The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a Smart & Connected Communities (S&CC) grant of $99,965 to three Syracuse University faculty/Center of Excellence (CoE) fellows: School of Information Studies (iSchool) Professor Jason Dedrick, and School of Architecture Assistant Professors  Elizabeth Krietemeyer and Tarek Rakha

They are among the first to receive S&CC grant support since the inception of the program. The award will support a collaborative planning project to study the feasibility of a community energy project in Austin, Texas, and create knowledge and tools for a program that will serve as a model for other communities across the U.S.

The concept of community energy involves integrating small-scale solar power, demand management and energy storage at the community level to create economic, environmental, and social value for individuals and communities while improving the reliability and resilience of the electric grid.

Says Krietemeyer, “It’s an honor for us to represent Syracuse University at the forefront of interdisciplinary research. Over the next year, our team will develop designs for community energy dashboards for the Mueller neighborhood in Austin, and we’ll conduct field work through community workshops to enhance visualization and simulation of built environment energy performance.”

According to the NSF, “cities and communities in the U.S. and around the world are entering a new era of transformational change, in which their inhabitants and the surrounding built and natural environments are increasingly connected by smart technologies, leading to new opportunities for innovation, improved services, and enhanced quality of life. The intent of this research effort is to support strongly interdisciplinary, integrative research and research capacity-building activities that will improve understanding of smart and connected communities and lead to discoveries that enable sustainable change to enhance community functioning. “

The S&CC grant complements another recently awarded to Dedrick, Krietemeyer,  and Rakha by the Syracuse CoE Faculty Fellows programfor their project Community Energy Dashboard: A Tool for a Community Energy Approach.”

“This planning grant represents the kind of cross-discipline, cross-campus research needed to pursue new and challenging opportunities such as Community Energy,” says Dedrick. “The support of the Center of Excellence has been instrumental in getting this research off the ground.”