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Introducing New Directors of the Drexel Smart Initiatives Program By Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture & Interiors, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, and Joan Weiner, PhD, Professor of Management, LeBow College of Business

The Drexel Smart Initiatives Program (DSIP) would like to thank co-directors Dr. Shivanthi Anandan and Diana Nicholas for their energetic leadership over the past years. Although they recently retired, we also would like to acknowledge Dr. Jan Biros and Mr. James Tucker, who in their roles as Senior Vice Provost for Budget, Planning and Administration and Senior Vice President for Administrative and Business Services supported our work. In January 2016 a new team began work. We would like to introduce them here:

Dr.-Ing. Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis serves as new co-director for academic activities of the DSIP. She is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture & Interiors. Her research interests are educational facilities, pedagogy and its connections to space as well as learning and curriculum development. Dr. Altenmüller-Lewis will primarily build up and coordinate the Interdisciplinary Smart Initiatives Minor. She will facilitate student led research projects for academic credit and help build relationships with faculty across the university, giving the DSIP and the INSI minor more visibility.

The new DSIP co-director for student activities is Dr. Youngmoo Kim. He is Director of the Expressive & Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He pursues activities at the convergence of technology and creative expression and the advancement of arts-integrated learning in science and engineering, including the computational understanding of sound, interfaces and robotics for expressive interaction, and K-12 outreach for STEAM (STEM+Arts) education. Dr. Kim will work with the DSH student group to engage with the DSIP program and connect with other interdisciplinary initiatives across campus.

Dr. James Lo has joined DISP as the new research co-director. Dr. Lo is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Architectural and Environmental Engineering. His research interests involves both building physics and energy simulation as well as building information models. Examples of his current research include NSF funded projects in using machine vision to map and update building information model, and industry funded work on statistical importance of wind variation in building ventilation design and simulations. Dr. Lo will primarily be facilitating both faculty and student led research projects in the DSH as well as developing the important modular infrastructure in DSH in order to accommodate various types of concurrent research activities.

Dr. Joan Weiner, who has worked as faculty advisor for the Drexel Smart House (DSH) student organization since its inception, will continue her work as co-director for the DSIP. She is a professor of Management at the LeBow College of Business. She and DSH co-founder and first research director, Erik Eisle, received a Seed Fund Grant from the NCIIA (now Venture Well) that has been used to fund early stage student-initiated research that could lead to commercial application. Her continuing interest in DSH/DSIP is in the  system design needed for innovative and interdisciplinary educational programs.