Humanitarian Work in Water Systems

From the drylands of Kenya to the rainforests of Suriname, civil and environmental engineering professor John Trimmer has dedicated his career to making a difference. After a service-learning trip to Nicaragua, where he helped with construction projects, Trimmer was inspired to pursue humanitarian engineering and improve the well-being of others. With a core research focus on water systems, sanitation, and resource recovery, he strives to promote sustainable living.   

As an undergraduate at Bucknell University, Trimmer was able to work with a few non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In addition to his trip to Nicaragua, he collaborated with a Peace Corps volunteer in Suriname, South America, stationed in a remote village and working on a rainwater collection system. After graduation, Trimmer continued working with the Peace Corps and spent three years in Uganda working with an NGO that specialized in constructing water tanks, latrines, classrooms, and other structures. 

After completing his Ph.D., which included working in Uganda on innovative approaches to sanitation systems, Trimmer joined the Aquaya Institute on their mission to improve global health through safe water and sanitation access. His work at the Aquaya Institute largely focused on research and he found himself based in Nairobi, Kenya, interacting with pastoral communities in dry regions of the country. 

Research team in Nairobi National Park
Trimmer and Aquaya Institute colleagues at Nairobi National Park in Kenya

“Though the communities were nomadic, it seemed like they were also looking to settle, and they were open to permanent infrastructure,” Trimmer says. “It was very qualitative. We focused primarily on asking questions regarding their current water systems and what they do for sanitation. We also did interviews and discussion groups to understand what these communities wanted and needed.” 

While working with the Aquaya Institute, Trimmer also researched the effectiveness of a program that aimed to provide more durable infrastructure to vulnerable households in northern Ghana. Since unstable soil is an issue that impacts certain areas, they wanted to ensure the structures they built would last.  

“If you dig a traditional pit latrine, it may collapse because the soil is unstable. Since the locals in the area didn’t have the means for a more durable structure, we were looking at different ways those systems could be supported financially,” Trimmer explained. “UNICEF funded the project so durable structures could be installed.” 

As Trimmer has traveled to different countries, he’s loved working with young researchers and found it rewarding to help them develop their skills and witness their growth. This passion for mentoring younger researchers would translate to his position as a Syracuse University professor, giving him a chance to continue guiding and supporting students.  

While teaching courses at the University, Trimmer plans to collaborate with NGOs he’s previously worked with on upcoming projects. He hopes to collaborate with colleagues to develop a platform that models sanitation systems to implement them as a teaching and research tool in the classroom. This will enable him to share the knowledge he’s gained from his humanitarian work and educate future researchers to do the same. 

Completed rainwater tank in southern Uganda 2014
A completed rainwater tank in Uganda

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Bing Dong Awarded as IBPSA World Fellow

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Professor Bing Dong has been awarded as an International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) World Fellow for his research contributions, mentoring, and outreach within the field. 

The IBPSA Fellow is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of building performance simulation or have demonstrated their expertise through teaching, research, simulation code development, or applying building simulation on large-scale projects. To be eligible, recipients must have also been actively involved in the field for at least ten years. 

Dong has distinguished himself through impactful contributions such as his pioneering research in occupant behavior modeling, development of novel simulation and control models to solve buildings-to-grid integration control problems, and education of junior researchers and students among other notable breakthroughs within building performance simulation.

“This award is very prestigious. IBPSA only gives fellow awards every two years and it’s nominated by six world experts in this area,” Dong said. “I’m looking forward to further contributing my knowledge and advancing the community of energy efficiency buildings to achieve net-zero energy and carbon buildings and cities. This achievement means a lot to me.”  

“This is indeed a great recognition for many years of continuing excellence Professor Dong has demonstrated in the area of building performance simulation,” said MAE Department Chair and professor in manufacturing enterprises, Young Moon. “The association awards IBPSA fellows biennially and this year, 12 fellows were awarded worldwide with only two being in the USA. I am very glad that Dr. Dong’s leadership and contributions in this critical field now have been recognized worldwide.”  

Reducing Plastic Pollution

Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Svetoslava Todorova attended the second session of the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Negotiations Committee on Plastics during the summer of 2023 in Paris, France.

Todorova joined representatives from UN member states, regional economic integration organizations, UN agencies and intergovernmental agencies in an attempt to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.  Unfortunately, the committee was unable to come to an agreement on a draft at the second session.

