Faculty

Burcin Becerik-Gerber

Dr. Becerik-Gerber is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California. Dr. Becerik-Gerber’s research focuses on the design, automation, control and visualization of user-centered responsive and adaptive built environments. To date, she has authored around 150 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers. Her work has received support worth over $8m individual and collaborative grants from a variety of agencies, including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and Department of Transportation.

 

In 2012, MIT’s Technology Review has named her as one of the world’s top young innovators under the age of 35. The same year, she has been appointed as the inaugural holder of the Stephen Schrank Early Career Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering's Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium in 2011 and Frontiers in Engineering Symposium in 2013 for her innovative research and educational approaches in civil engineering. She received the NSF CAREER Award in 2014, Viterbi Junior Research Award in 2016, Mellon Mentoring Award in 2017 and CETI (Celebration of Engineering & Technology) Award in 2018.  She is one of the ten Rutherford Visiting Fellows of Alan Turing Institute, U.K. She serves as an Associate Editor for ASCE’s Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering since 2011.

Dr. Becerik-Gerber holds degrees in both Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture. She graduated from Istanbul Technical University with a Bachelor of Architecture (1999) and an M.S. in Architecture (2001). She attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she received an M.S. in Engineering degree (2002) with a special focus on Construction Engineering and Management. She earned her Doctor of Design degree (2006) from Harvard University. Her doctoral work at Harvard University focused on online collaboration and project management. Upon completing her doctoral degree, she worked as a consultant and taught in the area. Her responsibilities included development of corporate-wide program management information systems for large and complex construction projects. In 2008, she joined the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

Email: becerik@usc.edu

Download CV HERE 

Lucio Soibelman

Dr. Lucio Soibelman is a Professor and Chair of the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Advanced Engineering Informatics and as co-chief editor for the ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering. Dr. Soibelman’s research focuses on use of information technology for economic development, information technology support for construction management, process integration during the development of large-scale engineering systems, information logistics, artificial intelligence, data mining, knowledge discovery, image reasoning, text mining, machine learning, multi-reasoning mechanisms, sensors, sensor networks, and advanced infrastructure systems.

 

Dr. Soibelman joined USC in 2012 after more than seven years as professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His academic career began six years previously at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he became associate professor. He earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering Systems (1998) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology after 10 years of experience in private industry in his native Brazil.

During the last 12 years Dr. Soibelman published over 100 books, books chapters, journal papers, conference articles, and reports and performed research with funding from NSF, NASA, DOE, US Army, NIST, IBM, Bosch, IDOT, RedZone Robotics among many other funding agencies. Dr. Soibelman received the NSF CAREER Award in 2001, the 2010 ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Award and the FIATECH Outstanding Researcher Celebration of Engineering & Technology Innovation, or CETI, Award. During the last 2 years he has been collaborating with ADEPT to provide consulting services on BIM implementation to several large construction companies in Brazil.

Email: soibelman@usc.edu 

Current Researchers

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Mert Oytun

Before joining the USC Viterbi School of Engineering - iLAB, Mr. Oytun studied at Middle East Technical University (METU), where he obtained his master's and bachelor's degree with distinguished academic success in Construction Engineering and Management (CEM), and in Civil Engineering respectively. Based on his achievements, he has been awarded a Fulbright PhD scholarship. Mert is also interested in various sports and activities. Especially, swimming and traveling are indispensable parts of his life. He is an ardent open water swimmer, diving instructor, and an amateur sailor. He swam from Asia to Europe. Consequently, he acquired the title of a cross-continental swimmer in 2015.

Degree Pursued: PhD in Civil Engineering

Email: oytun@usc.edu

Research Interests: remote sensing in built environments

Eyüphan Koç

Before joining USC, Eyuphan studied at Bogazici University in Istanbul where he majored in Civil Engineering, minored in Industrial Engineering and won medals with the university’s european handball team “Bears.” He also had the privilege to live and travel in Europe as an exchange student. He graduated with honors in June ’15 and was selected the most successful sportsman among his class of Bogazici graduates. Eyuphan is advised by Dr. Lucio Soibelman and currently researching in the area of climate change driven extreme events and interdependent infrastructure resilience. He believes that climate change is a multidirectional phenomenon that calls for expertise from numerous fields and his current focus is to develop a cross-domain coupling approach to the current challenges in this area. He plays electronic music in modest LA venues, plays soccer and basketball, enjoys snowboarding and loves traveling.

