Ohio State senior projects support Smart Columbus mission

Students surveyed the Easton area to learn about autonomous shuttle useThe Ohio State University is the lead research partner for the Smart Columbus program, but it’s not just faculty leading the way. Students are also working to make Columbus a smarter city.

Students from the School of Environment and Natural Resources showed off their senior projects at the Environmental Professionals Network breakfast on Tuesday and the Smart Columbus program was the focus of nine of the projects.

“We literally got a priority list from the Smart Columbus folks listing the things they could really use some help on,” said Gregory Hitzhusen, assistant professor of professional practice at the School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Hitzhusen and fellow instructor Abdoul Sam worked with students and the city of Columbus to develop projects tied to the Smart Columbus program. Last summer, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the city a $40 million grant to study high-tech mobility projects as part of the Smart Cities Challenge. Vulcan Inc., a philanthropic organization, awarded another $10 million to find solutions to reducing emissions.

The senior projects focused on smart streetlights, driverless shuttles, improving the energy grid and finding a high-tech way to pay for these services. Read more.