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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!

During the holidays, I visited my in-laws in Lyon, France. Lyon has a wonderful medieval neighborhood officially called Saint-Jean, although many locals call it the Vieux Lyon (i.e., the old Lyon). The neighborhood was first developed during the Gallo-Roman times and the neighborhood still has incredible Roman ruins, including a large amphitheater. The current infrastructure was developed in the middle ages and it bears signs of a then incredible "new" technology. Indeed, the street is paved and it has a gutter in the center. This design first originated during the reign of Philip II of France (better known as Philip Augustus) in the 12th century, and it was developed as a strategy to manage stormwater during heavy rains and to clean up cities since water could be used to wash down the solid waste that was lying in streets. The picture on the right exhibits a great example in Lyon. If you ever visit Lyon, make sure to take a walk in the Vieux Lyon.


Medieval paved street with gutter in the center, Lyon, France
Photo of medieval paved street with gutter in the center, Lyon, France, design during reign of Philip II of France (Philip Augustus). Stormwater management, sewer system, heavy rain, solid waste management

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.