National Science Foundation (NSF) - Computer and INformation Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate - office of the assistant director -Alexandria, Virginia
Program Management: Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) NSF 16-610 and NSF 18-520; Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) NSF 17-529 and NSF 18-538; Innovations at the Nexus of Food Energy Water (INFEWS) NSF 17-530 and NSF 18-545; and Signals in the Soil (SitS) NSF 18-047.
I have had the opportunity to work on cross-cutting initiatives that total more than $190 million in investments to support core-research needed to engineer complex cyber-physical systems, accelerate the creation of scientific and engineering foundations that will advance national priorities in smart and connected communities, advance our understanding of the subterranean macroscope, and ensure the sustainability of the food, energy, and water nexus.
"We should be measured by our ability to leverage investments through partnerships. This includes building capacity between federal agencies, the academic community, mayoral offices, Chief Technology and Innovation Officers (CTOs/CIOs), venture capitalists, and community partners to transition use-inspired research across communities and the Nation."
"Success is when communities are surfacing challenges they are facing, those challenges are motivating transformative research, and research-based innovations are being piloted and tested in the very same communities."
Leadership in Smart and connected communities (S&CC)
The S&CC program invested $19.6 million in 39 projects spanning 34 institutions in FY17 and expects to fund nearly $25 million in FY18, providing a comprehensive understanding of the most pressing challenges facing our Nation’s cities and communities.
This role provides me with the opportunity to collaborate daily with our Nation’s top scientists and engineers from a broad range of social science and technical backgrounds, including computer science, engineering, social, behavioral, and economic sciences, environmental sciences, and education to help with setting research agendas, understanding the execution of grant funding, and enacting strategies for leveraging the impacts of research investments in the short and long terms.
I recently worked across NSF to establish the Signals in the Soil (SitS) DCL program and SitS themed NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRCs) for early concept grants and to encourage the planning of one or more long-term partnership among industry, academe, and government around developing the next generation of sensor systems capable of in situ measurement of dynamic soil variables . The response from the research community in the areas of sensors, wireless systems, advanced cyber systems and data analytics, and modeling soil ecosystems was overwhelming, with NSF awarding nearly $7 million across 21 projects, showing great promise for transforming the current understanding of these systems and unlocking secrets from the soil.
Over the last several years, I have advocated for advancing stormwater research at the watershed scale. In its inaugural year, NSF's Smart and Connected Communities program awarded more than $3.7 million in projects to support 32 researchers whose aim is to advance fundamental science and engineering research in the area of water resource management, adaptive stormwater management, active controls for stormwater treatment, and the integration of environmental sensor networks for real-time forecasting.
I worked with our NSF/CISE team to scope the creation of a new framework that will drive truly integrative, community-focused research done in partnership with funders from philanthropy and industry. Answering questions on how community-focused research is crafted and how the research integrates into the broader ecosystem of state and local government, public planning, philanthropic programming, industry research and development activities, and collaboration across communities. To meet this objective, the agency awarded an EArly-concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) grant for Scoping an NSF Prize Challenge for Smart and Connected Communities to MetroLab Network and Smart Cities Lab to provide solutions to technically and socially complex needs that are of broad and pressing interest to communities.
National Research Agenda Setting
Worked to set future research directions through the organization of national visioning workshops, including a two-part workshop series on Community-University-Industry collaboration models and a National Workshop aimed to advance the quality of life in under-connected communities.
NSF Visioning Workshop: Towards Effective Community-University Industry Collaboration Models and NSF Sponsored Workshop on Effective Community-University-Industry Collaboration Models for Smart and Connected Communities Research
National Visioning Workshops
My time in the Federal government has allowed me to act as a curator for developing new communities of science practice, serving as a lead planning committee member for the 2018 Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water (FEW) Systems Principal Investigators' Workshop and support team for the 2018 Smart and Connected Communities Principal Investigators' Meeting. Here, I brought together experts from academia, industry, and the federal government to deliver an eye-opening Keynote, "Data Don't Drive: Values, History, and Connecting Communities," and a timely Panel, "Data Science Frontiers: Harnessing the Data Revolution for FEW Systems."
Interagency strategic planning
I worked alongside my colleagues from several agencies to set priorities for Federally funded research and development (R&D) as well as capacity-building to help transform cities and communities and improve standards of living. See link below.
These partnerships helped set an agenda for research proposals and data requirements in four key areas related to U.S. R&D in broadband: technology, deployment, adoption, and socioeconomic impacts to address remaining disparities in broadband access, adoption, and choice in the United States. See link below.
Clean water services (CWS) - office of the deputy general manager - hillsboro, oregon
Thought Leadership Projects: Hub and Spoke Integrative Research Model, Utility of the Future - Watershed Partnership Strategy, Sub-basin Research - Healthy Streams 2.0, Real-Time Control - Decision Support Systems, Ecosystem Services, Pure Water Brew Public Perception Study.
"For healthy communities we need a healthy watershed that includes access to clean air, clean water, and healthy habitat, but to meet these demands we must bring balance to our ecosystems."
"Our current trajectory is not sustainable and more effort is required to build the collective WE in the Tualatin Watershed and in watersheds across the globe. Sustainable solutions are not likely to be the product of decree or rule, but are necessary and hard work. Mother Nature and our citizenry are depending upon us to engage em and each other in this vital pursuit."
August 2010 - May 2015; Environmental Engineering Doctoral Candidate
Green Space Based Learning Model for Repurposing Underutilized Green Spaces within School Campuses publication in Advances in Engineering Education, A Journal of Engineering Education Applications.
University of South Florida (USF) - Civil and environmental engineering (cee) department - college of engineering - Tampa, Florida
Developed Green Space Based Learning, an educational model to mainstream green infrastructure within urban environments that builds on a long-term partnership between a Research I university, surrounding underserved community, and local school district with a portion being piloted through a federally funded Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. The RET program provides an opportunity for graduate students and professors to share their field of knowledge with teacher participants in two intensive 6-week summer research experiences. This content knowledge is then translated by the participating teachers into grade specific lessons that support the development of interactive and sustainable green spaces within their school campus. Stakeholder groups participate in academic year components, bringing their expertise into the K-12 classroom. Ultimately, K-12 students are guided through the design/build of a green infrastructure improvement project, transforming an underutilized green space within their school campuses into a multi-use educational environment. Click the picture to the left for a video summarizing a green infrastructure implementation project within the East Tampa community.
Stantec INC. (Fromerly WilsonMiller) PUblic Infrastructure Group - Tampa, Florida
May 2006 - January 2009; Design Engineer
Reported Directly to Senior Associate, Hamid Sahebkar, P.E.
I am a registered professional engineer (PE) in the State of Florida and have worked as a design engineer for Stantec, a private consulting firm. Here, I managed approximately 20 complex redevelopment projects using first-principle engineering concepts to solve client derived initiatives and designed point and non-point source collection systems while negotiating and ensuring compliance with state, local, and federal permitting entities. These projects include the 100-year Channel District Redevelopment Plan, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (Tampa Museum of Art and Glazer Children's Museum), and The Salvador Dali Museum.