The next meeting of the committee will be held in November 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. The committee has the goal of delivering a final agreement by the end of 2024.

“Overconsumption of plastics in a throw-away society generates a lot of waste. Much of it is not easily degradable and can persist in the environment. Single-use plastics visibly accumulate on the streets and in our waterways. I had hoped that the high visibility of problems connected to plastics pollution would make intergovernmental negotiations easier,” says Todorova. “Unfortunately, during the second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiations Committee, the delegates were locked in extensive discussions on basic principles and missed engaging in more substantive topics. This shows how difficult these negotiations will be and how challenging it will be to overcome divergent interests and opposition to progress in reducing plastics waste.”

Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Charles Driscoll Selected for the 2023 Clarke Prize in Water Science

Professor Charles Driscoll in a river with two student researchers

Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Charles Driscoll has been selected to receive the 2023 Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Water Science and Technology from the National Water Research Institute. Driscoll is the University and Distinguished Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering in College of Engineering and Computer Science. 

The Clarke Prize is considered one of the most prestigious awards pertaining to water science. It is awarded to thought leaders in water research, science, technology, or policy in the United States. Past honorees have included some of the most significant figures in civil and environmental engineering; the water, biological, physical, chemical, health, and political sciences; and public planning and policy.

Driscoll’s research largely involves characterization and quantifying the impacts of air pollution, such as acid rain and mercury, changing climate, and land and water disturbances on the structure and function of ecosystems, and pathways of ecosystem recovery. Much of his work has focused on forests and associated aquatic resources, including long-term studies at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, NH and the Huntington Forest in the Adirondacks, NY. Recent work has included strategies for the decarbonization of sectors and achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Professor Charles Driscoll

Over the past 40 years, Driscoll has advanced new analytical techniques, established and maintained long-term measurements and experiments, and developed a series of research and predictive models that simulate transformations of major chemical elements in forest vegetation, soil and surface waters in response to air pollution, climate and land disturbance. Beyond theory, he is interested in testing ‘in situ’ strategies to reverse the damaging effects of acid rain and mercury contamination, eutrophication, urbanization, and climate change. Driscoll has testified at US Congressional and state legislative committee hearings, and provided briefings to government agencies, industry and stakeholder groups on environmental issues. He has served on local, national and international committees pertaining to environmental management and policy.   

Driscoll will receive the award and give a lecture in Irvine, California, on October 21, 2023. For information about attending the event, fill out the form on the Clarke Prize page.

Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Zhao Qin Recognized as International Association of Advanced Materials Fellow

Professor Zhao Qin

Zhao Qin, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS), has been selected as an International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM) Fellow in recognition of his contribution to the Advancement of Materials to Global Excellence. He will deliver an IAAM Fellow Lecture in the Advanced Materials Lecture Series 2023.  

Founded in 2010, IAAM has been the leading advocate for advancements in advanced materials science, engineering, and technology. With its focus on social implications, the non-profit scientific organization encourages scientists to consider the broader impact of their work and aims to foster open and informed conversations in science, engineering and technology.  

The primary aim of the organization is to optimize the resourcefulness of the world of science to improve the quality of human life by conducting high-quality research. Boasting a roster of over 7,500 scientists and invited speakers from over 100 countries, IAAM’s Advanced Materials Lecture Series hosts talks by renowned scientists, promoting innovation and sustainability for an eco-friendly world. 

 “I am deeply honored to be named as an IAAM Fellow,” Qin said. “This recognition is a testament to our group’s dedication and hard work on material innovation studies by integrating multi-scale computational modeling and experiments. It is also a reflection of the exceptional support and commitment of my students and colleagues. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my students, whose enthusiasm and eagerness to learn have constantly inspired me to strive for excellence in my teaching and mentorship.

“Their inquisitive minds and unwavering determination have been instrumental in shaping my approach as an educator. Additionally, as a junior faculty member, I am incredibly grateful to my colleagues in my department and school for their invaluable collaboration, guidance, and encouragement throughout this journey. Their expertise and unwavering support have fostered an environment of growth and innovation, enabling me to reach new heights in my research endeavors.” 

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Senem Velipasalar Awarded Patent for Room Occupancy Detection Platform

Remembering to turn the lights off when leaving a room is easy, but letting the furnace that you’re headed out isn’t as simple. About 37% of all energy used by commercial buildings and 40% of energy used in residences go toward heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). The costs related to heating and cooling unoccupied spaces in homes and office buildings have been a challenge for decades.

