Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Siemens partners UCF on Energy Big Data research

William Payne
October 31, 2018




The University of Central Florida (UCF) and Siemens have unveiled a new collaboration around smart infrastructure aimed at improving the performance and efficiency of buildings and the energy grid through the use of data. The collaboration will include software and hardware to be installed at UCF’s Smart Infrastructure Data Analytics Lab and will incorporate the existing Siemens’ Digital Grid Lab. The collaboration builds on a more than 30-year relationship between the two organisations. 

Siemens will integrate its MindSphere cloud-based IoT operating system, Navigator building data analytics platform, Desigo CC building management station, and other building automation hardware into the Smart Infrastructure Data Analytics Lab’s facilities and corresponding building automation management systems. Utilising Siemens software platforms, students and faculty will learn how to conduct in-depth research on data analytics focused on building systems.

Founded last year, Siemens’ Digital Grid Lab will be combined with the Smart Infrastructure Lab and will focus on power grid-specific infrastructure components of the project. UCF will also work with local utilities that serve both the campus and the surrounding communities to collect utility consumption and related weather data as well as operational and planning data for their power distribution systems. Using Siemens software platforms, students and faculty will learn how to conduct in-depth research on data analytics focused on building systems.

“We look forward to partnering with Siemens to help build and shape the smart cities of tomorrow,” said UCF President Dale Whittaker. “Together, we will prepare our students to meet the data science workforce demands of the future and produce technology efficiencies and innovations in infrastructure and energy that will benefit our community and our nation for decades to come.”

“Siemens’ long-time partnership with UCF is a win-win for all parties,” said Dave Hopping, President of Siemens Building Technologies – North America. “Siemens gets to thoroughly test its analytics platforms as well as new software prototypes for use with various applications. We will apply those learnings to advance smart buildings. In turn, UCF students gain valuable hands-on experience and industry knowledge of real-time findings that will affect how we interact with buildings and the grid in the future.”

“There’s a definite synergy between buildings and the grid, as seen with energy becoming more decentralised and buildings assuming more of a prosumer role,” said Mike Carlson, President of Siemens Digital Grid – North America. “The opportunity to take what we are already doing with UCF related to grid digitalisation and combine supply and demand in coordination with technology for building automation will make this a benchmark programme for Siemens.”

Through the Smart Infrastructure Data Analytics Lab, Siemens will leverage data through machine learning, real-time analytics and artificial intelligence to help automate certain processes to be initiated by building systems whenever possible.

UCF students and faculty will also assist Siemens in planning, prioritising and testing various technology prototypes to accelerate the commercialisation of smart building platforms and technologies in conjunction with utility-based applications and programmes.

The Smart Infrastructure Data Analytics Lab is expected to be fully operational in early 2019.