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WSU Research Smart and Sustainable Systems

Smart and sustainable systems

Automating many aspects of our lives

You’ve heard of smart cars. How about smart homes, smart factories, smart farms, smart power grids, or smart cities? Smart-system applications work to increase safety, ease, and efficiency in practically every field.

Smart systems are based on networks of devices: sensors, actuators, controllers, communication tools, and computational and decision-making components. These devices gather information about your environment, then adapt to support the way you live or work.

WSU faculty researchers take these systems’ operation to the next level by developing new machine learning methods, innovative materials, and reliable sensor networks. They apply their innovations in many ways. For example, researchers in the Energy Systems Innovation Center work to raise the efficiency and security of the nation’s power system. Another study aims to build resiliency against coordinated cyber attacks.

Thanks to research advances, smart systems may help anticipate and manage uncertainties in your own life in years ahead.

Research areas

  • Next generation smart and sustainable buildings
  • Transforming the U.S. power grid
  • Enhancing performance and well-being in cities via digital technologies
  • The Internet of Things
  • The haptic touch

    Two new patented inventions by Hakan Gurocak can help advance the digital experience.

    One difference between hands-on experiences and digital experiences is the sense of touch. When you shop at a retail store, for example, you can handle an item before you buy it. But when you shop online, you only see a picture of it.

    Technology that conveys a sense of touch—called haptics—currently is used in the automotive industry, in medical training, in videogames and even on your smartphone’s keypad. But it has not spread to everyday use.

    Hakan Gurocak, director of the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University Vancouver, … » More …

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  • Aerial technology takes to the fields

    Many roles emerge for unmanned aerial vehicles in agriculture

    As the global population rises, farmers will be expected to produce more food with less water, fewer fertilizers and pesticides, and a dwindling workforce. WSU researchers see part of the solution in the sky: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

    Widely known for their defense applications, UAVs could be a boon to agriculture. Lav Khot, assistant professor in precision agriculture at the Center for Precision and Automated Agriculture Systems in Prosser, works with colleagues to lay the groundwork for widespread use of UAVs in the fields.

    Dr. Khot has partnered with Digital Harvest, a developer of crop-management technology, … » More …

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