Current occupancy sensors only detect movement, so they can’t tell if someone is stationary. They also have trouble distinguishing between people and large pets, and often require an external power source and data processing. When a room is occupied, not being able to detect occupancy can cause user discomfort. On the other hand, not reliably knowing when a room is empty adds up to massive amounts of unnecessary heating and cooling costs for spaces without any people in them.

A collaboration between Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professors Senem Velipasalar and Pramod Varshney, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Ed Bogucz, Professor Tarek Rakha from Georgia Tech and SRI International, a nonprofit research institute, has developed a new sensor platform, MicroCam, which addresses many of the limitations that current systems face. Their project received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and had to meet certain requirements. The platform had to be highly accurate, low-maintenance, affordable and easily self-commissioned for consumers while still providing more than 30% energy savings.

“It was important to us and ARPA-E that this platform be highly reliable, practical and inexpensive,” says Velipasalar. “This needed to be useful in real-world spaces, and it was designed to be battery-powered.”

The MicroCam is equipped with multi-modal sensors that can process motion, audio and video data. The camera can operate under daylight, low light or even no light conditions and it can be powered for more than a year on just three AA batteries – all the sensor processing is done inside one small unit.

“We do not use cloud computing, everything is captured and processed on this platform,” says Velipasalar. “You are not transferring or saving data, so it alleviates privacy concerns.”

While the MicroCam can detect occupancy, it does not share potentially private information.

“It senses your presence but only sends a 0 or 1 signal to the HVAC system,” says Velipasalar. “That binary occupancy result is the only data shared with the lead platform.”

Industrial and Interactive Design Professor Don Carr and his students worked with Velipasalar and Bogucz to design a prototype case for the MicroCam.

“Eventually we want a peel and stick and ideally you want to install one per room,” says Velipasalar. “If you have one of these in each room, you could monitor the entire space.”

Velipasalar was granted a patent in March 2023 titled “Low Power and Privacy Preserving Sensor Platform for Occupancy Detection.” It is the sixth patent she has been awarded over her career.

“This was a challenging project. We had to meet low cost and high accuracy requirements but it has incredible potential,” says Velipasalar.

The platform may have additional uses in the future including smart home integration and security monitoring. Velipasalar also sees possibilities for the MicroCam to provide activity monitoring and fall detection for families and nursing homes.

Min Liu


  • Ph.D. in Engineering Project Management, University of California Berkeley, 2007
  • Master of Science in Building Science, National University of Singapore, 2001
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology; Concentration: Construction Engineering Management, 1997
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Qingdao Institute of Architecture and Engineering; Concentration: Structural Engineering, 1994

Areas of Expertise:

  • Lean Construction techniques for construction productivity improvement.
  • Work module development for Digital Twin design.
  • Using data mining and machine learning approaches for intelligent construction planning.
  • Integration of project information into visualization and simulation models.
  • Project control systems and field management technologies.

Dr. Liu’s field is developing innovative approaches and generating knowledge on how to integrate the Human and Engineering aspects of construction planning to improve productivity and project performance. She has published over 40 articles in top-ranked journals in Construction Engineering and Management. Her recent research on using the Information Theory approach to quantify information exchange effectiveness in construction planning won the 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Thomas Fitch Rowland award. Her work has also received the Best Paper Awards from the 2018 International Group of Lean Construction Conference and 2017 Lean and Computing in Construction Congress.

Dr. Min Liu was the Chair of ASCE Construction Research Council (CRC) from 2020 to 2021. The CRC has over 400 members as construction faculty from universities worldwide and is recognized as the premier forum for construction engineering and management research internationally. Dr. Liu has also served as the Associate Specialty Editor for ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering since 2016 and the Assistant Specialty Editor in Labor and Personnel Issues for ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management since 2009. She was selected as the Outstanding Reviewer by the ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management in 2017 and 2015.

