Carnegie Mellon University
April 21, 2017

Pozzi Earns NSF CAREER Award To Help Optimize Data Collection from Sensors

By Adam Dove

Matteo Pozzi

Matteo Pozzi sees great potential in sensors and robotic technology that collect data to help inform decision-making. The National Science Foundation sees great potential in him.

The NSF has given the associate professor of civil and environmental engineering a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award to suggest strategies that are optimal for collecting information and for taking actions. The CAREER Award is one of the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research and education.

Through integrating models and computational approaches, Pozzi said he hopes to optimize infrastructure operation and maintenance, and the continued collection of information.

“Because we are managing such limited resources, data collection and this process of learning about the infrastructure, must be optimized,” he said, proposing that algorithms could offer guidance on where and when to add more sensors, schedule inspections or conduct strategic testing.

“Managers also have to compare the benefits of collecting information with the benefits of repairing various components, where each choice is expensive,” he said.

As Pozzi establishes and refines his algorithms, he also will develop methods to teach infrastructure planning and analysis. Partnering with CMU’s Summer Engineering Experience for Girls program, Pozzi plans to build a simulation game in which students act as virtual infrastructure managers who must develop, test and revise decision-making strategies in the face of persistent risk and uncertainty.

“I'm excited because it's an expansive, long-term project that allows me to investigate topics I am passionate about, to educate students and to form a path in the direction in which I want to research and teach,” he said.