Resilient New Mobility Systems in the Age of Automation, Connectivity and Sharing Services

Sybil Derrible, PhD

Complex and Sustainable Urban Networks Laboratory Director, Professor and Research Professor,

Department of Civil, Materials and Environmental Engineering

University of Illinois, Chicago

Friday, April 12, 2024 | 11 a.m. | 140 Ketter Hall


Sybil Derrible.

Virtually every activity people engage in involves infrastructure in one way or another. The lifestyles of most people on the planet, especially in high-income countries like the U.S., would not be possible without constant and reliable access to infrastructure. Yet, operating and maintaining existing infrastructure systems requires more energy and resources than the Earth can provide. Our society has never been so technologically advanced, and yet it has also never been so unsustainable and vulnerable. As an urban engineer, I study infrastructure as interdependent and interrelated systems. Leveraging urban metabolism, complex systems science, machine learning, and causal learning, I have studied the following seven infrastructure systems: transport, water, wastewater, electricity, gas, solid waste, and telecommunications. In this seminar, I will present my past and ongoing research, focusing on three works. The first offers a conceptual understanding of infrastructure design through an integration-decentralization matrix. The second investigates the interrelationships between electricity, water, and gas consumption. The third examines the temporal and spatial relationships between traffic volume and electricity consumption.


Sybil Derrible is a professor in urban engineering and the director of the Complex and Sustainable Urban Networks (CSUN) Laboratory at the University of Illinois Chicago. His research is at the nexus of civil engineering, urban metabolism, and data and complexity science to help design sustainable, resilient, and equitable cities. He is the author of the textbook Urban Engineering for Sustainability published by MIT Press in 2019. He received a U.S. NSF CAREER Award for his work and the Huber Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He is an associate editor for the ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems and Scientific Reports.