Honors and Awards:

  • 2021 – ASCE Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize for the paper, “Improving Effectiveness of Constraints Removal in Construction Planning Meetings: An Information Theory based Approach.”
  • 2021 – Featured by ASCE Construction Institute (CI) in the newsletter “Women leaders in Construction”.
  • 2018 – Best Paper Award, “Constraints and Reliable Workplan: A Case Study of Bridge Project”, 26th International Group of Lean Construction, Chennai, India, July 2018. 
  • 2011, 2014, 2018 – Thank a Teacher Recipient
  • 2017 – Best Paper Award, “Factors Affecting Bid Let Dates on Transportation Mega Projects.”, 2017 Lean and Computing in Construction Congress, Crete, Greece, 2017.
  • 2015, 2017 – Outstanding Reviewer, awarded by the ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management
  • 2014 – 2022 – Edward I. Weisiger Distinguished Scholar, North Carolina State University

Selected Publications:

*Graduate student advised by Dr. Min Liu, **Corresponding author

Schiavone,V., Scala, N., Olivieri, H., Seppänen,O., Alves, T., Liu, M., Granja, A. (2022). “Comparative Analysis of the Implementation of Critical Path Method, Last Planner System, and Location-Based Techniques in Brazil, Finland, and the United States” Accepted by Engineering Management Journal in March 2022. 

He, C.*, Liu, M.**, Scala, N., Liu, M., Alves, T., and Hsiang, S. (2022). “Prioritizing Collaborative Scheduling Practices based on Their Impact on Project Performance.” Accepted by Journal of Management and Economics in February 2022. 

Scala, N., Liu, M., Alves, T., and Hawkins, D., Schiavone, V. (2022). “The Gold Standard: A Collaborative Scheduling Maturity Model” Engineering, Construction, and Architectural Management, published online in January 2022. 

He, C.*, Liu, M.**, Wang, Z., Zhang, Y., Hsiang, S., Chen, G., Chen, J. (2022). “Space-Time-Manpower Visualization and Conditional Capacity Planning in Uncertainty.” Accepted by ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management in January 2022. 

McCoy, B. C.*, Bourara, Z., Lucier, G.W., Seracino, R., and Liu, M. (2021). “Prestressed MF-FRP: An Experimental Study of a Rapid Retrofit Concept for Deteriorated Prestressed C-Channel Beams.” ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 35(1), 1-10.

Zhang, Y., Javanmardi, A.*, Liu, Y., Yang, S., Yu, X., Hsiang, S., Jiang, Z., and Liu, M.** (2020). “How Does Experience of Delay Shape Managers’ Making-do Decision: A Random Forest Approach.” ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering, 36(4), 04020030. Open Access:

Javanmardi, A. *, Hosseini, A. *, Liu, M.,** Hsiang, S. (2020). “Improving Effectiveness of Constraints Removal in Construction Planning Meetings: An Information-theory based Approach.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 146(4), 04020015.

Alves, T., Liu, M., Scala, N., Javanmardi, A.* (2020). “Schedules and Schedulers: A Study in the U.S. Construction Industry.” Engineering Management Journal, 32(3), 166-185.

Olivieri, H., Seppänen, O., Alves, T., Scala, N., Liu, M., and Granja, A. (2019) “A survey comparing Critical Path Method, Last Planner System, and Location-Based techniques.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 145(12), 04019077.

Hosseini, A.*, Liu, M.**, Howell, G. (2018). “Investigating the Cost Benefit Tradeoff of Additional Planning Using Parade Game Simulation.” ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering, 34(2), 04017066.

Javanmardi, A.*, Hosseini, A., Liu, M.**, Hsiang, S. (2018). “Benefit of Cooperation among Subcontractors in Performing High-Reliability Planning.” ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering, 34(2), 04017062.

Hosseini, A.*,Liu, M.**,  Hsiang, S.(2017). “Social Network Analysis for Construction Crews.” Published online by International Journal of Construction Management  in November 2017.

Hosseini, A.*, Liu, M.**, Hsiang, S. (2017). “Social Network Conformity and Construction Work Plan Reliability.” Automation in Construction,  78(1), 1-12.

Russell, M. *, Hsiang, M., Liu, M.**, and Leming, M. (2016). “Causes of Time Buffer and Duration Variation in Construction Project Tasks.” Construction Management and Economics, 33(10), 783-798.

Hajifathalian, K.*, Howell, G., Wambeke, B.*, Hsiang, S., and Liu, M.** (2016). ““Oops” Simulation: Cost–Benefits Trade-Off Analysis of Reliable Planning for Construction Activities.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 142(8), 04016030.

Kwak, Y., Patanakul, P., Zwikael, O., and Liu, M. (2016). “What Impacts the Performance of Large Scale Government Projects?” International Journal of Project Management, 34(3), 452-466.

