett, Jr., dean of CMU's College of Engineering and the Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

"We plan to explore joint research in a variety of critical technology areas to enable more efficiently and effectively managed and sustainable civil infrastructure," said Akinci, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at CMU whose work focuses on leveraging information models and a variety of sensors to streamline construction and facility/infrastructure-management practices.

Sinopoli, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at CMU, develops tools for securing and controlling cyber-physical systems.

"We want to improve the robustness and security of critical infrastructures. But to do this, we also need to improve the reliability, efficiency and integration of information and communication technologies so critical to developing performance indices," Sinopoli said. 

The PSII, located within CMU's top-ranked College of Engineering, is a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania-supported economic development initiative developed to advance infrastructure technology in partnership with industry and the state. Both IBM and Bombardier were founding partners in 2010.

Akinci and Sinopoli report that government agencies at the municipal, city, state and federal level along with businesses from diverse industry sectors will be invited to partner with the PSII.

"Our goal is to develop interdisciplinary research to help better manage critical infrastructures such as buildings, power, water, gas, transportation systems and other physical structures," Sinopoli said.

The world's trillion-dollar network of rails, roads, bridges, buildings, water distribution systems and power networks have varying amounts of automated management and monitoring, but the CMU research collaboration is designed to improve these critical emerging technologies and train a new generation of employees who have the multidisciplinary perspective and skillsets to design and operate them.

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As new co-directors of the Pennsylvania Smarter Infrastructure Incubator (PSII), an interdisciplinary research lab at CMU, Burcu Akinci and Bruno Sinopoli (pictured above, l-r) are fostering the creation of technologies to help cities, government and industries worldwide develop smarter infrastructures.