CMU lab refines infrastructure
Knowing where energy is being wasted inside a building, where a pipe leak is developing or where a crack is forming underneath a bridge would help government officials save taxpayer money, say Carnegie Mellon University researchers and IBM executives.
"The guy on the street is paying for those kinds of things with his taxes and utility bills," said Matthew Sanfilippo, executive director of CMU's new Pennsylvania Smart Infrastructure Incubator. "Policymakers are trying to spend that money more wisely."
CMU and IBM officials announced Wednesday the founding of the IBM Smarter Infrastructure Lab. It is one component of the incubator, along with the Bombardier Collaborative Center announced last month.
Incubator research will focus on developing more efficient civil infrastructure and transit operations.
IBM Corp. and Bombardier Inc. are the primary founding partners of the incubator, said James H. Garrett Jr., the CMU Thomas Lord professor and chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
"Research activities have already begun," he said.
Garrett cited a collaboration between CMU and a local water authority. He and his colleagues signed nondisclosure agreements, so he could not name the authority. But the entity is sharing data on the condition of its infrastructure, so CMU researchers may analyze it and show what they find.
"At CMU, we'll be finding more efficient ways to manage and more efficient ways of doing business," said Wayne Balta, an IBM vice president in Somers, N.Y.
That means collecting data from sensors placed in locations that can monitor such things as how much chlorine exists at a water-supply intake valve, he said.
"If we can take the data we get and apply software analysis to it, we can then at blazing speeds detect patterns and see trends we wouldn't be able to otherwise process," Balta said.
Construction of the $2.2 million incubator offices began last month, Sanfilippo said. The state Department of Community and Economic Development awarded a grant of about $1 million for the project. Building should be completed by the end of the year.
Balta declined to specify how much IBM is contributing, but he said the company is supporting the effort with computer hardware, software and personnel.
Bombardier Transportation in West Mifflin originally considered building a testing facility on a 178-acre site in Hazelwood, but the company decided to let CMU take the lead on the project, said Bombardier spokeswoman Maryanne Roberts last month.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- West Virginia whips San Diego State to claim Las Vegas Invitational title
- Manorville man shares love for fishing
- Woman hosts annual sale for artists in her Valley Township home
- Roundup: Power companies suspend appliance recycling program; Celery blend used by Costco tests positive for E. Coli; more
- Republicans roll dice as Trump headlines Pennsylvania Society event
- Unabashed church pastors put politics front and center
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- Unsung backups provide boost for Steelers defensive line
- Run game needed for balance vs. Seahawks
- Black Friday chaos dwindles thanks to earlier deals, online sales
- Watchdog counts $1 billion wasted in Afghanistan