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Smart Environments for Assisted Living: A Multidisciplinary Collaboration in Engineering and Architecture Education

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Architectural Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Divisions

Architectural Engineering and Construction Engineering

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Paper Authors


Adriana Rios Santiago Texas Southmost College Orcid 16x16

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Adriana Rios Santiago is currently the Architecture Program Coordinator and Instructor at Texas Southmost College (TSC), in Brownsville, Texas. Formerly, she worked as a lecturer of Engineering Technology, in the Department of Manufacturing Engineering at the College of Engineering and Computer Science, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), teaching Architectural and Design related courses, and developing undergraduate studies and research in smart environments. She received her Bachelor’s in Architecture from Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM), in 2007. She received her Masters in Architecture from the School of Architecture of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), in 2011. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Architecture. Her current research interests include sustainable building design, building automation, and smart environments.

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Anabel Pineda-Briseño Tecnologico Nacional de Mexico/Instituto Tecnologico de Matamoros Orcid 16x16

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Anabel Pineda Briseño was born in H. Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico in 1978. She received the B. degree in computer systems engineering from the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas, in 2000 and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the Computer Research Center (CIC) of the Mexican National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), Mexico City, in 2006 and 2013 respectively. Since 2005, she has been a partial professor of computer science with the Tecnologico Nacional de Mexico / Instituto Tecnologico de Matamoros. Dr. Pineda-Briseño is co-creator of the Beyond Engineering Education Program and is professor leader of Arecibo Remote Command Center (ARCC) in Mexico, both projects of engineering and sciences in cross-border collaboration with The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). Her current research interests are Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (Positioning and Routing Protocols), SDR-based Ad Hoc Space Networks (Positioning and Routing Protocols), Internet of Things, Machine Learning and STEM Education. Currently, Dr. Pineda-Briseño in member of the National System for Researchers (SNI) by the CONACyT in Mexico since 2017.

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Jesus A. Gonzalez-Rodriguez University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

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Dr. Jesus Gonzalez is currently a lecturer in the Department of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. He holds a PhD from The University of Sheffield in United Kingdom in Materials Science and Engineering. During the PhD, he received the Foster Research Prize given to the best PhD thesis related to glass technology. His research interest is in the mechanical properties of glass at room and high temperature.
Dr. Gonzalez has also a broad experience in the glass industry, specifically in fabrication of automotive safety glass. He worked for Vitro Glass Company for more than 19 years where he held different positions such as Process Engineer, Materials Planning and Logistics Manager, Production Superintendent, Manufacturing Engineer and Glass Technologist. During his time in the company, he co-authored two patents related to glass fabrication and glass coatings processing.
Dr. Gonzalez is a Six-Sigma Black Belt and has participated in numerous process improvement projects. He has been trained as well in the Methodology of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) that he applied to solve complex problems. In the manufacturing operations field, he is certified in Production and Inventory Management by APICS, which is the professional association for supply chain management.
He is a member of the Society of Glass Technology, based in Sheffield England. He is also affiliated to the alumni society of Armourers & Brasiers' Company, London UK, which is a society that promotes the study of Materials Science.

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Uriel Saul Huerta P.E. Tecnologico de Leon

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I am currently studying a master's degree in Mexico doing a scholar research at UTRGV University in Browsville, Texas.

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This paper presents a description of a collaborative project based on the integration of technology development in the built environment for assisted living. The multidisciplinary collaboration is developed as a cooperative commitment to provide support for cross-border, collective projects. It was initiated as a project-based learning setting between undergraduate engineering students, and four years later the program shifted to include undergraduate architecture students and engineering master’s students. The learning experience opens the gate to a completely new collaborative setting, yet to be established, independent from its predecessor setting of project-based learning, focusing now towards an interdisciplinarity setting in cross-border collaboration. The new collaborative projects focus on smart environments for assisted living, with an emphasis on technology development and retrofitting of the built environment. The four participating programs are from three different leaders higher education institutions, from both sides of the US and Mexico border.

Smart Environments (SmE), design, and technology applications are relevant topics across multiple and diverse disciplines and areas of contemporary life. Different kinds of SmE in the domain of smart homes have been developed in academia and industry. For healthcare and assisted living development highlights include monitoring the behavior, emergency detection, cognitive and physical information, emotional information, etc., to offer a variety of useful services, solutions or benefits to patients, disabled and the elderly. This is relevant because it has been suggested as a viable solution to maintain independence, functionality, well-being and higher quality of life of elders who will increase in number worldwide by approximately 20% by 2050. However, incorporating physical and digital technologies (technologies 4.0) into building retrofitting is a feature of scalability and configurability for a future generation of smart applications.

This paper summarizes the current applications of multidisciplinary collaboration in the Computer Systems Engineering, Architectural, and Engineering Technology fields. It describes a work in progress as a key element in international, multidisciplinary research in undergraduate education, with the aim of sharing challenges, lessons learned, and future work.

Rios Santiago, A., & Pineda-Briseño, A., & Gonzalez-Rodriguez, J. A., & Huerta, U. S. (2020, June), Smart Environments for Assisted Living: A Multidisciplinary Collaboration in Engineering and Architecture Education Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35194

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