Meet our Director
Dr. Junfeng Jiao
School of Architecture
The University of Texas at Austin
Junfeng Jiao is a tenured professor at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a world-renowned expert in Smart City and a senior Fulbright Specialist on Smart City for the National Government of Egypt. His research has been widely reported by major media outlets such as ABC, Associated Press, CNN, Fox, NBC, NPR, New York Times, and Wired.
Dr. Jiao is the founding director of Urban Information Lab, Texas Smart Cities, and UT NSF Ethical AI Program. He is also the founding member and past chair of UT Good Systems Grand Challenge, which is a 10-million-dollar research initiative. His research focuses on Smart City, Urban Informatics and Ethical AI. Dr. Jiao develops and applies different technologies to understand the impact of urban environments on people’s daily living. He firstly coined the term transit deserts and measured it in all US cities. Using different AI methods, Dr. Jiao investigated the spatial-temporal patterns of various shared activities (Airbnb, Uber, Scooter, and Bike sharing) in major US cities. In addition to that, Dr. Jiao and his team have developed an autonomous robot delivery system at UT Austin, designed two cutting edge generative AI systems (ComputeGPT and OpenCityAI), and deployed one active digital twin model for Austin (Austin Fire Digital Twin).
Currently he is leading four large Smart City projects: NSF: CIVIC Challenge Community Hub for Smart Mobility (Smart Hub), NSF NRT: AI-Convergent, Responsible, Ethical, Applied Training Experience for Roboticists (Ethical AI), An AI based Smart City Knowledge System (A Good System for Smart City), and USDOT Tier 1 UTC focusing on Smart Transportation and Climate (John Hopkins, MIT, UT, Utah, and others). As of July 2023, Dr. Jiao has raised over $33 million research funding from different sources such as NSF, USDOE, USDOT, USHUD, TXDOT, UT, MITRE, Microsoft, Google, and others. Dr. Jiao also published over 110 peer reviewed articles and two single authored books in Shared Mobility and Smart City.
- Ph.D. Urban Planning, University of Washington
- M.S. Transportation Engineering, University of Washington
- M.S. Geographic Information System, University of Twente
- M.E. Architectural Design, Wuhan University
- B.E. Urban Planning, Wuhan University