Smart Infrastructure

Smart Infrastructure

SIF128 Smart Infrastructure

Project Manager: Cheryl Gomez

Smart Infrastructure: Linking Facilities and Laboratories: This project proposes to build a testbed for Smart Infrastructure research. Funding is provided for software and wages/salaries of faculty, staff, and students.

BoV Approved: December 2017

Project Dates: 2/27/2018 – 2/26/2022

Funding Awarded: $2,036,500

Executive Summary

In addition to being a top-tier research institution, UVA is a substantial economic force in Virginia, a sophisticated customer for technology solutions, and an effective proxy for a large corporate campus, an industrial plant, and a small city. Further, an underrecognized area of strength at UVA is its management of facilities and operations. This award proposes research that leverages this unique suite of characteristics and strengths to implement a smart-infrastructure, wireless-sensor research testbed (“living lab”) on top of UVA’s already sophisticated facilities to transform the design of next generation cities. The award will enable research, design, and implementation of the core testbed technology comprising distributed sensors, wireless networking, and cloud based data management and analytics. It will also seed three representative projects that use the testbed, positioning them for success soliciting large external research funding support. Finally, this award will establish a new and unique capability at UVA as a self-sustainable Smart Infrastructure research initiative spanning Operations, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Information Technology, two pan-University Research Institutes, the Applied Research Institute, the Licensing and Ventures Group, and commercial partners.

Current Status: Active


This award has been formally reviewed by the PAC twice. The most recent was conducted in September 2020, and a no-cost extension was granted so that the project team may have the opportunity to complete goals that were delayed due to COVID-19 disruptions. The project team has made excellent progress in achieving the milestones and metrics, including the following:

  1. Steam trap monitoring (STM) systems have been deployed across Grounds by Facilities Management.
  2. The Cloud infrastructure that was proposed has been designed and deployed.
  3. The team has also been working on designing self powered systems and has made significant progress on building custom integrated circuits to provide new hardware features for self-powered systems.
  4. The Flex Sensor design component is complete. This is a significant part of the Smart Infrastructure Testbed. The goal of the flexible sensor is to provide a solution for sensing and sending data using battery-less, wireless sensor nodes. The Flex Sensor will also be used to gather thermal and light power-harvesting data under a wide range of environmental conditions.