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Students Design Projects for the ‘Living Laboratory’ of Miami Beach


Special to UM News

Among the project students will design for Miami Beach is a new use for this fire station property.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 14, 2016) — With the city of Miami Beach as their client, students in the College of Engineering’s Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering are developing sustainable designs for three properties: Maurice Gibb Memorial Park, the current site of Fire Station No. 1, and the Byron Carlyle Theater.

For their senior design projects, the students’ designs must, at a minimum, meet LEED Gold standards, with an emphasis on resiliency and sustainability. They also must address sea-level rise adaptation and climate-change mitigation, meet the local community’s needs and, of course, adhere to Miami Beach’s city code. The course supports the recent city/university partnership in the MetroLab Network for the Smart Cities initiative, which promotes innovative research for sea-level rise adaptation.

The students began working on their designs early this semester after site visits with the city. “We met with the city of Miami Beach to obtain guidance, but we also have interviewed local residents and businesses to determine their needs for the area,” said Michael Notarfrancesco, a senior in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. “It is very rewarding and relevant working on real-world problems and especially with a local municipality to provide implementable solutions.”

The design projects will conclude when the students present their proposals to Miami Beach officials, industry advisory boards, and consultants in early 2017.

“The city of Miami Beach continues to serve as a living laboratory,” said Elizabeth Wheaton, director of Miami Beach’s Department of Environment and Sustainability. “This collaboration with the College of Engineering on this project gives us a new perspective on how to design our community, using the latest techniques and theories. We expect the students to deliver designs that will enhance and showcase the city’s sustainability and resiliency efforts.”

For students, the collaboration is an opportunity to work with a real client on projects with multiple stakeholders and complex requirements. “Students from all different engineering majors are participating in this project,” aid Michelle Stanley, an undergraduate student in the department’s five-year Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree program. “We are incorporating innovative designs and technology not used in today’s buildings to save costs and resolve such pressing issues as resiliency and rising sea levels.”

“The city of Miami Beach is one of the nation’s most forward-thinking on the topic of sustainability,” said College of Engineering Dean Jean-Pierre Bardet. “This represents an incredible opportunity to work with a client on the forefront of this engineering frontier. I expect that our students and faculty will learn from the city while also sharing new ideas and cutting-edge perspectives with the city.”

About the three projects:

Maurice Gibb Memorial Park is located on the waterfront in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood. The city has charged the students with upgrading the park’s existing marine patrol and indoor/outdoor community multipurpose space, designing a water-taxi stop and new stormwater management pump station, and integrating a new living shoreline with existing seawalls. The students’ designs will include an environmental lab for tracking air and water quality as well as real-time weather and transportation data. The park’s operation must be sustained by renewable energy.

For the Fire Station No. 1 project, the students will design a use for the land that currently holds the fire station, which the city has proposed relocating. The students may choose to preserve the current site or propose a new structure and/or land use for this site, which is in a low-lying historic district. The city is interested in a number of potential uses, including affordable housing, a parking garage that may be converted into affordable housing in the future, an office/retail/residential mixed-use project, a resiliency demonstration lab or a wastewater treatment/reclamation facility. The design must also integrate a wastewater pump station located adjacent to the firehouse.

The Byron Carlyle Theater, on Miami Beach’s 71st Street commercial corridor, is currently used as storage space by the city. The adjacent O-Cinema is in use as a theater. The city is interested in some type of mixed-use project that includes a theater or cultural arts center. It may be a retail/restaurant/office project, one that combines a cultural arts center and residential tower, or it might combine a theater, exhibition hall and community education center. The city is particularly interested in uses that include affordable housing for the local workforce. It is also encouraging on-site vegetable gardens and a sustainability and resiliency demonstration lab.

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University of Miami Hosts First Neural Engineering Symposium


Special to UM News

From left are Jonathan Wolpaw, W. Dalton Dietrich, Ozcan Ozdamar, and Daniel S. Rizzuto.

The University of Miami hosted its first Neural Engineering Symposium on October 13 to promote collaborations among research, educational, and industry programs for this rapidly growing discipline. Ozcan Ozdamar, professor and chair of the College of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, and W. Dalton Dietrich, scientific director of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, served as co-directors of the symposium, which was organized by the Department of Biomedical Engineering and The Miami Project with support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

More than 100 attendees from various departments and schools participated in the one-day event, held in the Lois Pope LIFE Center. Researchers discussed more than 50 posters, and a number of invited speakers from the University of Miami, University of Pittsburgh, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, and Florida International University presented their most recent work.

