- Civil & Environmental Eng.
Branko Kerkez's research focuses on the development of intelligent water grids, which have the potential to revolutionize the interaction between hydrologic systems and man-made infrastructure. One main area of interest is the control and optimization of large-scale water systems, spanning everything from water supply (lakes, snowpack, reservoirs) to demand (agricultural and urban uses, hydropower production, decentralized operations of municipal water grids). Using a system-level approach, Kerkez is working to conceptualize the man-made and natural components of water networks while tying them together through advances in sensing, communication, machine learning and control theory. He hopes to ultimately to build the "Internet of Water," an intelligent cyber-physical system that connects water bodies with physical infrastructure and data-driven models atop a novel communications backbone.