About Us

City lights of Earth from orbit

The Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems conducts and facilitates research that integrates science, technology, social science, policy, planning, design, and business to improve environmental, social, and economic outcomes. While its interests span across a wide range of research problems, the BBISS is particularly focused on the emerging science of Gigatechnology. Gigatechnologies are the largest engineered systems that humans create: infrastructure, such as transportation networks, energy grids, water, sewer, and storm water systems, and food production and distribution systems. Gigatech is more than just the designing, building, and operating of big systems however. More importantly, it is about the properties that emerge as a result of big systems interacting with each other, and with social, economic, and natural systems. The BBISS specializes in a Team Science approach that enables large and diverse research teams to compete for grants and partner with other organizations to understand how these massive and complex systems function, and to develop means for managing them.