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Sybil Derrible, Ph.D.


Smart, Sustainable, and Resilient Cities

Engineer, Planner, Complexity and Data Scientist




Welcome to my personal website. My name is Sybil Derrible, I am an Associate Professor of Sustainable Infrastructure Systems in the Civil and Materials Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and the Director of the Complex and Sustainable Urban Networks (CSUN) Lab. I am also a Research Associate Professor with the Institute of Environmental Science and Policy, I have a courtesy appointment in the Department of Computer Science, and I am a faculty fellow at the Honors College at UIC.

Make sure to check the Complex and Sustainable Urban Networks (CSUN) Lab website!

Back in 2016, during a night flight from Chicago to California, I remember looking out at the window and seeing the city shown on the picture on the right. I had no idea where we were, although I knew how much time had passed since we had taken off. The city appeared to be fairly large and oddly geometric. More surprisingly, right in the center of the city, I could see bright lights, much brighter than the rest of the city. I immediately thought of Las Vegas, and sure enough, that was it, with its famous Strip! The darker spot just below the bright center is the McCarran International Airport. The circular serpentine road shown in the bottom is located in Seven Hills (see map of Las Vegas). It's incredible how peaceful a city looks when viewed from a plane, despite the fact at the exact same moment, so many activities were happening and so much energy was being consumed.


View of Las Vegas at Night from Plane, Las Vegas, NV
View of Las Vegas at Night from Plane, the Strip, McCarran Airport, Seven Hills Las Vegas, NV

Research interests: My long-term interests include the planning, design and modeling of urban infrastructure. More particularly, I look at the geometric and topological network feature of infrastructure, which is a vital component of "smart cities". Whether it is the water/wastewater system, the electricity grid, the building stock, or the transportation system, all are part of a nexus of co-dependent and ubiquitous elements of infrastructure that is critical to our cities, acting as a significant generator of economic activity and social development. My main goal is to redefine infrastructure planning and develop new practices to address the challenges of the 21st century.