Hosseini, A.*, Leming, M. and Liu, M.** (2015). “Effects of Idle Time Restrictions on Excess Pollution from Construction Equipment.” ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering, 32(2), 04015046.

Hosseini, A.*, Liu, M.**, and Leming, M. (2015). “Comparison of Least-Cost and Least-Pollution Equipment Fleet Configurations Using Computer Simulation.” ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering, 31(6), 04015003.

Russell, M. *, Liu, M.**, Howell, G., and Hsiang, S. and Leming, M. (2015). “Case Studies into the Allocation and Reduction of Time Buffer Through Uses of Last Planner System.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 141(2), 04014068.

Hosseini, A.*, Leming, M., Liu, M.**, Hsiang, S. (2014). “From Social Network to Data Envelopment Analysis: Identifying Benchmarks at the Site Management Level.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 140(8), 04014028.

Russell, M. *, Hsiang, M., Liu, M.**, and Wambeke, B.Wambeke, (2014). “Causes of Time Buffer and Duration Variation in Construction Project Tasks.” ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering, 140(6), 04014016.

Wambeke, B.*, Liu, M.**, and Hsiang, S. (2013). “Task Variation and the Social Network of Construction Trades.” ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering, 05014008, 30(4).

Russell, M. *, Howell, G., Hsiang, M., and Liu, M.** (2013). “The Application of Time Buffers to Construction Project Task Durations.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management,139(10), 04013008.

Vaughan, J.*, Leming, M., Liu, M.**, and Jaselskis, E. (2013). “Cost-Benefit Analysis of Construction Information Management System Implementation-A Case Study.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management,139(4), 445-455.

Liu, M., Rasdorf, W., Hummer, J., Hollar, D.*, and Parikh, S.* (2013). “Preliminary Engineering Cost-Estimation Strategy Assessment for Roadway Projects.” ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering, 29(2), 150-157.

Hollar, D.*, Rasdorf, W., Liu, M., Hummer, J.E., Arocho, I., and Hsiang, S. (2013). “A Preliminary Engineering Cost Estimation Model for Bridge Projects.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 139(9), 1259–1267.

Wambeke, B.*, Liu, M.**, and Hsiang, S.(2012). “Using Pajek and Centrality Analysis to Identify a Social Network of Construction Trades.”ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 138(10), 1192-1201.

Hajifathalian, K.*, Wambeke, B.*, Liu, M.**, and Hsiang, S. (2012). “Effects of Working Strategy and Duration Variance on Productivity and Work in Progress.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 138(9), 1035-1043.

Wang, C.*,Liu, M.**, Hsiang, S., and Leming, M. (2012). “Causes and Penalties of Variation – A Case Study of a Precast Concrete Slab Production Facility.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 138(6), 775-785.

Wambeke, B.*, Liu, M.**, and Hsiang, S.(2012). “Using Last Planner ™ and a Risk Assessment Matrix to Reduce Variation in Mechanical Related Construction Tasks.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 138(4), 491-498.

Wang, Y. and Liu, M. (2012). “Prices of Highway Resurfacing Projects in Economic Downturn: Lessons Learned and Strategies Forward.” ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering, 28(4), 391-397.

Wambeke, B.*, Hsiang, S., and Liu, M.** (2011). “Causes of Variation in Construction Project Task Starting Times and Duration.” ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering,, 137(9), 663-677.

Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang


  • Ph.D., University of Illinois and Urbana-Champaign; 1991
  • M.S. and B.S. Beijing Agr. Eng. University; 1982 and 1985

Lab/Center Affiliations

Areas of Expertise:

  • Material Emissions, Air Purification, Ventilation, and Indoor Air Quality
  • Hygrothermal Performance of Building Materials and Enclosure Systems
  • Building Energy and Environmental Systems
  • Built Environmental Systems Measurements, Modeling, and Controls
  • Intelligent Buildings
  • Combined Heat, Air, Moisture and Pollutant Simulations (CHAMPS)
  • Multi-disciplinary and Multi-scale Building Systems Design and Optimization
  • Effects of indoor environmental quality on occupant exposure, productivity, and creativity

Professor Zhang’s research ranges multi-scale BES from nano/micro-scale in porous media to buildings and urban environment and involves engineering, architectural design, human health, and performance. Major ongoing research projects are:

