Time lapse photo of a freeway at night.
The National Center of Excellence (NCE) on

SMART Innovations

Sustainable systems [Climate – Energy – Materials]

The National Center of Excellence (NCE) on SMART Innovations provides climate and energy system solutions based on sound science and engineering to governments and industries around the globe.

Our research seeks to quantify complex climate-energy system interactions resulting from all phases of a product or technology’s life cycle and to develop cost effective solutions to reduce any negative impacts.

Smart solutions for industry and government

Unlike traditional research programs, the NCE at ASU is a transdisciplinary cluster of researchers and scholars who work together on solutions that encompass technical, social, economic and regulatory factors. The NCE includes participants from the School of Sustainability and Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Core areas of research and project activity are:

  • Technology & Material Innovations – Research teams are working on products ranging from nanoparticles for solar-thermal appliances, surface treatments that control temperatures of built environment structures, and alternatives to conventional building and paving materials.
  • Policy Innovations – As regional and national governments seek effective ways to address climatic and energy impacts for our rapidly urbanizing planet there exists a need for sound science and engineering support that bridge the needs of industry with those of public welfare. Researchers at the National Center of Excellence use an array of models, observations and experimentation to quantify risks to human health, security, economy and environment from current approaches to regulatory frameworks. Through this fundamental research we are able to then develop innovative alternatives for adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Existing and past industry partners of the National Center of Excellence include BASF, Dial Corp, Henkel, Intel, CEMEX, Raytheon, Ford Motor Company, AT&T and the Asphalt Pavement Alliance.

Governmental partners include the United Nations Environment Programme, US Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Energy, NASA, as well as the cities of London, Beijing, Seoul, Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Houston , Maricopa County and King County Washington.

Director’s message

In 2006, Arizona State University was selected as a National Center of Excellence (NCE) for SMART Innovations to focus on technology and policy innovations related to urban heat island, climate change and energy. The NCE is a research cluster at Arizona State University involving the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. It is funded in part by the US EPA and industry sponsors.NCE researchers are evaluating developing the next generation of Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technologies (SMART) for urban energy and climate needs.This includes development and application of materials for renewable energy products, innovative building and pavement materials that reduce energy demand as well as materials which can improve regional impacts from Urban Heat Islands.

The NCE is becoming a state-of-the-art research organization providing customized, management strategies and technical advice to local and regional governments, industry and NGOs seeking to incorporate sustainable technologies and organizational strategies for economic, social and environmental benefits.

We invite you to learn more about the NCE SMART by exploring our web site or contacting us via email or phone. If this research interests you, contact us to find out how you can become involved in our community as a student, researcher, or member of our advisory group.

Kamil Kaloush

Managing Director, NCE SMART