Thursday, July 29, 2010

CMU Announces Infrastructure Lab

Carnegie Mellon University hopes to unveil a new infrastructure research laboratory by the end of the year.

The university announced today that it has partnered with IBM to create the IBM Smarter Infrastructure Lab on the school’s main campus.

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Chair Jim Garrett says the idea is to help businesses and governments make informed infrastructure investments. Garrett says the lab will do that in two ways.

“We’ll have researchers that are working on new technologies and new areas of development, but also bringing in various government authorities [and] municipalities that have already collected some data and want to better understand their system and better understand what might be done with that data to help them better manage their infrastructure.”

Garrett says for example, some water authorities already contract companies to collect data on the state of their distribution systems. The lab would simply compile that information and help the authority understand where to invest its money.

Garrett says the project is part of the Pennsylvania Smart Infrastructure Incubator, which will build two laboratories at a cost of $2.2 million with investments from the state, the university, IBM, and Bombardier, Inc.

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