Welcome to LEaRN
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What is LEaRN

The Lafayette Engagement and Research Network (LEaRN) Collaborative is a result of a joint partnership between the Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG), the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL), and CGI. LEaRN is focused on understanding how smart community initiatives can be successfully leveraged to help local governments better manage resources, improve planning, make more informed decisions and improve citizens’ quality of life.

Additional supporting partners of LEaRN include the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA), One Acadiana (regional chamber of commerce), and the Lafayette Public School System (LPSS). For projects such as the EPA Smart City Air Challenge, LEaRN has partnered with additional organizations to help accelerate this transformation such as Microsoft, the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago, IL and The Enterprise Center in Chattanooga, TN in an advisory council capacity.

LEaRN about Air Quality

The EPA Smart City Air Challenge

The Lafayette Engagement and Research Network (LEaRN) collaborative for Smart Cities was awarded EPA’s Smart City Air Challenge (https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-smart-city-air-challenge-awardees) in November of 2016. This project will help demonstrate how communities can leverage emerging IoT technology with a lower barrier to entry for Smart Cities, paired with educational, in kind and “crowd sourced” efforts to fit a 300 sensor network within a constrained budget.

LEaRN will leverage the educational network of LPSS, SLCC and UL to engage citizens in a community wide citizen science effort where interested students and the public will learn about IoT devices, big data and data analytics as related to traffic congestion and air quality. The results of this project will be open and available to other cities around the world. As we execute our work, you can track our progress on our GitHub page (LEaRN Lafayette GitHub), read our brainstorm and meeting notes, read about our lessons learned, and access the source code for Kinota, the Open Source Java API built as a part of this project using the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Sensorthings standard.

Checkout our live dashboard featured here: LEaRNDASH

LEaRN about Flooding

Planning Stage

Lafayette Parish provides a unique opportunity for furthering research into real-time flood prediction and forecasting in low-lying coastal watersheds. The LEaRN about Flooding project aims to improve community preparedness and response during extreme flood events by

  1. Taking advantage of emerging smart sensors and web-based communications to enhance real-time monitoring along rivers and hydrologic corridors
  2. Collecting more holistic biophysical data that will be essential to reduce forecast uncertainty
  3. Developing data management and visualization tools necessary to communicate flood information to the public
  4. Enhancing other fields of research regarding extreme precipitation and flood forecasting through the use of open-source models and publicly accessible datasets

The overall goal of this project is to develop, improve, and assess data and modeling-driven methodologies for real-time, short- to mid-term (0-3 days), forecasting of extreme flood events in support of local water management and flood protection at community-level scales.


CGI’s Kinota™ is an open-source implementation of the OGC SensorThings API, and stores those data in a scalable cloud-based data repository, allowing visualization and analysis tools to provide real-time insights. Smart community applications include:

  • Air and water quality monitoring and anomaly detection
  • Transportation demand monitoring
  • Flood prediction
  • Infrastructure monitoring
  • Public safety

Meet the Team

Warren Abadie

Traffic Engineer

Warren is employed with Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) where he currently serves as City/Parish Transportation Engineer. He began his career with LCG in 2004 as an Engineer Aide. In 2005 he was promoted to Traffic Maintenance Supervisor where he supervised crews in charge of Traffic Signals, Signs and Markings. In 2009 he was again promoted to the Traffic Signal/System Engineer. In this position he performed traffic signal timing and system engineering analysis. In 2013 he was promoted to his present position as City/Parish Transportation Engineer and oversees the Traffic Engineering Development, Signs and Markings, Traffic Signals, Transit, and Parking Divisions.

Carlee Alm-Labar

LCG Planning and Zoning Director

Carlee Alm-LaBar is the Planning, Zoning, and Development Director for Lafayette Consolidated Government. She is responsible for the coordination of development and planning issues for the community and for the implementation of PlanLafayette, the comprehensive plan for the city and parish. Since beginning her current role in 2016, she has paved the way for the multi-certification of building inspectors, overseen the issuance of flood damage permits following the 2016 flooding, and overseen the neighborhood planning work for the I-49 Connector. Carlee has worked for local government for seven years, beginning first as a Mayor’s Assistant and then serving as the Chief Development Officer in the previous administration. Previously, she worked for several years in the nonprofit field and was a corps member of Teach for America.

Matt Delcambre

UL Technical Lead

Matt is an accomplished technology executive with expertise in infrastructure and cloud architectures focused on driving organizational results. He has repeated success in forming and incubating technical sales team aimed at leveraging technology solutions to solve customer challenges and drive competitive advantage. Matt is a versatile leader with experience managing organizations focused on enterprise architecture, business value, top partners and product/technology specialist.

