E-Campus @ City Lab

Prof. Carrera (IGSD), Prof. Salazar (CEE) and John Miller, Director of Physical Plant and Associate Vice President for Administration have been promoting a series of Interactive and Major Qualifying Projects to be carried out on campus to help WPI’s department of Plant Services migrate to an all-electronic management of information and operations.  The main areas of study are:


  1. E-Parking
  2. E-Buildings
  3. E-Grounds
  4. E-Safety
  5. E-Sports


E-Parking: parking facilities maintenance and management

A past project in this area of study has pinpointed on GIS layers the exact location of all parking spaces in and around campus.  The project completed in 2003-2004 analyzed parking demand and supply and assessed the actual parking needs for the years to come vis à vis the planned parking expansions proposed in the WPI master plan.  Future projects will develop a system to organize all the information about parking stickers and will determine the feasibility of equipping campus police officers with PDA’s that will facilitate the cross-referencing of license plates with the WPI stickers database and will thus automate the issuance of parking tickets.   A possible consequence of this project is the development of an MQP (CS/ECE) to produce the actual PDA application. 

E-Buildings: building maintenance and management

This year’s team is continuing the 2003-04 effort by completing the transfer of CAD drawings of campus buildings into GIS layers.  The students are finalizing a method for dealing with 3-D buildings on 2-D layers, managing information on a room-by-room basis.  The project looks at ways to streamline permits, reduce maintenance, optimize use, reduce energy consumption and increase safety for all buildings and structures owned by WPI in and around campus.  This year’s project focuses on the human and environmental safety aspects of campus buildings linked to the e-safety project line described below.

In future years, this project will analyze the energy use in campus buildings to connect with the e-energy project line described below.

E-Grounds: grounds maintenance and management

This year’s team is continuing the 2003-04 effort by completing the mapping of all open space at WPI onto GIS layers.  The students are developing a system that will optimize the maintenance of the grounds in all seasons.  The project analyzes lawns, flower beds, trees, bushes and other plantings with respect to mowing, planting, pruning, fertilizing, mulching, disease prevention and landscaping in order to maximize the aesthetic value of the campus and minimize maintenance costs.  The team is considering the (re-)allocation of economic and human resources in the context of desired “levels of service” to maintain the WPI grounds at a level that contributes to the campus attractiveness to both visitors and prospective students.

E-Safety: physical safety and accident prevention

This project pinpoints on GIS layers the exact location of all fire extinguishers, fire hydrants, exit signs, emergency lights, emergency generators, emergency phones, back flow preventers, and other safety equipment, as well as mapping all evacuation routes and the location of all hazardous materials at satellite collection areas.  The students are developing a system that organizes all safety information so that important data can be accessed quickly in case of an emergency.  The system should be an important tool in support of decisions about safety on campus.  The project is also exploring the Homeland Security implications of this system.

E-Sports: athletic/recreation facilities maintenance and management

Projects in this area of study will pinpoint on GIS layers the exact location of all recreation/athletic facilities on campus.  The students will develop a system that help manage the use and maintenance of these facilities.  A needs assessment will be conducted to determine whether the facilities are adequate and how the Master Plan will address future needs as they arise.

E-Energy: energy management for a zed-campus

Projects in this area of study will analyze the energy use around campus and will identify areas where savings could be achieved in the short, medium and long term.  The team will also explore the feasibility of energy production on campus through solar, wind and other renewable technologies.  The feasibility of selling energy to the electric grid will be explored in detail as will be the implementation of “signature” projects that will promote a renewed attention to energy and will bring about a zero energy campus in a reasonable timeframe.


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