Partners over the past three decades, UCF and Siemens recently unveiled a new collaboration around smart infrastructure that aims to improve the performance and efficiency of buildings and energy grids by harnessing the power of data.

The collaboration will include software and hardware to be installed at UCF’s Smart Infrastructure Data Analytics Lab and will incorporate the existing Siemens’ Digital Grid Lab unveiled last year.

The announcement was made at Friday’s Data Science-Smart Cities summit, hosted by UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Business and College of Sciences in partnership with the National Science Foundation’s South Big Data Hub. The summit brought together industry, academic and community thought leaders to discuss Orlando’s future as a smart city, tackling topics as diverse as transportation, infrastructure and the power grid, and fintech, with data analytics at the core.

Keynote speaker Mohamed Abdel-Aty, chair, UCF Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering and director of UCF’s Future City Initiative, discussed UCF’s leading role in developing and testing smart transportation systems technologies with a $12 million Federal Highway Administration grant to enhance safety and ease congestion on roads.

UCF’s collaboration with Siemens focuses on evolving building technology that integrates traditional automation systems from HVAC, lighting and security to other systems. Smart buildings, which are evolving daily, use high-tech digital mechanisms to link these systems together, gather data and analyze operations to optimize efficiency.

“We look forward to partnering with Siemens to help build and shape the smart cities of tomorrow,” UCF President Dale Whittaker said at the summit. “Together, we will prepare our students to meet the data-science workforce demands of the future and produce technology efficiencies and innovations in infrastructure and energy that will benefit our community and our nation for decades to come.”

Siemens will integrate a variety of software and building automation hardware into the Smart Infrastructure Data Analytics Lab’s facilities and corresponding building automation management systems. Students and faculty will use Siemens software platforms and learn how to conduct in-depth research on data analytics focused on building systems while assisting Siemens in planning, prioritizing and testing various technology prototypes.

“Siemens’ long-time partnership with UCF is a win-win for all parties,” says Dave Hopping, president of Siemens Building Technologies – North America. “Siemens gets to thoroughly test its analytics platforms as well as new software prototypes for use with various applications. We will apply those learnings to advance smart buildings. In turn, UCF students gain valuable hands-on experience and industry knowledge of real-time findings that will affect how we interact with buildings and the grid in the future.”

The Smart Infrastructure Data Analytics Lab is expected to be fully operational in early 2019.

– UCF –

Pictured L-R: Michael Tschanz, Walt Disney World; Charles Ramdatt, City of Orlando; Shane Mickey, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems; Samiul Hasan, UCF Dept. of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering; Mike Carlson, Siemens Digital Grid.