Smart cities using Internet of things to mitigate urban heat

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Kenan Degirmenci
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Megacities with populations over 10 million are expected to double over the next decade and occur in resource-poor and highly fragile regions of the globe. Digitization and smart cities are considered as a solution to pressing urban issues, which can help to leverage advanced communication technologies in order to improve all areas of city administration, enhance citizens’ quality of life, and make cities more efficient, sustainable, and resilient.

In this regard, a major contributor to increasing global warming are urban heat islands (UHI), which are metropolitan areas that are significantly warmer than their surrounding rural areas. Land temperatures in densely developed city centres can be as much as 10 degrees Celsius higher than the surrounding forested landscape. Besides increased energy needs, UHI effects urge urban planners to reconsider the design and energy assessments of buildings in urban areas due to the storage and release of heat energy. Transportation is another contributor to urban heat regarding engine type (internal combustion engines vs. battery electric vehicles vs. plug-in hybrid electric vehicles), the degree of vehicle autonomy (non-autonomous vs. connected vs. autonomous vehicles), and traffic flow (for example, driving behaviour patterns and information dissemination among traffic participants).

The application of Internet of things (IoT) technologies helps to collect and analyse data with the goal to improve building design and operation as well as transportation planning and traffic flow management to mitigate urban heat.

Research activities

This research involves one or more of the following activities:

  • reviewing the academic literature on smart cities, Internet of things, and urban heat islands
  • analysing current IoT solutions in the areas of building design and operation as well as transportation planning and traffic flow management
  • conducting empirical research such as case studies and interviews
  • collecting, analysing, visualising, and interpreting big data
  • applying existing theories to solve real-world problems
  • developing new theories to contribute to scientific knowledge


The expected outcomes are dependent on the scope of the research and may include the following:

  • systematic literature review analysis
  • insights from case study research and interviews with relevant industry, government, and community stakeholders
  • outcomes from big data analytics
  • communication of findings in academic journals, academic conference proceedings, and professional outlets

Skills and experience

This research requires one or more of the following skills:

  • Business intelligence
  • Big data analytics
  • Predictive analytics
  • Data mining


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.