The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


Sybil Derrible | Seeing Cities through the Lens of Urban Engineering

25 November 2020, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

CASA Seminar Series 2020/21

Event Information

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Dr Max Nathan

Over the past sixty years, the field of urban planning has changed dramatically, and we can now differentiate—more or less—‘good’ versus ‘bad’ urban planning practices. In urban engineering, this transformation is just starting. All infrastructure systems (e.g., transport, water, wastewater, electricity, gas, solid waste, and telecom infrastructure systems) will have to be redefined in this century to become more sustainable and more resilient, and the field of urban engineering can help toward this goal. In this seminar, I will first define urban engineering as a discipline that studies and designs urban infrastructure as integrated and co-dependent systems. I will also discuss how each infrastructure system will have to change. The field is by nature inter-disciplinary, including elements of urban planning, urban metabolism, computer science, and civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering. Moreover, urban engineering leverages recent advances in data science, and I will discuss how machine learning can help better understand how people ‘use’ infrastructure, with applications to transport, water, and electricity and gas consumption. Finally, I will offer a four-step urban infrastructure design process that can be applied to any infrastructure project and that focuses on infrastructure integration and decentralization, ultimately contributing toward making cities smarter, more sustainable, and more resilient. 

This is an Online Event. Please sign up via Eventbrite by clicking Book Now above. CASA staff and students can join directly via the link we'll share beforehand.


About the Speaker

Sybil Derrible

Associate Professor in Civil and Materials Engineering and Computer Science/Research Associate Professor at the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy/Director, CSNUN at University of Illinois/Complex and Sustainable Urban Networks (CSUN) Laboratory

Sybil Derrible is an Associate Professor in Civil and Materials Engineering and Computer Science, a Research Associate Professor at the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy, and the Director of the Complex and Sustainable Urban Networks (CSUN) Laboratory (csun.uic.edu) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research is at the nexus of urban metabolism, infrastructure planning and design, complexity science, and data science to redefine how cities are planned, designed, and operated for smart, sustainable, and resilient urban systems. Professor Derrible received a US National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his work and he serves as an Associate Editor for the ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems. He is also the Chair of the Sustainable Urban Systems (SUS) Section of the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE) and the Vice-Chair of the Critical Transportation Infrastructure Protection committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB).


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