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Sybil Derrible, Ph.D.


Smart, Sustainable, and Resilient Cities

Urban Engineer | 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!

In early October, I got to visit Denver (Colorado) for the first time. While I was walking on 16th street mall between Champa and Stout St., I stumbled on the large yellow smiley shown in the picture on the right. I typically enjoy looking at alleys in cities that are arguably the most under-utilized pieces of urban infrastructure and that typically only host electric wires, air conditioners, dumpsters, parked cars, and stray animals. I was therefore very happy to see that this alley was occupied by a wonderful piece of art by Stuart Semple titled I should be crying but I just can’t let it show (2018). The artwork is quite powerful and you can learn more about it here. It is part of the project Happy City and many artworks are located around downtown Denver (see some examples here). If you plan a trip to Denver in the near future, make sure to take the time to look at them.


Artwork Stuart Semple, "I should be crying but I just can’t let it show" (2018) in Denver Alley, Denver, CO
Photo of Artwork Stuart Semple, I should be crying but I just can’t let it show (2018) in Denver Alley, Denver, CO, large yellow smiley head

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.