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Construction gets rolling at Sterling Ranch

Sterling Ranch Construction is underway for the 1.5-million-gallon water tank that will supply about 12,000 homes at Sterling Ranch, the next-generation planned community near Denver in which Vanderbilt is a partner.

Vanderbilt testing cyber-physical systems in next-generation planned community

Sterling Ranch is rising from the prairie grasses  south of Denver, Colorado, providing a unique opportunity for Vanderbilt engineers to test technology involving cyber physical systems and the environment.

Thanks to this partnership between Vanderbilt and the next-generation planned community, teams of professors, Ph.D. students and undergraduates from across the engineering disciplines travel to Sterling Ranch for research projects. Homes, public spaces and water systems all provide test beds. Adjacent to Colorado’s Front Range and two state parks, the 5 square mile, $4.3 billion development will be a model of sustainability and futuristic living.

Fulfilling the promise of a university Trans-Institutional Program award that helps fund the partnership, a smaller team from Peabody College of education and human development is designing next-gen school buildings and curricula for Sterling Ranch, which expects to have 31,000 residents at its completion in 20 years. Students and a professor from the College of Arts and Science are studying water quality and the intersection of sustainable design and human behavior.

Sterling Ranch is the creation of Colorado entrepreneurs Harold and Diane Smethills and their son, Brock, a Vanderbilt engineering alumnus and the project’s COO. Brock Smethills (BE’13) envisioned the partnership and began working on it with School of Engineering leaders two years ago.