FAU wins the main NSF center with Colombia University, Rutgers University, University of Central Florida and Lehman College

BOCA RATON, Florida., August 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Florida Atlantic University Institute of Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering (I SMELL) and the College of Engineering and Computer Science landed a major National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center (ERC) with Colombia University, Rutgers Universitythe University of Central Floridaand Lehman College.

The new Engineering Research Center for Smart Streetscapes (CS3) will be supported for five years with $26 million; renewable for five additional years, for a total of up to $52 million. The ERC program is NSF’s flagship engineering program for catalyzing convergent research to address large-scale societal challenges. As one of the most competitive research programs in the country, CS3 was selected from hundreds of candidate centers.

The nation’s streetscapes – neighborhood streets, sidewalks and public spaces – define the character of American communities, linking people to social and commercial institutions and connecting people across demographic identities. Streetscapes are prime sites for deploying engineering research to fortify society. A “smart streetscape” could instantly detect human behavior and guide disabled pedestrians, collect trash, control pests, boost emergency services, and protect people from environmental and health threats.

“We are delighted to receive this ERC award together with our partners,” said FAU President John Kelly. “CS3 will provide important pathways for academia, government, industry and community stakeholders to collaboratively improve quality of life, enhance social equity and drive economic development through innovative and cutting-edge smart city technologies. .

CS3’s mission is to advance livable, safe and inclusive communities through new streetscape applications based on real-time, hyper-local streetscape intelligence. This will require fundamental technical advances in wireless/optical communications, edge/cloud computing, situational awareness, privacy and security, while balancing the demands of public sphere data collection with the benefits defined by the community. CS3 will apply these advances across five application themes: Road Safety and Traffic Efficiency; Public security; assistive technologies; future of outdoor work; and hyper-local environments. Applications will be delivered in three distinct urban environments, leveraging strong partnerships with community organizations and city agencies in Harlem, New York City; West Palm Beach, Florida; and New Brunswick, New Jersey.

At FAU, CS3 relies on a long-standing partnership with the City of West Palm Beach, developed as part of the West Palm Beach Mobility Intelligence Project, led by FAU’s I-SENSE. Launched in 2019 and supported by the City of West Palm Beachthe Knight Foundation and the Community Foundation of palm beach and Martin counties, the pedestrian mobility detection project plays a central role in CS3.

“Over the next decade, CS3 will bring a range of smart streetscape technologies to the City of West Palm Beach and position the city as a national smart city leader,” said West palm beach Mayor Keith A. James. “These technologies will enable new streetscape applications designed to improve livability, safety and inclusiveness across the West palm beach community – whether it’s making crosswalks safer, improving transportation and parking, or assisting pedestrians with disabilities. The specific apps to be developed will be selected and guided by ongoing public engagement.”

Christopher Roogexecutive director of the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, says the City of West Palm Beach is excited to further strengthen its partnership with the CS3 team and collaboratively plan for the future of streetscapes across the country.

“Our team couldn’t be more excited to embark on this journey with our partners to advance the future of the country’s streetscapes and make fundamental improvements to livability, safety and convenience. the inclusiveness of American communities through engineering research and education,” said Jason HallstromPh.D., Executive Director of I-SENSE, who is Deputy Director and Director of Research for CS3.

The FAU team led by I-SENSE and the College of Engineering and Computer Science comprises researchers, staff and students from the FAU community, including FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College Arts and Letters, Charles E. Schmidt College sciencethe Office of Undergraduate Research and Investigationand the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

“This prestigious award is Florida Atlantic University first designation as a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. It marks an important milestone for I-SENSE, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and our entire university,” said Daniel C. FlynnPh.D., FAU Vice President for to research. “The interdisciplinary nature of the project will serve as a catalyst for important scientific and technological advances that will transform the cities of our country.”

Team leaders understand Dimitris PadosPh.D., Schmidt Eminent Scholar Professor, FAU Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciencemember of FAU I-SENSE and director of the Center for Connected Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence; Jin Woo JangPh.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, FAU and I-SENSE Fellow; Jiannan ZhaiPh.D., Research Assistant Professor, FAU I-SENSE; John RenePh.D., professor and director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions, Charles E. Schmidt College science; Valentine Aalo, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, FAU; and Donna Chamely-Wiik, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships, FAU Office of Undergraduate Research and Investigation. Other partners include 25 members of industry, 13 community groups, 13 municipal agencies, 11 educational institutions and two federal laboratories.

“Together with Colombia University and our other key partners, FAU will co-lead smart city research and innovation, capitalizing on and expanding our collective experience in sensing technologies, artificial intelligence, high-speed wireless communication, simulation and forecasting, among other areas of expertise,” said Stella Batalama, Ph.D., Dean, FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Joining forces with our academic, government and industry partners will help ensure the rapid translation of these technologies for wide-spread applications and fruitful economic impact.

The ERC for Smart Streetscapes positions academic and non-academic actors – city dwellers, institutional leaders, students, teachers and municipal resource managers – as co-producers of knowledge and auditors of technological research and development, forming a vast ecosystem of innovation that explores the science, usefulness and humanity of engineering research.


About FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science:

The FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science is internationally recognized for its cutting-edge research and teaching in the fields of computer science and artificial intelligence (AI), computer engineering, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, engineering civil, environmental and geomatics, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering. The research carried out by the faculty and their teams exposes students to technological innovations that push the current state of the art of the disciplines. The College’s research efforts are supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Education (DOEd), the state of florida, and industry. The FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science offers degrees with a modern twist that carry specializations in national priority areas such as AI, Cybersecurity, Internet of Things, Transportation and Supply Chain Management. supply and data science. New degree programs include a Master of Science in AI (first in Florida), Master of Science and Bachelor in Data Science and Analytics, and the new Professional Master of Science and Ph.D. in Computer Science for working professionals. For more information about the College, please visit

About the FAU Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering:

The Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering (I-SENSE) conducts university-wide activities in the field of sensing and intelligent systems, one of Florida Atlantic University four pillars of research. I-SENSE’s mission is to catalyze a culture of research excellence in sensing and intelligent systems; develop, demonstrate and exploit technological solutions with a strong societal impact; and to attract and support future generations of interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners. The mission is led by a strong interdisciplinary team consisting of four staff members, nine faculty members, three postdoctoral researchers, more than 60 affiliated professors, and more than two dozen supported students.

About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic Universityestablished in 1961, officially opened in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at six campuses located along the Southeast Florida coast. In recent years, the University has doubled its research expenditures and surpassed its peers in student success rates. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model where traditional achievement gaps disappear. FAU is designated as a Hispanic-serving institution, ranked among the top public universities by U.S. News & World Report, and as a high-research institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education. For more information, visit


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