  1. Virtual Design Studio (VDS): development of a digital platform for an integrated and coordinated design of green buildings. The project involves close collaboration between engineers and architects to develop a designer-oriented software tool for performance-based building system design.
  2. BM-IDC: Building monitoring and intelligent diagnosis and control. Using a full-scale testbed, a “Virtual Building” based near real-time monitoring system is developed and deployed to collect essential data for fault detection and diagnosis, and improvement of building operation.
  3. CHAMPS: Development of combined heat, air moisture, and pollutant simulation software for building system design and control optimization. The CHAMPS simulation environment includes a whole building model, an enclosure model, an HVAC mode and a room model. It is supported by a collection of shared databases of weather, materials and assemblies, pollutants, sources, and sinks. Reduced-order models will be developed for near-real-time simulation in design and predictive control in the operation of buildings.
  4. ME-IAQ: Material emissions and indoor air quality. A model-based approach is taken to develop fundamental mass transfer models with essential model parameters determined from experiments. The research leads to better models for performance prediction and better test methods for evaluating both short and long-term emissions.
  5. ACT-IAQ: Air cleaning technologies and indoor air quality. A model-based approach is taken to develop better test methods, evaluate the performance of existing air cleaning technologies, and develop new ones for improving indoor air quality.
  6. BEST: Building enclosure system technologies. This research includes experimental measurements and modeling of the hygrothermal (thermal and moisture) storage and transport properties of various building materials, model prediction of their impact on enclosure assembly performance, and full-scale evaluation and validation at reduced and full-scale setting under both laboratory and field conditions.
  7. Effects of IEQ on human performance. Human subject study is performed using a total environmental quality research facility. The focus is on how the improved thermal and air quality via personal ventilation would impact the performance of creativity and productivity of building occupants.

Honors and Awards:

  • 2019 ASHRAE Research Administration Committee Service in ASHRAE Research Award
  • 2018 ASHRAE Central New York Chapter Award for Contributions to Research and Education in HVAC and IAQ.
  • Elected Fellow of ASHRAE, 2012
  • Frontier Foreign Expert Award, State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the P.R. China, 2012
  • Shiyuan Chair Professorship from Nanjing University, China, 2011
  • Best Paper of the Year award, Building Simulation—an International Journal, 2010
  • Elected and active member of The ISIAQ Academy of Fellows, International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate, 2009
  • ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award, ASHRAE, 2008
  • JSPS Fellowship, Japanese Society for Promotion of Scientific Exchange, 2007
  • Otto Monsted Professorship from Technical University of Denmark, 2006
  • Citation by New York State Governor George E. Pataki in his 2003 State of the State address for scientific contributions to the development of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems, 2003
  • American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) National Finalist Award and New York State Diamond Award for the development of the Coupled Indoor/Outdoor Environmental Simulator (C-I/O-ES) of the Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory (BEESL), 2003
  • ASHRAE Certification of Appreciation Award, 1999
  • IRC/NRC Outstanding Research Achievement Award, 1999
  • Second place paper award at the Healthy Buildings/IAQ 97 international conference, Washington, DC, 1997
  • IRC/NRC Outstanding Research Achievement Award, 1995
  • Best paper award at the 5th International Jacques Cartier Conference on Indoor Air Quality, Ventilation and Energy Conservation, 1992
  • Outstanding research paper award (top 2.5%) by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 1989
  • Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Epsilon honor societies, 1989
  • Excellent student awards, BAEU, 1980

Select Publications

Dung, A., J. Zhang and Z. Liu. 2021. Impact of humidity on formaldehyde and moisture buffering capacity of porous building material. Journal of Building EngineeringVolume 36, April 2021, 102114.

Zhao, J., J. Zhang, J. Grunewald and S. Feng. 2021. A probabilistic-based method to evaluate hygrothermal performance of an internally insulated brick wall. Building Simulation. Volume 14, 283-299.

Liu, Z., A. Nicolai, M. Abadie, M. Qin, J. Grunewald and J. Zhang. 2021. Development of a procedure for estimating the parameters of mechanistic VOC emission source models from chamber testing data. Building Simulation.Volume 14, pages269–282.

Shen, J., B. Krietemeyer, A. Bartosh, Z. Gao, J. Zhang. 2020. Green Design Studio: A modular-based approach for high-performance building design. BUILD SIMULATION – an International Journal.