Khalid Elgazzar

Data Scientist

Khalid Elgazzar is an assistant professor in the Center of Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is the founder and director of the IoT Research Lab at UL Lafayette. Before joining CACS at UL, he was an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. He received his PhD in Computer Science in 2013 from the School of Computing at Queen's University in Canada. Dr. Elgazzar received the prestigious NSERC PDF award (2015-2017) from the Canadian Government and the 2014 distinguished research award from Queen's University. He also received several recognition and best paper award at top international venues. His research interests span the areas of mobile and ubiquitous computing, context-aware systems, Internet of Things, and secure and privacy-preserving cyber-physical systems.

Dr. Ramesh Kolluru

Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development

Dr. Ramesh Kolluru is Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In this role, he establishes the strategic vision that drives the transition of UL Lafayette to a top-tier, modern research university through research, scholarship, and innovation activities of its faculty, students and staff. His leadership efforts include coordination and implementation of plans, initiatives, policies and activities that support the integrated activities of research, teaching, and student mentorship that enable UL Lafayette to expand its regional and global impact through the discovery, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge.

Gretchen Vanicor

Director of Sustainability

As the UL's first Director of Sustainability, Gretchen works closely with the Office of the President and the President's Council on Sustainability to identify and prioritize areas for campus-wide sustainability efforts, plan and develop strategies to reduce energy and material consumption, and engage university leaders to improve sustainability broadly across campus units. She also serves as the campus spokesperson on sustainability issues.

Karthik Chepudira

Data Scientist

Karthik Chepudira is an experienced data scientist with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He has a strong engineering background with a masters focused in information and data science from university of California, Berkeley. He is passionate about creating smart products that leverage emerging technologies, benefit society and drive innovation. 

Justin Comeaux

Embedded Systems Developer

Justin Comeaux is a Software Developer at CGI Federal. He mostly works in Java, but also implements in other languages like Python and other web technologies. Solving problems pertaining to databases and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies is something he has big interests in. When he is not writing code to make a city smart, he likes to be loud on the microphone when singing karaoke.

Daniel Krulick

Hardware Engineer

Daniel graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a BS in Computer Engineering and has worked for CGI Federal since. He likes all levels of technology from soldering circuits to high-level code and has been part of robotics teams all through high school and college. In Boy Scouts, he achieved the rank of eagle and went on to be the president of the Campus Scouts at Virginia Tech. In 2010, his volleyball team went to nationals and now he spends some of his spare time dominating random volleyball pickup games in local parks in Lafayette.  

Will Labar

CGI Project Lead

Will LaBar is a Vice President at CGI and provides support for the US Environmental Protection Agency (focused on the collection, exchange and use of environmental data) as well as CGI’s Onshore Delivery Program (focused on helping create high quality technology jobs in non-metropolitan areas through unique public-private partnership models). Will was born in the great state of New Jersey and after 17 years of living in Lafayette, Louisiana and eating a ton of crawfish and boudin, has officially been named an “Honorary Cajun” by the Mayor-President of Lafayette Consolidated Government.  

Ben Matkin


Ben works for CGI Federal in Lafayette. He develops web applications for the EPA as well as the Lafayette community. He graduated from University of Texas with degrees in Math and Theatre, and received a Masters in Computer Science from the University for Louisiana. He fell back on application development after his acting career never took off.

Dr. Brian Miles

Technical Lead

Brian Miles is a software engineer and environmental scientist who specializes in environmental and geospatial applications. He is currently the technical lead for the Smart Lafayette project. His work has included software development, environmental modeling, and energy policy. Brian used to play trumpet and drums in rock and roll bands.

Samuel Molinski


Samuel Molinski is a web developer with a diverse set of skills. His core skill sets is in developing web applications built with PHP, JavaScript, MySQL and No-Sql. He also has front-end development skills and mastery of CSS and HTML. When is he is not developing, he enjoys traveling, MMA, and loves spending time with his dog Scotty. 

Terysa Ridgeway

Business Analyst

Terysa Ridgeway is a graduate of Southern University and A&M College with degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. She has extensive experience in solving complex business and technical problems as both a Software Engineer and a Program Manager. Her experience in software coding and development catalyzed her efforts into becoming a life-long learner of technology. She is actively involved in educational outreach programs that empower women and minorities in her local community, and she takes great pride in giving back as a STEM advocate and mentor. She has received numerous accolades and has been recognized locally and internationally for her efforts.