Smart Cities
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Making cities “smarter” or transforming them into smart cities is the process of improving economic competitiveness and quality of life by implementing cyberinfrastructure technologies throughout a city. In an effort to launch a "smart city" research program at UTEP, UTEP researchers in civil engineering, electrical engineering, industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering, and computer science have formed a team with each member bringing a unique expertise in this area. The team is a collaboration with Dr. Victor Larios, Director of Smart Cities Innovation Center at Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico, Dr. Miroslav Svitek, Dean of Faculty of Transportation Sciences at Czech Technical University, Czech Republic, Dr. Kaan Ozbay and Dr. Joe Chow at New York University, and Dr. Burcu Akinci and Dr. Mario Beges at Carnegie Mellon Univeristy.


To be a model for interdisciplinary, international collaboration that advance the knowledge of transforming cities into smart cities through joint research and education.


  1. Data science
  2. Energy
  3. Interdisciplinary collaborations
  4. Internet of things
  5. Quality of life
  6. Resiliency
  7. Sensor network
  8. smart cities
  9. Sustainability
  10. System of Systems


  1. Cross-cutting: Cyberinfrastructure and Collaborative
  2. Energy and Environment


Associate Professor
Engineering - Electrical and Computer Engineering
3D image processing, biomedical signal processing, Compressive Sensing, Digital Signal Processing, Image Compression, Image Processing, Volumetric Data Compression

Engineering - Civil Engineering
Aerospace Structures, civil engineering, Finite Element Modeling, Health Assessment, Structural Dynamics, Structural Engineering

Engineering - Mechanical Engineering
Advanced Materials and Systems for Energy Utilization, High-Temperature Ceramics, Nanomaterials - Synthesis & Applications, Next-Generation Electronic Materials for Aerospace, Nuclear Structural Materials & Mechanics, Surface and Interface Engineering

Engineering - Civil Engineering
Engineering risk analysis, global engineering education, nondestructive evaluation, reliability analysis, Stochastic modeling

Health Sciences - Kinesiology
Body Composition, Bone Health, Built Environment and Health, Energy Cost of Daily Activity, Hormonal Responses to Exercise, Insulin resistance and Diabetes, Occupational and Leisure-time Physical Activity Related to Cardiovascular Disease Risk


Carnegie Mellon University
University of Washington
New York University
New York University
City of El Paso
Universidad de Guadalajara
IBM Mexico
Carnegie Mellon University
Czech Technical University
Czech Technical University
University of Guadalajara
University of Guadalajara
Czech Technical University
Universidad de Guadalajara

Related Efforts

Crowd-Sourcing of Smart Phones Sensors Data
UTEP Related Effort
Funding: Interdisciplinary Research Seed (IRS) Fund, College of Engineering, UTEP. $20,000 for 10 months.
Contact: Omar Badreddin

We aim at collecting smart phones’ sensors data from drivers in the city and analyze it to explore drivers’ interactions with road topology. Such data can be analyzed in combinations with traffic regulations, crash and traffic violations databases. The ultimate goal of this proposal is to improve drivers’ safety and inform the responsible agency to take actions on traffic control and management.

IRES: US-Mexico Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration for Smart Cities
UTEP Related Effort
Funding: National Science Foundation, 3 years from 6.1.2017, $239.410.

The goal of the proposed IRES is to engage 3 cohorts of diverse, STEM graduate students that can contribute to Smart Cities research areas. The objectives are:
1) Create opportunities for students to deepen their knowledge in the proposed research areas and align it to Smart Cities initiatives, and
2) Foster the development of students’ intra- and inter-personal competencies to effectively participate in collaboration across disciplines, borders, and cultures.

U.S.-Mexico Bidirectional Study Abroad Program on Smart Cities
External Related Effort
Funding: Partners of the Americas Foundation
Contact: Kelvin Cheu

Students from UTEP and The University of Guadalajara (UdeG) came together for this Smart Cities program in Spring 2016. Students from UdeG began attending classes at UTEP and took field trips in April. UTEP students then traveled to Guadalajara in June to attend classes and visited sites in downtown Guadalajara. To finish off the program, all students competed in the Smarter Cities Hackathon competition sponsored by IBM Mexico.

Related Centers

Related Communities

"A Collaborative, Interdisciplinary Initiative for a Smart Cities Innovation Network"
External Resource
Kelvin Cheu

This paper (accepted at the IEEE International Smart Cities conference) describes how researchers are developing a smart cities innovation network with an emphasis on smart city mobility, smart buildings, and smart bridges. The consortium is applying a semantic-based approach to address the initial challenge of building an effective interdisciplinary network of university researchers located in different parts of the world, in three cities with different sizes and stages of economic development.

Developing a Strong Technical Proposal for 100K
External Resource
Kelvin Cheu

Powerpoint slides of presentation at the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Proposal Writing Workshop in Guadalajara on October 25, 2016


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