Zhou, S., Z. Liu, Wang, C.J. Young, T.C. VandenBoer, B. Guo,J. Zhang, N. Carslawand T. Kahan. 2020. Hydrogen Peroxide Emission and Fate Indoors during Non-bleach Cleaning: A Chamber and Modeling Study. Environ. Sci. Technol.2020, 54, 24, 15643–15651.

Lv, Yang, Xi Chen, Shanshan Wei, Rui Zhu, Beibei Wang, Bin Chen, Meng Kong, Jianshun (Jensen) Zhang. 2020. Sources, concentrations, and transport models of ultrafine particles near highways: A Literature Review. Building and Environment 186 (2020) 107325

Afshari, A., L. Ekberg, L. FOREJT, J. MO , S. RAHIMI, J. SIEGEL, W. CHEN, P. WARGOCKI, S. ZURAMI, J. ZHANG. 2020. Electrostatic Precipitators as an Indoor Air Cleaner—A Literature Review.  Journal of Sustainability12Issue 2110.3390/su12218774

Zhang, J. 2020 Integrating IAQ control strategies to reduce the risk of asymptomatic SARS CoV-2 infections in classrooms and open plan offices, Science and Technology for the Built Environment, 26:8, 1013-1018, DOI: 1080/23744731.2020.1794499

Han, K. and J. Zhang. 2020. Energy-efficient building system integration with a smart and low cost sensing/control network for sustainable and healthy office environments: Demonstration case study. Energy and Buildings. Elsevier.

Rui Zhang, Jensen Zhang, Roger Schmidt, Jeremy Gilbert, Beverly Guo (December 2019). Effects of Moisture Content, Temperature and Pollutant Mixture on Atmospheric Corrosion of Copper and Silver and Implications for the Environmental Design of Data Centers (RP-1755). Science and Technology for the Built Environment.  December 2019,  DOI: 10.1080/23744731.2019.1701331

Kong, M., Zhang, J., Dang, T. Q., Hedge, A., Teng, T., Carter, B., Ezzat Khalifa, H. (2019). Micro-environmental control for efficient local cooling: Results from manikin and human participant tests. Building and Environment160, [106198].

Meng Kong, T. Dang, J. Zhang, and H. E. Khalifa. Micro-environmental control for efficient local heating: CFD simulation and manikin test verification. Building and Environment. 147 (2019) 382-396, (DOI) 10.1016/j.buildenv.2018.10.018

Zhang⁠, S., Shapiro, S⁠., Gehrke⁠, G., Castner, J.⁠, Liu, Z.⁠, Guo⁠, B., Prasad⁠d, R., Zhang, J., Haines⁠e⁠, S., Kormos⁠f, D., Frey⁠h, P., Qin⁠, R., and Dannemiller, K. C. 2018. Smartphone app for residential testing of formaldehyde (SmART-Form). Building and Environment.

Han, K.H., Zhang, J.S. and Guo, B. (2018). Caveats and Technical Challenges in Performance Evaluation of Activated Carbon (AC) and Non-AC Filtration for NO2 Abatement toward Energy-efficient and Healthy Ventilation. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 360:560-570. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.08.006.

Synergistic Activities

  • Jianshun Zhang has 28 years of research experience in Built Environmental Systems (BES) and has authored/co-authored 100+ peer-reviewed journal papers and 100+ refereed conference papers, one book, 2 ASTM and 1 ANSI/BIFMA Standards. His research ranges multi-scale BES from nano/micro-scale in porous media to buildings and urban environment and involves engineering, architectural design, human health and performance. He leads an international group in developing methods and tools for combined heat, air, moisture and pollutant simulations (CHAMPS) for building systems.
  • He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of building energy and environmental systems and fundamental heat and mass transfer and has advised/co-advised over 20 Ph.D. students, over 20 M.S. students, and 8 Postdoctoral Fellows.
  • He serves on the Editorial Boards of several international journals: “Energy and Buildings,” HVAC&R Research,” “Ventilation,” “Building Simulations,” “High-Rise Buildings,” and “Frontiers of Architectural Research.”
  • Zhang served on ASHRAE Environmental Health Committee (2006-present, 2011/12 Chair) and Research Administration Committee (2003-2005), and is a member of Technical and Standard Committees in the society. He is also a Voting Member of ASTM D22.05 on Indoor Air, AWMA and ISIAQ, and a U.S. Expert Representative to the ISO standard committee on air purification. He is elected Fellow of ASHRAE (2011) and ISIAQ (2009), and Member of Board of Directors of International Assoc. of Building Physics.

