A global artificial intelligence challenge led by Texas Engineers Zoltan Nagy and Javad Mohammadi has been recognized by the Climate Change AI Innovation (CCAI) Grants program.

The two faculty members in the Fairborz Maseeh Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering lead the CityLearn Challenge. The contest challenges teams to use AI and smart devices to model reduced energy consumption and emissions at the neighborhood level.

Nagy Zoltan

“We’re grateful for the support from CCAI, and it allows us to introduce key novelties to the challenge,” said Nagy. “Before, we only modeled control of a home battery, and now we are controlling more home appliances, like thermostats, hot water heaters, and heat pumps. In addition to sustainability, the AI agents need to take comfort into account, be prepared for potential power outages and collectively support the power grid.”

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Mohammadi Javad

CityLearn is one of nine projects to receive grants from CCAI. The awardees span 30 universities, companies, nonprofits, NGOs, and governmental organizations across nine countries and five continents, bringing together interdisciplinary teams for high-impact projects touching many aspects of the climate crisis.

CCAI aims to address the complex relationship between climate change and AI. The organization supports projects that address research and deployment challenges in climate change mitigation, adaptation and climate science by leveraging AI and machine learning, while also creating publicly available datasets and tools to catalyze further work.