The Urban Collaboratory brings together faculty and students in collaboration with city leaders and residents to identify and address emerging challenges in 21st-century urban centers. Interdisciplinary teams with members from different Colleges across campus work together in a convergent research approach emphasizing societal impact.
The Urban Collaboratory draws together a community of scholars from across the University of Michigan campus to collaborate directly with city stakeholders to address targeted challenges that impact the health and livability of urban centers.
The Collaboratory provides a “front door” to communities trying to connect with U-M. Faculty and student teams work directly with city stakeholders to identify community challenges, develop an effective approach, identify funding sources and then implement solutions guided by novel urban design methods. Collaboratory projects integrate information, communication technology, and sensor technologies in a comprehensive fashion to observe, manage, and control urban processes—all with the goal of improving residents’ overall quality of life.
All parties relevant to a particular engagement bring knowledge and insights, both explicit and implicit that are essential to successfully accomplishing the assignment. All parties shall recognize and respect the abilities contributed by other team members.
All parties participating in an assignment are offering value and prioritizing their efforts relative to time and other resources devoted to successfully accomplish the assignment. The full range of contributions made by each team member will be recognized and respected.
Equitable partnerships provide benefits to all parties. While they will be different for different parties, all participants will strive to ensure that all receive benefits that are relevant and realistic from the perspective of the party receiving them.
Developing and continuously enriching a trusted relationship is essential to enable the principles above. Trust is earned over time through transparency and alignment of actions with expressions of intent.
The community is the ultimate decision-maker concerning the overall approaches, methods, and implementation of research efforts in their communities.
Current Collaboratory projects include removing phosphorus from water in Detroit, helping seniors age in place in Ypsilanti, improving public transportation in Benton Harbor, and much more.
“Partnerships with the Urban Collaboratory will unlock the power of interdisciplinary research and implementation through design integration with our city partners.”
Associate Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean for Research at the Taubman College of Architecture Urban Planning, and Urban Collaboratory Co-Director
Professor, Environmental and Water Resources
Dr. Daigger is currently Professor of Engineering Practice at the University of Michigan and President and Founder of One Water Solutions, LLC, a water engineering and innovation firm. He previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for CH2M HILL where he was employed for 35 years, as well as Professor and Chair of Environmental Systems Engineering at Clemson University. Actively engaged in the water profession through major projects, and as author or co-author of more than 100 technical papers, four books, and several technical manuals, he contributes to significantly advance practice within the water profession. He has advised many of the major cites of the world, including New York, Los Angles, San Francisco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Istanbul, and Beijing, and is currently a member of the Asian Development Bank Water Advisory Group. Deeply involved in professional activities, he is currently co-Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation (WE&RF), and a Past President of the International Water Association (IWA). The recipient of numerous awards, including the Kappe, Freese, and Feng lectures and the Harrison Prescott Eddy, Morgan, and the Gascoigne Awards, he is a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a Distinguished Fellow of IWA, and a Fellow of the Water Environment Federation (WEF). A member of a number of professional societies, Dr. Daigger is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineers.
Borchardt and Glysson Collegiate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Nancy G. Love is the Borchardt and Glysson Collegiate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. She previously served as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and as Associate Dean in the University of Michigan’s Rackham School of Graduate Studies. She previously taught at Virginia Tech.
Dr. Love’s research interests include water quality and environmental biotechnology. Specifically, she studies the fate of toxins and pharmaceuticals in wastewater, as well as the technologies that can be used to remove these chemical stressors.
Dr. Love holds a PhD in Environmental Systems Engineering from Clemson University (1994) and both a Masters of Science (1986) and a Bachelors of Science (1984) in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Donald Malloure Department Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Jerome P. Lynch, Ph.D. has been a member of the faculty at the University of Michigan since 2003. He is currently the Donald Malloure Department Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In addition to his work as the Director of the U-M Urban Collaboratory Initiative, he is also the Director of the Laboratory for Intelligent Systems Technology (LIST).
Dr. Lynch’s work focuses on the boundary between traditional civil engineering and related engineering disciplines (such as electrical engineering, computing science, and material science), converting infrastructure systems into more intelligent and reactive systems through the integration of sensing, computing, and actuation technologies. These cyber-physcial systems (CPS) greatly enhance performance while rendering them more resilient against natural and man-made hazards.
Dr. Lynch completed his graduate studies at Stanford University where he received his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2002, M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1998, and M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2003. Prior to attending Stanford, Dr. Lynch received his B.E. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Cooper Union in New York City. He has co-authored one book and over 200 articles in peer reviewed journal and conferences. Dr. Lynch has been awarded the 2005 ONR Young Investigator Award, 2009 NSF CAREER Award, 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2012 ASCE EMI Leonardo da Vinci Award and 2014 ASCE Huber Award.
Associate Professor of Architecture
Associate Dean for Creative Practice
Geoffrey Thün is Associate Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan where he teaches design studios, courses in urban systems, site operations and material systems. He is a founding partner in the research-based practice RVTR. He holds an M.UD from the University of Toronto, and a Professional BArch and BES from the University of Waterloo.
Thün’s work ranges in scale from that of the regional territory and the city, to high performance buildings, to full-scale prototype-based work exploring responsive and kinetic envelopes that mediate energy, atmosphere, and social space. These operational scales are tied together through a methodology that entails a complex systems approach; one that assembles around each project a multiplicity of agents, forces and contexts and leverages these multivalent and sometimes contradictory agents towards integrated and synthetic design work. His academic research has attracted external funding from the U.S. Department of Energy / National Renewable Energy Laboratory (DOE/NREL), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Research Council of Canada (NRCan), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and Ford Motor Company. Geoffrey is also a co-founder of the Urban Collaboratory.
Mr. Wolf serves as Managing Director of the University of Michigan’s Urban Collaboratory working to connect University of Michigan “smart city” research, community needs and funding opportunities to deploy impactful projects addressing targeted challenges that improve the livability of communities. Mr. Wolf brings a wealth of experience to the Collaboratory and has served in a number of senior management positions at large multinational consulting firms. In that capacity, he has directed a wide variety of technical disciplines, projects and programs providing consulting services to governments, corporations, foundations, institutions and non-profits at locations globally. Mr. Wolf is a Professional Engineer licensed in several states, and holds a BS in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the University of Missouri at St. Louis.