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Jurij Paraszczak: Moving the Focus from Infrastructure to Systems

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Article Posted On 6/3/2014

As Carnegie Mellon researchers continue to collaborate successfully by furthering technologies within different infrastructure domains, a former industrial partner is helping them envision developing a smarter system that considers and coordinates all of these domains. Jurij Paraszczak is helping them develop ideas that address this emerging field of urban systems or a "system of systems."

Prior to coming to Carnegie Mellon, Paraszczak-now distinguished service professor of urban systems with ICES and the Heinz College-was director of IBM Research Industry Solutions and leader of the IBM Research Smarter Cities program. His role focused on helping cities manage the complex set of demands placed on infrastructure by their constituents and on the optimization of flows of energy, people, traffic, and water through this infrastructure, by developing the analytics and sensing required for this complex task. In this role, he often worked with College of Engineering faculty in smart infrastructure on related research projects.

Paraszczak now brings this expertise to help researchers adopt a new paradigm of thinking about infrastructure issues that is holistic and to help them connect with each other across disciplines like engineering, public policy and management, computer science, and urban design, and architecture. He is also helping community organizations, governmental entities, and industries that are facing systems-related problems connect with faculty and researchers who can develop new technologies, designs, and policies to address these needs.

"Carnegie Mellon has been a leader in analyzing the social and structural states of cities, looking and analyzing and predicting such issues as building and bridge behaviors, water system behavior, energy usage, crime, welfare, privacy, security, and policy, while using advanced software and hardware created and tested on campus," explains Paraszczak. "By combining the work from these many groups, we are beginning to focus on urban systems as a complete system, whose intersections contain some of the thorniest problems that cities, regions, countries, and continents have to face."

Paraszczak has over 55 publications in various areas of telecommunications, technology and systems, and over 18 patents in a wide variety of fields including urban systems, media, communications, plasma chemistry, microlithography, materials manipulation and chip fabrication, packaging systems, media delivery, and characterization, He has a broad experience to draw on to help span a wide variety of disciplines and to synthesize new approaches to old problems. He obtained his Ph.D. and B.S. from the University of Sheffield, UK.