Degree Pursued: PhD in Civil Engineering

Email: ekoc@usc.edu

Research Interests: advanced infrastructure, climate change and resilience, sustainable coastal infrastructure, sensor networks, network modeling

Yu Hou

Yu Hou got his bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from China University of Mining and Technology. During his undergraduate and graduate studies back in China, he researched on Building Information Modeling and Safety management. He also attended some research groups in Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China. Now he works with Dr. Lucio Soibelman.

Degree Pursued: PhD in Civil Engineering

Email: yuhou@usc.edu

Research Interests: Data management, sensor network, Building Information Modeling, safety management

Runhe Zhu

Runhe is a PhD student supervised by Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber, in the area of Informatics for Intelligent Built Environments. He earned his bachelor's degree in Construction Management from Tianjin University, China, 2017. During his undergraduate studies, he worked on a project focusing on the use of immersive virtual environments for construction safety management. He joined the Sonny Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering as a Viterbi fellow in 2017. His research interest focuses on improving building’s energy efficiency via human-building interactions and occupancy modeling. He enjoys working out, reading and traveling to new places.

Degree Pursued: PhD in Civil Engineering

Email: runhezhu@usc.edu

Research Interests: Building Information Modeling, Human-Building Interaction, Occupancy Modeling, Machine Learning

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Mohamad Awada

Mohamad Awada is a PhD student supervised by Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from the American University of Beirut in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Mohamad joined USC in Fall 2019 to pursue his PhD degree in the area of informatics and human building interactions. Mohamad enjoys traveling, playing and watching soccer games.

Degree Pursued: PhD in Civil Engineering

Email: awadam@usc.edu 

Research Interests: Human-Building Interactions, User-centered Built Environments, Machine Learning,  Data Mining 

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Yijing Xiao

Yijing Xiao is a PhD student supervised by Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber. Before joining USC, Yijing was a bridge engineer at AECOM. Yijing earned her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Hong Kong and Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from Northwestern University. Yijing also studied computer science at Georgia Institute of Technology and she is interested in using machine learning methods to create smarter built environments. Yijing loves road trips, hiking, running and hang out with friends.

Degree Pursued: PhD in Civil Engineering

Email: yijingxi@usc.edu

Research Interests: Human-Building Interaction, Machine Learning 

Pooya Adami

Pooya Adami is a Ph.D. student co-supervised by Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber and Dr. Lucio Soibelman. He earned his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, 2019. He joined the Sonny Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering to pursue his PhD degree in 2019. Pooya enjoys photographing, reading, and traveling to new places.  

Degree Pursued: PhD in Civil Engineering

Email: padami@usc.edu

Research Interests: Human-Robot Interaction, Building Information Modeling

Patrick Rodrigues

Patrick Rodrigues is a Ph.D. student co-supervised by Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber and Dr. Lucio Soibelman. He earned his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the State University of Santa Cruz, in Brazil, and his Master's degree in Construction Management from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Patrick joined USC in the Fall 2020 to pursue his PhD in Civil Engineering with emphasis in Human-Building Interaction and Building Information Modeling. Patrick enjoys reading, watching soccer games, and traveling.

Degree Pursued: PhD in Civil Engineering

Email: borgesro@usc.edu

Research Interests: Human-Robot Interaction, Building Information Modeling, Human-Building Interaction

Ruying Liu

Ruying is a Ph.D. student supervised by Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber. She earned her bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Edinburgh and Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. She worked as a structural designer at Rutherford Chekene before joining the Sonny Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering to pursue her PhD degree. Ruying loves reading and calligraphy. 

Degree Pursued: PhD in Civil Engineering

Email: ruyingli@usc.edu

Research Interests: Smart & Autonomous Built Environments, Human-Building Interactions 

Ala Nekouvaght Tak

Ala Nekouvaght Tak is a Ph.D. student supervised by Dr. Lucio Soibelman and Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber. He earned his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and his Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Tehran, Iran. During his Master's, he has worked on the management of modular construction and onsite crane automation. Ala enjoys meeting new people and traveling to new places. 

Degree Pursued: PhD in Civil Engineering

Email: nekouvag@usc.edu

Research Interests: Building Energy Efficiency, Human-Building Interaction, Building Information Modeling