Our Impact

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Community Impact

The SMART CoE approach is impacting scholarship, education, and engagement in the eight interdisciplinary SMART themes:

  • Sustainable Design and Innovation, 
  • Humans-in-the-Loop
  • Materials and Materials Innovation
  • Information Processing
  • Advanced Design and Manufacturing
  • Transformative Design
  • Industry and Community partnerships
  • SMART education

SMART works closely with university and regional partners  to create systems for design, manufacturing and construction in order to bring highly-customizable products to market faster, while remaining ecologically and economically sustainable. The Community also influences national initiatives  for advancing manufacturing through novel technologies, sustainable materials, intelligent supply chains, enhanced labor productivity and reduced costs. Specifically, our community aims to impact:  


  • Establishing advanced fabrication facilities and expertise for exploring new manufacturing and construction technologies, novel control and implementation methods, and sustainable operation techniques,
  • Convening interdisciplinary symposia in topics aligned with SMART themes,
  • Funding visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate fellows associated with SMART’s long-term goals,
  • Impacting departmental hiring plans and support hiring of community-aligned faculty members to increase the university’s influence regionally, nationally, and internationally , and
  • Supporting initial collaborative exploration of concepts that can lead to novel, large, externally funded agency and consortium proposals. 
  • Providing scientific insight into design principles and processes, new materials, and sustainable manufacturing technologies


  • Engaging students in authentic experiential learning projects using a corporate enterprise model (i.e., UB Inc.),
  • Creating a student-centric, reconfigurable Sandbox facility for testing of working robot prototypes, agile product realization, and teaching demonstrations,
  • Incorporating entrepreneurial learning opportunities into experiential learning activities, promoting sponsored innovation and the formation of spin-off companies,
  • Establishing for undergraduates in design, manufacturing, and advanced robotics based on industrial partnerships
  • Integrating advanced rapid prototyping technologies into educational experiences for faculty and students (e.g., curricular initiatives, seminars and workshops 
  • Launching an interdisciplinary masters certificates with emphasis on hands-on experiences in advanced design and manufacturing and robotics 


  • Connecting with the other institutions of higher learning associated with Startup NY, to attract industry, students, and faculty from across the state in support of innovative, sustainable product realization and construction processes,
  • Collaborating with regional development organizations (e.g., Buffalo Niagara Enterprise) to highlight the focused investment in space, expertise, and equipment to add an additional incentive to attract businesses to utilize the Community’s expertise and relocate in the region,
  • Partnering with the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership to establish a small business engine as students develop expertise in design, manufacturing, digital construction and innovation,
  • Catalyzing collaboration with the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT) in the development and manufacturing of advanced medical devices and innovative healthcare delivery,
  • Creating a workshop program (e.g., sustainable manufacturing and advanced robotics) that will enable regional companies to come to UB and interact with researchers via poster and panel sessions,
  • Positioning UB to influence in national advanced manufacturing and robotics initiatives to catalyze a wave of new explorations and industrial applications,  
  • Becoming a critical engagement resource to connect students at all levels (K-20) to STEM opportunities in the innovative design and manufacturing of systems, products, and buildings, 
  • Engaging elementary and secondary school students in manufacturing and advanced robotics experiences to increase and retain interest in STEM careers
  • Partnering with regional and national governmental, industrial, and community organizations in manufacturing, construction, and sustainability to provide access to SMART CoE manufacturing equipment and expertise.