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Top 5 Technologies for Utility Management in 2024

The function of a university is not only to educate and cultivate high-quality talents for all-round development. But also its operational efficiency and the deployment of smart campus strategy are affecting the development of society. In this blog post, we will explore the top five technologies in 2024 that are revolutionizing utility management on college campuses. From smart metering and predictive analytics to building automation and renewable energy integration, these innovative solutions enable facility managers to make data-driven decisions and create more sustainable campuses.

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1. Bobby’s Career Journey

This time we are honored to have an exciting discussion with an outstanding guest, Bobby Tincher, the Utility Systems Manager and Energy Management leader at the University of Kentucky. The two decades of experience cooperating with the leading team to design efficient campus systems are invaluable, and the experience of smart building development may influence numerous organizations’ approaches to the matter.

Bobby’s journey in the realm of IT and smart systems began in her hometown of Mount Sterling, Kentucky, where her initial interest in computers led her to pursue a Computer Science degree with a software specialization from the University of Kentucky.

1.1 Early Career

After graduation, she found herself at the university again, but this time, facing an unexpected turn—managing HVAC systems, a field she had no prior knowledge. Thanks to her IT skills and a forward-thinking director, Bobby was tasked with integrating disparate building management systems into a cohesive, smart campus infrastructure. This is where the QNEX smart campus solution comes into play. QNEX smart campus solution seamlessly integrates these platforms and tools of different systems to provide effective and rapid help for many campus equipment administrators.

1.2 Breakthroughs in Smart Building Integration

This challenge marked the beginning of a transformative era not just for Bobby but for the University of Kentucky as well. Her first major project involved unifying three different control systems under one QNEX platform, a daunting task given her lack of experience in the specific technologies. However, through resourcefulness and a commitment to learning, she successfully brought these systems together, setting the stage for extensive future expansions.

2. Achievements and Current Capabilities in Utility Management

From a modest start with just a handful of devices, Bobby has spearheaded the growth of the university’s smart systems to include nearly 5,000 devices across diverse facilities, including medical centers, research buildings, and educational spaces.

Today, the university boasts a sophisticated network that facilitates efficient operations and energy management across a massive scale, with over 376,000 data points being monitored and controlled.

One of the most pioneering aspects under Bobby’s leadership has been the integration of the university’s Tritium system with its SAP work management system. This integration automates the creation of maintenance notifications from system alarms, drastically improving response times and preventive maintenance efforts.

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Other smart campus solutions that can work for utility managers like this are QNEX Smart Campus solutions. With QNEX’s intelligent campus security system, powerful smart campus audio-visual broadcast function, and climate adaptive adjustment system for humans and the planet. So that the utility manager can maintain the work process on the campus at ease. And ensure a higher level of responsiveness to any problems detected by the system. QNEX serves as a central nervous system connecting different building management techniques, enabling utility leaders like Bobby to improve efficiency, and productivity, significantly contributing to overall campus performance.

3. The Power of Diversity and Inclusion in Tech

Bobby’s success story is not just about technological achievements but also about breaking barriers in a traditionally male-dominated field. Her journey underscores the importance of inclusivity and diversity in fostering innovation. By proving her mettle and earning the trust of her colleagues, Bobby has become a go-to expert in her field, respected and revered by her peers.

Throughout her career, Bobby has witnessed and contributed to a gradual, yet significant, shift towards inclusivity within the field of facilities management. Her presence and success have encouraged more women to enter and thrive in similar roles, proving that diverse perspectives can drive substantial progress in tech-intensive industries.

4. Five Cutting-Edge Technologies of Smart Campus

As for the future, Bobby is focused on harnessing data analytics for predictive maintenance. And further refining the efficiency of campus operations. She is also exploring potential integrations with scheduling software to optimize the use of campus facilities in real time, ensuring that energy use aligns perfectly with actual room and building utilization. Moreover, Bobby remains engaged with advancements in technology such as drone surveillance and autonomous transport, keeping the university at the forefront of smart campus development.

The following are the 2024 utility management assistive intelligence technologies that have played an important role in Bobby’s career.

4.1 Data Analysis for Prediction

Data analytics incorporates advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms. It can effectively identify patterns of potential problems, anomalies appearing on the campus, and energy usage patterns. This predictive approach enables facility management teams to take corrective actions before failures occur. Resulting in significant improvements in operational efficiency and reduction of costly downtime. For example, the integration of the QNEX smart campus solution into the university utility management platform auxiliary the campus shift towards a proactive, data-driven facilities management strategy.

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4.2 Integration of Scheduling Software

At present, the energy management of intelligent buildings is mainly realized by the building equipment management system (BAS system). The BAS system can optimize the management of power, lighting, air-conditioning, and other types of equipment according to the pre-scheduled time program, to achieve the purpose of energy saving.

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Tasks can be scheduled to regulate power consumption through the QNEX Smart Task Schedule platform. For example, when students leave or perform power outage tasks at night, the energy control system effectively reduces energy usage. This not only saves energy but also minimizes human intervention and improves operational efficiency through energy optimization.

4.3 Intelligent Building System to Promote Space Utilization

By connecting smart building systems with scheduling applications, universities can gather valuable information about room and building occupancy patterns. This data can be used to dynamically adjust HVAC, lighting, and other building systems to meet the immediate needs of the campus community, minimize energy waste, and improve overall sustainability.

In addition, this integration provides campus administrators with a comprehensive picture of facility management, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding space allocation, activity planning, and resource management.

4.4 Drone Monitoring to Ensure Overall Security

Drone reconnaissance like DJI CrystalSky is helpful to help utility managers in the smart safeguard system to mark the dangerous places, uninhabited zones, water areas, and other areas in and around the campus, and assist in planning the patrol route.

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Through the aerial survey of UAVs for facility management, the whole campus can be overlooked from the whole, making up for the blind spot of traditional monitoring facilities. Through the real-time monitoring screen, you can see the dynamics of pedestrians, cars, and electric vehicles accurately identified by AI, and fully grasp the operation status. After intelligent analysis, the system can automatically identify violations, capture videos and pictures to store certificates, and mark violations in the system to send out early warning information.

4.5 Smart Transportation

Once school is over, the traffic jam at the school gate is a big problem for us. People and cars are mixed, which is a headache for many utility managers.

However, intelligent transportation systems can help improve traffic rates and effectively solve problems such as congestion and travel difficulties. The system can automatically adjust the timing of traffic lights according to the real-time data analysis results, optimize traffic flow, and improve road efficiency. In addition, digital twin technology can also perform intelligent scheduling of campus public transportation, optimize bus lines and departure intervals according to real-time traffic data and passenger demand, and improve public transportation service levels.

In the future, through the integrated development of artificial intelligence technology and transportation, a vision of intelligent, green, safe, and efficient zero-death and zero-emission transportation will be achieved.

Conclusion

As smart technologies continue to evolve, the role of skilled, dedicated individuals like Bobby becomes increasingly crucial. Digital technology can act as a catalyst to help utility managers upgrade operational business capabilities and model updates for existing campuses or operations. If you are looking for a customizable and effective smart campus solution. Click here to learn more about advanced QNEX smart campus solutions for efficient campus utility management.

Here are some other articles that we think might interest you:  

Navigating the Future: Embracing Technological Evolutions

Smart Campus Based on IoT and GIS: More Than Just News

Unveiling the Future of Smart Campuses: Insights from Leading Experts

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