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UCF launches smart cities degree track

University of Central Florida is launching the master’s level course to meet the growing workforce demand for engineers and planners with urban tech expertise.

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Smart cities track seeks to bridge some of the gaps with other engineering disciplines
Smart cities track seeks to bridge some of the gaps with other engineering disciplines

The University of Central Florida (UCF) has announced a smart cities master’s degree track in civil engineering

 

The programme, aimed at supporting urban systems, will be offered by the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

 

Bridging the gaps

 

College administrators envision that this track will bridge some of the gaps with other engineering disciplines and provide an opportunity for collaboration on research and education that is relevant to smart cities.

 

Examples of emerging technologies include fields such as smart traffic and parking management systems, driverless public transportation, and systems that analyse data to automatically adjust for public needs.

 

UCF reckons it is well positioned to offer the new track because many faculty members are already doing research in relevant topics.

 

The Federal Highway Administration in 2017 awarded $11.9m to a team from UCF, the Florida Department of Transportation and MetroPlan Orlando to test several new transportation technologies. And last year, Siemens began working with UCF to implement a smart university infrastructure to improve the performance and efficiency of buildings and energy grids by harnessing the power of data.

“Fuelled by the growth of smart cities nationwide, workforce demand is increasing for engineers and city planners who are prepared for the high-tech urban landscape”

In addition, UCF is a founding supporter of Bridging the Innovation to Development Gap, a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Osceola County to make wafers used in advanced sensors, optics, photonics and advanced system miniaturisation.

 

Last summer, UCF also hosted planners in academia, industry, the public sector and the community at the Data Science Summit: Smart Cities of the Future conference to address emerging trends in the use of futuristic technology in public spaces.

 

“Fuelled by the growth of smart cities nationwide, workforce demand is increasing for engineers and city planners who are prepared for the high-tech urban landscape,” said Mohamed Abdel-Aty, chair of the college’s Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering and the lead of UCF’s smart cities initiative.

 

“We are offering engineers a way to stay ahead of the curve, knowing that they will soon face the challenges associated with rapidly developing technologies applied to our field.”

 

30-hour programme

 

The 30-hour programme was designed by UCF researchers and educators in transportation systems, environmental engineering, water-resources management and public administration in addition to other engineering disciplines.

 

The faculty has collaborated for two years in a programme known as the Future City Initiative at UCF to explore futuristic technologies to help cities meet challenges, sustainability and resiliency goals for cities.

 

The new programme is for students with appropriate science or engineering baccalaureate backgrounds; both thesis and non-thesis options are available.

 

The registration deadline for the new track is 15 July 2009.

 

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