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I am honored and excited to serve as the 18th chair of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering (CEGE).  My goal is to make the department a more dynamic academic environment, dedicated to the development of student innovation, excellence in interdisciplinary research and active collaboration and engagement with industry and alumni.

The Ohio State University Discovery Themes initiative ( is providing new and exciting opportunities for our department to grow and further our expertise.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to build more strategic alliances and capitalize on our interdisciplinary strengths. Our department and its research collaborators are uniquely positioned to address several challenges defined by the Discovery Themes.

Recently, CEGE took a lead in the preparation of a proposal, submitted to the Provost’s office, on “smart cities and data analytics.” It proposes hiring an interdisciplinary faculty cluster in CEGE and collaborating departments.  Over the past century, technological innovations have transformed the fabric of our cities and how we plan and manage urban services and activities.  The modern world has recently witnessed a major technological transformation in the abundant use of sensing, communication and social networking by governments, organizations, and individuals.  This has resulted in massive amounts of diverse data and creative interactions leading to what is considered smart cities.  By leveraging advances in sensor technologies, data analytics and urban experiments, we are introducing a paradigm shift that results in a new data-driven approach to how cities are being designed, planned and operated.

The goal that we set forth with this initiative is to attain eminence in understanding the factors that influence the evolution toward smarter cities by taking advantage of the large quantities of data that are automatically and regularly collected in our cities.  We plan “to take advantage of Ohio State’s large campus to enhance existing data-intensive living labs, develop additional ones, and integrate those labs into a Smarter Cities Campus Lab (SCCL).  This new lab can be used for experiential research investigations, classroom and field instruction, and targeted outreach. Research will take advantage of the collected data to develop understanding of end user and organizational behavior, environmental processes and impacts, and system interactions.”