Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies

ubri/urban design project.

Building upon UB’s reputation as a leader in advanced manufacturing and design, UB's Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART) community will help create the next generation of technologies, processes and education.

SMART pursues research that aligns UB's capacity in engineering, architecture, management, economics and health sciences to bring products to market faster, regardless of their size and complexity, while remaining ecologically and economically sustainable. The community's scholarship focuses on the following areas:

  • Sustainable Design and Innovation
  • Advanced Design and Manufacturing
  • Materials and materials innovation
  • Industry and Community Partnerships
  • Transformative Design
  • Information Processing
  • Human-in-the-loop
  • SMART Education

SMART works closely with regional partners, including Automated Dynamics, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Buffalo Manufacturing Works, Construction Robotics LLC., Moog, and LP Cinimelli as well national initiatives such as the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute and the American Institute of Architecture’s Technology in Architectural Practice Group. These collaborations advance manufacturing through novel technologies, sustainable materials, intelligent supply chains, enhanced labor productivity and reduced costs.

SMART's experiential learning opportunities immerse students in the design and manufacturing processes and challenges associated with advanced design, manufacturing and construction across scales of time, size and complexity. Learning formats offered include a corporate enterprise model that supports interaction with industry and entrepreneurship development; testing facilities for assessing robot prototypes, agile product realization and teaching demonstrations, and an advanced graduate certificate in advanced manufacturing and a manufacturing minor with an emphasis on hands-on experiences.


School of Architecture and Planning faculty with SMART leadership roles:

  • Omar Khan, co-leader, SMART, associate professor and chair of architecture: Professor Khan is interested in how advances in technology impact design across scales.
  • Michael Silver, co-leader, SMART, adjunt professor of architecture: Professor Silver is interested in the use of robotics outside the controlled enviroment of a factory.

View full SMART leadership team

Contact SMART

Kemper E. Lewis, PD
Director, SMART
SMART website

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Now in its second year, the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop convenes architects, engineers and ceramicists to develop environmentally-responsive terra cotta façade prototypes. 


The same dimpled surface that allows a golf ball to slice through the air is applied to the exterior of a high-rise building to reduce wind load. The design by Jin Young Song and an engineer with SOM was a finalist in an international competition.

It was show-and-tell time for UB’s Communities of Excellence last week as members of the research institutes that have been impacting our world for the past two years gathered for their annual progress review.