Current Projects

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What is rideVIA?
The rideVIA mobility network is a project that connects the end-user with transportation options in the area. It is being developed as a solution to remove the inefficiencies in urban transport that arise from lack of information. The purpose of rideVIA is to make it easier for people to gain access to real-time, multi-modal information.

How does it work?
We are working with service operators to make sure the required information is being generated, we are developing backend database solutions that allow for organization of data as well as easy access, and we are also working on front-end applications that will present information to the user on multiple platforms.

Design of transportation systems has become an increasingly important topic as cities grow and the global demand for mobility increases.  Unlike traditional engineering projects, a transportation network is composed of multiple interacting layers, each complex enough to be a system in their own right.  The goal of this project is to create a model that helps manage this complexity, and describes the structural and functional relationships between elements of an urban mobility network.  The resulting framework will accurately calculate key network statistics, such as emissions output and system capacity.  In addition, the project aims to make the model as reusable as possible, in order to extend its potential scope.  SysML, a standardized systems modeling language, is being used to facilitate model construction and validation.   The Atlanta metropolitan area is serving as an initial case study.

In order to provide widespread and public access to the urban mobility network structure under development, a physical interface must be developed to allow anyone to tap into this resource.  The solar kiosk is a hardware platform specific to this need, allowing users to utilize the web based mobility network through visual feedback, haptic input, and a wireless internet connection.  The hardware system is powered solely by renewable solar energy coupled to a battery system and appropriate charger.  The platform utilizes the latest in low power microprocessor technology and touch-based interface strategies.  Two prototypes are being developed simultaneously - an aesthetic model designed to explore the implementation of such hardware into the public environment, and a research model designed to be robust and adaptable.

As more and more people start moving to live in urban agglomerations, mobility in these 'mega-cities' is already becoming a major issue. Even worse, lack of sustainable mobility options is leading to environmental concerns, social inequity and energy shortages. The concept of 'hub networks' for mobility approaches this problem by taking a holistic view of urban transportation, i.e., considering all modes of transportation, local demographics, urban planning, as well as effects of technology as one large system. 'Hubs', in this context, are intersections of multiple mobility options, as well as other facilities, at a high-tech, single location. Though promising, this alternative still needs to be researched to find out what impact it might have, and what metrics might be a good way to measure them.

Earth’s richness of life, of which humanity is a part, is increasingly under threat from its activities. As part of the response, the environmentally conscious attempt to engineer products, processes and systems that interact harmoniously with the living world. Current environmental design guidance draws upon a wealth of experiences with the products of engineering that damaged humanity’s environment. Efforts to create such guidelines inductively attempt to tease right action from examination of past mistakes. However, the environmentally conscious engineering design community overlooked a fundamentally different approach to the creation of such guidance. A complex, multi-scale, inherently sustainable system worth benchmarking rests at humankind’s doorstep.

Leasing services rather than purchasing products is becoming more and more commonplace in today’s markets and industries. Leasing appeals to businesses because of the flexibility and accounting advantages it offers, and protects businesses from changes such as technical obsolescence. However, recent debate has arisen as to the possible environmental benefits that result from the growing use of leases. With leasing, ownership of a product remains with the lessor, making them responsible for disposal.

The environmental impact of consumer goods is becoming a growing concern in the modern world. With the increasing awareness of our daily impact and our effects on such crises as global warming, there has been a recent push to develop improved environmental strategies and new industries focused on sustainability and the recycling of a variety of post-consumer goods. In other words, there is a shift towards turning waste into money in the name of the environment. Urban regions provide the perfect setting for such development. The concentration of post-consumer waste makes the mining of recyclable materials economical and the availability of labor needed to support the emerging sustainable industries sets the stage for social, economic and environmental benefits.

Design for Environment (DfE) is rapidly gaining importance as a vital component of the design processes in various industries. However, there is still room to push environmental consciousness upstream in the design cycle towards the designer. Simultaneously, standards for environmentally responsible design are rapidly changing with the developments in sustainable development technologies. Given the near universal adoption and maturity of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software in the market today, the prospect of integrating flexible sustainable design tools with CAD software packages promises a more efficient design cycle in terms of cost, effort, time and eco-friendliness.