Ecological Inspired Design Applied to the Steel Industry
NSF Sponsored Project · Chinese and US researchers
This U.S. – China project will create a systems-based approach to reducing environmental impacts of manufacturing. The approach will be centered on design and operation of eco-industrial parks (EIPs). The methods to be developed focus on systems-based modeling and analysis in order to understand and manage the complexity of sustainable manufacturing. The general approach is relevant to a wide variety of problems at different industrial scales. Thus, this research can help develop methods and approaches useful in many applications and both the U.S. and China will benefit from the expected findings in developing more sustainable economies. The U.S.- China research team will develop this systems-based approach with tools from plant to market scale in order to (a) improve the sustainability of manufacturing and (b) understand interactions across scales to identify synergies and constraints that affect the ability to enhance sustainability in production of manufactured products.
Participatory Modeling of Complex Urban Infrastructure Systems (Model Urban SysTems)
NSF Sponsored Multi-disciplinary Project
The fitness and function of infrastructure in urban areas (particularly infrastructure for water, energy, and transportation) is critically important for the survival, sustainability, resilience, and success of cities. But because infrastructure systems generally are viewed as independent from each other, we often fail to recognize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the interactions and interrelations between systems. This balkanization is compounded by cities’ histories of centralized infrastructure creation and control that has led to fewer, but bigger, disconnected systems that have proven to be susceptible to failure, and may be unsustainable moving forward. The central hypothesis of this project is that interconnected and decentralized infrastructure systems are more resilient than isolated and centralized infrastructure by increasing response diversity. A secondary hypothesis is that decentralized infrastructure systems are more scalable and adaptable to change. The means to assess these hypotheses, however, are not readily available. While metrics and models exist to evaluate the subsystems, there is no way to consider their performance and function working together as a whole and in the context of social, behavioral, and economic decision making (SBEDM). This project will create that capability and then use it to develop the necessary comprehensive understanding of the resilience of centralized versus decentralized water, energy, and transportation (WET) systems at the metropolitan city and community level using Atlanta, GA as a test bed.
2 Years of research · 4 Industry Partners
What would you say if I told you it was possible to determine how much time the average individual in your city wastes looking for parking? How does your city stack up against the rest? We analyzed the top 15 densest cities in the U.S. to see the potential sustainability (and sanity) improvements that new technology can provide.
This project looked to the Honey Bee for answers about instinctive decision making. In particular, what people subconsciously decide when confronted with a full parking lot when commuting to a destination.
The algorithm mimics a forging strategy employed by honey bees to find the best solution to an optimization problem. Each candidate solution (parking lot) is thought of as a food source, and the population (all cars) of n-agents (our study’s cars of interest) is used to search the solution space. The main idea of this study is to analyze “dumb” searches for parking (what all cars do now), to “smart” parking scenarios (using cloud-based crowd sourcing). Technological solutions aside, success for this project is to determine the market penetration of these “smart bees”, and analyze the magnitude of their effect on the overall system.
A mobility experiment to explore the exciting possibilities of car sharing
Similar to the truck that goes out at night and repositions bikes in bike sharing cities, this project uses the same concept but applied to shared vehicles. A person sitting in a remote location can access real-time video streamed over an LTE network to drive the vehicle to a location that is lacking cars, or a user that requests a vehicle. The outcome could be a more affordable and effective way to share or park vehicles using a remote “valet.”
The team from the SDM lab at Georgia Tech joined forces with the Multimedia and Sensors lab to create the mechanical, electrical, and video processing capabilities required to remotely reposition a vehicle. The controls (ignition, steering, breaking, and kill switches) and command center (pictured to the right) were developed by the SDM lab, while the Multimedia and Sensors lab engineered the display cameras, video compression, and server needed to live stream.