Jonathan Wolpaw, director of the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies at the New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center, delivered the keynote address on the development of EEG-based brain-computer interfaces that can restore communication and control to people who are paralyzed by spinal cord injury and other disorders.

In another lecture, Daniel S. Rizzuto, director of Cognitive Neuromodulation at the University of Pennsylvania, reviewed current research in the development of brain stimulation therapies for patients with memory impairments as part of the DARPA RAM Project.

The meeting was coordinated by Karin Scarpinato, assistant provost for research, with the following interdisciplinary program committee members: Fabrice Manns, Suhrud Rajguru, Abhishek Prasad, Monica Perez, Vittorio Porciatti, and Michael Hoffer. The symposium was structured to enhance collaborations throughout the University and between relevant programs within the state of Florida to enhance research and educational initiatives comprising the biomedical engineering and neuroscience communities.

The symposium was supported in part by industry sponsors and the Department of Biomedical Engineering and The Miami Project. Future conferences are planned along with a new University of Miami Institute for Neural Engineering that will position the University for funding opportunities requiring established programs that integrate engineering and neuroscience for the assessment and treatment of neurological disorders. This initiative also will be critical for attracting the next generation of trainees to Miami who wish to make a career in this exciting technological discipline.

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College of Engineering, School of Architecture Receive NSF Grant to Study Resiliency of Coastal Cities


UM and Virginia Tech researchers will collaborate and investigate the resiliency of neighborhoods

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 5, 2016) – How resilient are Miami and Miami Beach? Could they survive the brunt of a major natural disaster? Could the built environment and infrastructure in those coastal cities withstand Category 5 hurricane-force winds and rising sea levels?

The answers to these questions and many others could soon be found by a team of researchers from the University of Miami’s College of Engineering and School of Architecture, who, along with scientists from Virginia Tech, have received a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant to assess the infrastructures of those two municipalities and perhaps make them more resilient.

Starting in January and with the help of a social scientist and a computer scientist from Virginia Tech, the UM researchers will study neighborhoods in Miami and Miami Beach to determine how they work from both a physical and social perspective.

“We will look at how neighborhoods work and see what their typical features and structure are and how they contribute towards or against resiliency as well as quality-of-life objectives,” said UM Professor of Architecture Sonia Chao, one of the principal investigators on the Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes (CRISP) project.

The goal is to create new holistic paradigms of resilient urban and community design for coastal cities through the development of a human-centered computational framework, Chao added.

“We will integrate the social science and the urban design to create meta-models and achieve anticipatory resiliency,” said Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos, assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, and lead investigator of the project. “Our goal is to address the questions of what could happen if an area is hit by a major disaster and what will the effect of anticipatory measures be.”

An innovative flexible modeling and computational framework for simulation and optimization will be developed to help answer those questions, according to Wangda Zuo, assistant professor in the College of Engineering.

“The project is highly interdisciplinary,” said Chao, director of UM’s Center for Urban and Community Design. “That cross-pollination and its implied layering of data and of vantage points, naturally yields a more robust and comprehensive product, which in turn can better afford community leaders with effective resiliency strategies.”

Throughout the two-year study and after its completion, researchers will hold a series of seminars in collaboration with decision-makers and practitioners from the cities of Miami and Miami Beach. They will also hold an exhibition at the Miami Frost Museum of Science to raise awareness and promote research on coastal resiliency.

 

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UM and Community Partners Join MetroLab Network

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UM and Community Partners Join MetroLab Network


The partnership between local governments and universities allows members to research, develop and deploy solutions to address challenges faced by urban areas.

UM News

UM, FIU< and Miami Dade College are joining Miami-Dade County and the Beaches in the new MetroLab Network consortium.

UM, FIU, and Miami Dade College are joining Miami-Dade County and the Beaches in the new MetroLab Network.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 30, 2016) – As Zika and other climate change-related diseases continue to be the focus of local departments of health, researchers and academics at the University of Miami maintain their focus on efforts to work collaboratively with local institutions as one of the newest members of the MetroLab Network.

As part of the Greater Miami and the Beaches Consortium, UM will partner with Miami-Dade County and the cities of Miami and Miami Beach, along with university partners Florida International University and Miami Dade College.

“The MetroLab Network partnership will provide the University with a stronger relationship to face the challenges affecting our cities,” said Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the UM College of Engineering. “This is the value of the interaction between cities and universities, to solve the challenging new issues of the 21st century.”

The consortium’s projects will focus on adaption to sea-level rise and coastal flooding, response to climate-related diseases, including Zika, and access to transportation and affordable housing.

“The MetroLab Network partnership is a great opportunity for us to establish robust collaborations that will ensure that the best available science is informing important community decisions in how we adapt to environmental challenges associated with climate change,” said Ben Kirtman, professor of atmospheric sciences at the Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science and director of the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies.

