National Science Foundation Awards Funding for Workshop that Aims to Shape the Future

Smart Cities Workshop Planned


Dr. Driss Benhaddou
Dr. Driss Benhaddou, Associate Professor

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Science in Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems division has awarded nearly $50,000 for the project, "US/Morocco Workshop on Sensors and Wireless Networks for Smart Cities".

Engineering technology professor and organizing chair of the workshop, Dr. Driss Benhaddou will bring together experts from the United States and Morocco to brainstorm and define common research challenges between the US and Morocco. The goal of this workshop is to encourage international collaboration and identify research needs in sensors and wireless networking and computing to support the development of smart cities.

The workshop will be held in Rabat, Morocco, January 5 - 7, 2016. Morocco is building smart cities in places like Rabat, Casablanca, Ifrane and Bengrir. Rabat, the capital of Morocco, is involved in several international smart cities' related programs such as the IBM Smarter Planet initiative and IEEE Smart City Initiative. Co-sponsors include the Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CNRST) and Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP).

"This award is a true reflection our commitment to achieve the premier research status for the University of Houston," said Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Acting Vice Chancellor and Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer.

More than half of the world’s population is in urban areas, which means that there is a growing need for cities to be made smarter and more efficient. "Developing smart cities is a global challenge and global perspectives are important. This is a unique opportunity to share experiences and solutions. Our vision is to facilitate the discussion with scholars from different countries and produce a research agenda, explore new designs, application development strategies, heterogeneous systems interfacing, ontologies and hardware-software interaction", said Dr. Benhaddou.