Prabal Dutta Receives CAREER Award for Research into the Use of Sensors to Monitor Resource Consumption in the Built Environment

Prof. Prabal Dutta Enlarge
Prof. Prabal Dutta.

Assistant Professor Prabal Dutta has been awarded an NSF CAREER award for his research project, “Scalable Sensor Infrastructure for Sustainably Managing the Built Environment.”

Under the program, Prof. Dutta will develop advanced sensor technologies that will help to create progress toward the current Federal sustainability goals that mandate that 50% of U.S. commercial buildings become net-zero energy by 2050. A range of options exists to achieve this goal, but financial concerns require a data-driven, empirically-validated approach.

Specifically, Prof. Dutta will develop a class of low cost, networked “peel and stick” sensors that can be affixed to everyday objects to infer their contributions to whole-building resource consumption. The sensors will monitor the ambient conditions around a load and, using statistical methods, correlate those conditions with readings from existing electricity, gas, or water meters, providing individual estimates without intrusive metering. The sensors will not require external power and will enable scalable deployment and widespread adoption. More information about the project is available in Prof. Dutta’s CAREER Award Posting by NSF.

Since joining the University of Michigan in 2010, Prof. Dutta’s research has pioneered practical, low-power platforms and wireless protocols for pervasive sensing, computing, and communications, typically by leveraging hardware/software insights and applying a whole-system approach that spans circuits to software. His work aims to give us the platforms and protocols to realize these systems at scale and in the service of society, and in the interests of increasing the diversity and longevity of life on our planet.

Prof. Dutta received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught courses in Introduction to Logic Design (EECS 270), Introduction to Computer Organization (EECS 370), Design of Microprocessor Based Systems (EECS 373), Advanced Operating Systems (EECS 582), and Wireless Sensor Networks (EECS 598). He is a recipient of the Intel Early Career Faculty Honor Program Award and is affiliated with the Advanced Computer Architecture Laboratory.

About the NSF CAREER Award

The CAREER grant is one of the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards, conferred for “the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization.”