In a statement to the community, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez stressed that the county will focus on three priorities, one of which is to develop specific programs and protocols to eliminate and address the impact of climate change-related diseases such as Zika.

“Miami-Dade County, Miami, and Miami Beach already have existing relationships and ongoing projects with our local universities, but through our participation in MetroLab Network, we will benefit from increased coordination between the three members of Greater Miami and the Beaches, the three local universities, and the members of MetroLab Network,” said Giménez.

Mario Stevenson, professor of medicine, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and director of the Institute of AIDS and Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Miller School of Medicine, will meet with the consortium’s city partners in early October to discuss the Zika project.

“Research universities have the physical and human resources to undertake the research and development of innovative projects at a lower cost. A partnership through the MetroLab Network allows us, as the University, to outline the purpose and process of collaborative research and provide solutions to the problems faced by our community,” he said.

The consortium also will work to identify technology-enabled solutions to another challenge of urbanization: affordable housing and transportation.

“Affordable housing is one of the most significant challenges facing Miami today, with over half of our households paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing,” said Robin Bachin, UM assistant provost for Civic and Community Engagement. “Already, UM’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement has partnered with FIU’s Metropolitan Center to create the South Florida Housing Studies Consortium, whose goal is to raise awareness about the challenges facing our housing market and craft solutions through policy and practice to overcome them.”

Bachin will continue to work closely with FIU and the Miami-Dade County Department of Public Housing and Community Development to enhance the relationships between the universities and local governments in order to ensure the best solutions for housing affordability in South Florida.

The MetroLab network now includes 40 partnerships between local governments and their university partners, focused on incorporating data, analytics, and innovation into local government programs. Members of the network research, develop, and deploy technologies and policy approaches to address challenges facing the nation’s urban areas. MetroLab Network was launched by 21 founding city-university pairings in September 2015 at the White House as part of the Obama Administration’s Smart Cities Initiative.

In addition to Greater Miami and the Beaches, UM, FIU, and Miami Dade College, new MetroLab Network members announced September 26 are:

City of Los Angeles – California State University, Los Angeles

City of San Francisco – University of California, Berkeley

University of Pittsburgh (joining existing City of Pittsburgh – Carnegie Mellon Partnership)

For more information on MetroLab Network visit www.metrolabnetwork.org.

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UM to Design Smart City in the Yucatan

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UM to Design Smart City in the Yucatan


ZencitiSpecial to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 12, 2016)—In March, the University of Miami announced a hemispheric collaboration between its Center for Computational Science and the Yucatan State Government’s Information Technologies Innovation Center, which is known as Heuristic and located in the Yucatan Science and Technology Park. Taking that collaboration a step further, the UM School of Architecture, its Responsive Architecture and Design Lab, and the CCS will come together to design Zenciti, a smart city next to the science park.

“Instances where smart cities are designed and implemented from scratch are very rare,” said Rodolphe el-Khoury, dean of UMSoA and director of the RAD-UM Lab. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to design a hyper-connected city where urban infrastructure, municipal services, and social activities are orchestrated into a vibrant and sustainable environment.”

Zenciti came about when a group of developers and leaders in the IT industry joined forces for an opportunity they saw in the growing knowledge economy of Yucatan, spurred by its strategic geographic location and various other social and economic circumstances, including the Yucatan Science and Technology Park, located 30 minutes from downtown Merida. Zenciti will bring into play, among other things, a hub for tech startups that should create a synergy with the science park and fuel development.

Dean el-Khoury and his team think of Zenciti as a startup city: “Just like startup firms create something innovative that is hard to accommodate within existing companies, a startup city prototypes from the ground up a new way of life, something that departs from existing cities and the lifestyles, transactions, governance, and culture they enable,” he said.

Zenciti will occupy roughly 650 acres and will provide 6,000 jobs in the area, on top of the 4,000 that will be created by the science and technology park. The multidisciplinary team working on the smart city includes the following:

School of Architecture:
Rodolphe el-Khoury, PI/RAD-UM
Adib Cure – Architecture and Urban Design
Carie Penabad – Architecture and Urban Design
Juhong Park – Computation, Machine Learning, and Smart Systems
Mark Troen – Real Estate Development and Finance
Veruska Vasconez – Digital Media

Center for Computational Science:
Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury – PI/CCS Program Director Smart Cities
Chris Mader – Software Engineering
Joel Zysman – Advanced Computing

College of Engineering:
Wangda Zuo – Energy and Infrastructure
Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos – Responsive Structures

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