Sociotechnical Systems to Enable Smart & Connected Energy-Aware Residential Communities


About picture Our project aims to develop a new paradigm for smart and connected residential communities that engages inhabitants in understanding and reducing their home energy use while increasing their environmental awareness, responsiveness to collective goals, and improving their quality of life. Our primary research goals are to 1) Discover new knowledge on how individuals, groups, and residential communities make decisions related to their home energy consumption. 2) Develop feedback mechanisms and smart technology to transform this often-irrational, information-poor process into an information-rich and coordinated energy management activity. 3) Demonstrate user-interactive devices and feedback mechanisms that optimize and incentivize energy management. 4) Foster energy-aware communities that can be scaled across the U.S based on S&C technology, data analytics, and predictive modeling. In collaboration with our community partners (the Indiana Housing and Community Development Agency and BWI, LLC), smart and connected (S&C) technology will be implemented in several hundred households in multiple residential communities across Indiana which are used as research test-beds covering a wide range of demographics, locations, and construction.

The project is funded by NSF #1737591.

Meet the Team

Project Leader


Panagiota Karava

Jack and Kay Hockema Professor in Civil Engineering

Smart Building Technology, Building Energy and Comfort Delivery Systems, Human-building Interactions

Principal Investigators


Jim Braun

Herrick Professor of Engineering, Director of the Center for High Performance Buildings

Thermal systems modeling and optimization, Intelligent controls applied to building systems, Automated diagnostics


Ilias Bilionis

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Uncertainty Quantification, Scientific Machine Learning, Predictive Science


Julia Rayz

Professor of Computer and Information Technology

Ontologies, Natural Language Understanding, Computational Humor, Fuzzy Logic


Leigh Raymond

Professor of Political Science

Social norms and environmental policy, Energy and climate policy, Non-economic behavioral motivations


Thanh Nguyen

Associate Professor of Management

Market Design, Algorithmic Decision Making, Economic and Social Networks


Torsten Reimer

Professor of Communication and Psychology, Brian Lamb School of Communication, Communication and Cognition Lab

Judgment and Decision Making, Smart Technologies and Social Influence, Risk Perception and Environmental Behavior

Grad Students


Sang woo Ham

Ph.D. student, Civil Engineering

Building energy, Building mechanical system


Hayden Barber

Ph.D. Candidate, Brian Lamb School of Communication

Emotion in messages, Decision-making, Computers as social actors, Interpersonal scripts in new media technologies


Huijeong Kim

Ph.D. Student

Smart Buildings, Eco-feedback Design, Decision Science


Jeonghyun Oh

Ph.D. Student, Brian Lamb School of Communication

Organizational Communication, Judgment and Decision Making, Technology and Communication


Marlen Promann Sergiwa

Sr UX Researcher; Interdisciplinary PhD candidate in Design, Technology, and Innovation Leadership

Human-centered Design, User Experience, Computer Supported Cooperation, Information Visualization, Perception and Cognition, Behavioral Nudging


Nathanael Johnson

Masters Student, Brian Lamb School of Communication

Technology Diffusion, User Experience in Technology


Tatiana Ringenberg

Research Assistant

Ontological Semantics, Corpus Annotation, Cyber Deviance


Vanessa Kwarteng

Ph.D. Student, Mechanical Engineering

Thermodynamics, Machine Learning, Systems Engineering

Software Developer


Hemanth Devarapalli

Sr. Research Analyst

API development, Natural Language Processing, Applied Machine Learning

Community Partners


Gary Hobbs


Apartment complexes development, Strategic consulting and training, Assisting local community.


Jacob Sipe

Executive Director

Affordable Housing, Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, System Changes Through Continuous Improvement


Roderick A. Watts

President/Senior Consultant

Computer Related Consulting Services, Surveillance system

Recent posts

2022 NSF SCC PIs meeting

Our team Prof.Karava and Gary Hobbs (BWI) introduced the outcomes from the 5 years of our SCC project at the plenary session (From the …

Posterity Solar Grand Opening

Our team James E. Braun introduces our S&CC project at the Grand Solar opening of our Fort Wayne residential community (the event …

Resident interview

Our residents in Fort Wayne share their experiences with S&CC devices and social games during the interview with our team (PhD …

Lottery winners

Our community residents are excited to win their lottery game rewards!

Social games in residential communities

Our team implements two social games on S&CC devices (Feb. 2021). A collaborative social game is launched in Fort Wayne community, …