The Resource Sustainability X-Lab supports student innovators, entrepreneurs, and researchers in developing innovative solutions for grand environmental challenges that will have high impact and be implemented sustainably. 


The Resource Sustainability X-Lab (RS-X) is a framework designed at UC Berkeley for learning and applying engineering, data science, and emerging technologies. RS-X fills a gap between theory and practice by disseminating innovation that helps solve critical resource issues.  RS-X projects aim to create new ventures, new applications of research, and corporate innovations all over the world.



Experiential learning and project based solutions

Team Formation and Growth

Follow-on support at CITRIS Foundry Incubator


Wildfire Innovation Challenge

The Wildfire Challenge will harness the technical expertise and creativity talent within the UC Berkeley ecosystem, we will implement and deploy an “open innovation” challenge within the Resource Sustainability Innovation X-Lab led by Dr. Thomas Azwell. The Wildfire X-Lab Challenge will operate within the CITRIS Foundry – the innovation hub of the CITRIS and the Banatao Institute (https://citris-uc.org) where faculty researchers, industry experts, and students collaborate to push the boundaries of information technologies from ideation to prototyping to innovation.


The challenge will allow student innovators and researchers – from various backgrounds and disciplines – to collaborate, explore, and develop new technical solutions for wildfire mitigation. For example, remote sensing technologies, such as satellites, fixed remote cameras, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), when paired with visual artificial intelligence (AI) tools, can provide early disaster information services ahead of community reported incidents.


During the course of the challenge, teams will be formed within the innovation X-Lab under the guidance of Dr. Azwell, and will apply engineering knowledge, data science, social science, design, and emerging technologies to explore and prototype new solutions to different aspects of the wildfire early detection challenge. Teams that produce promising solutions can then proceed to be incubated within the CITRIS Foundry. Here they will have the support of faculty, the CITRIS network, as well as the opportunity to present their solution to the largest development project in California, the Guenoc Valley Project.



Head of Resource Sustainability Innovation XLab, CITRIS Foundry

Thomas Azwell is an experienced scientist with a demonstrated history of working in higher education. He is skilled in corporate sustainability, remediation, agriculture, and oceanography. Thomas is a strong research professional with a Masters in Science Education and a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of California, Berkeley.