Senem Velipasalar


  • Ph. D., Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 2007
  • M.A., Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 2004
  • M.S., Electrical Sciences and Computer Engineering, Brown University, Providence, RI, 2001
  • B.S., Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, 1999

Lab/ Center/ Institute affiliations:

Director of the Smart Vision Systems Laboratory (

Faculty Affiliate, Aging Studies Institute

Areas of Expertise:

  • Machine Learning
  • Computer Vision
  • Wireless Smart Camera Networks
  • Mobile camera applications
  • Signal Processing

Prof. Velipasalar’s primary areas of research are machine learning and computer vision. More specifically, her research has focused on human activity classification and fall detection from egocentric cameras, and applications of machine learning to (i) thermal anomaly detection from UAV-mounted infrared cameras, (ii) driver behavior analysis from in-vehicle mounted cameras, (iii) 3D object detection, (iv) person detection from video data, (v) analysis of functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) data, (vi) dynamic multi-channel access, and (vii) defense against adversarial jamming attacks.


  • NSF CAREER Award, 2011.
  • 2021 IEEE Region 1 Technological Innovation (Academic) Award.
  • 2021 IAAI Deployed Application Award for our paper titled “Preclinical Stage Alzheimer’s Disease Detection Using Magnetic Resonance Image Scans”.
  • Top 25 most downloaded IEEE Sensors Journal paper in the months of January-September 2017, and June 2018.
  • Graduate School All-University Doctoral Prize, received by my former Ph.D. student Burak Kakillioglu, 2022.
  • Graduate School All-University Doctoral Prize, received by my former Ph.D. student Natalie Sommer, 2021.
  • Graduate School All-University Doctoral Prize, received by my former Ph.D. student Yantao Lu, 2020.
  • 2017 IEEE Green Communications & Computing Technical Committee Best Journal Paper Award for our paper titled “Analysis of Energy Efficiency in Fading Channels under QoS Constraints”.
  • 2nd place Poster Award at the 17th Annual SyracuseCoE Symposium Student Poster Competition for our work titled “Heat Mapping Drones”, October 2017.
  • 2014 Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award.
  • Graduate School All University Doctoral Prize, received by my former Ph.D. student Akhan Almagambetov, 2014.
  • Nunan Research Day Poster Competition EECS Departmental Winner Award, received by Danushka Bandara (co-advised by Dr.Hirshfield), 2014.
  • Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) of NY Best ITS Student Essay Award, received by my former Ph.D. student Akhan Almagambetov, based on our research on vehicle taillight tracking and alert signal detection, May 2013.
  • The college-wide award for “Applicability of Research to Business and Industry”, received by my former Ph.D. student Akhan Almagambetov, Nunan Lecture and Research Day, April 2013.
  • Third place paper award at the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Distributed Smart Cameras for the paper titled “Energy-efficient Feedback Tracking on Embedded Smart Cameras by Hardware-level Optimization“, 2011
  • EPSCoR First Award, 2009
  • Layman Award as PI, 2007
  • Layman Award as Co-PI, 2009
  • Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Multimedia & Expo (ICME) for the paper titled “Design and Verification of Communication Protocols for Peer-to-Peer Multimedia Systems,” 2006
  • IBM Patent Application Award, 2005
  • Travel Grant, Office of Graduate Affairs, Princeton University, 2005
  • Graduate Fellowship, Princeton University, 2002
  • Graduate Fellowship, Brown University, 1999

Selected Publications:

(Please visit for a complete list)

  • J. Chen, B. Kakillioglu and S. Velipasalar, “Background-Aware 3D Point Cloud Segmentation with Dynamic Point Feature Aggregation,” IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol. 60, April 2022.
  • F. Altay and S. Velipasalar, “The Use of Thermal Cameras for Pedestrian Detection,” IEEE Sensors Journal, vol. 22, issue:12, 11489 – 11498, May 2022.
  • Y. Chu, D. Mitra, K. Cetin, N. Lajnef, F. Altay, S. Velipasalar, “Development and Testing of a Performance Evaluation Methodology to Assess the Reliability of Occupancy Sensor Systems in Residential Buildings,” Energy and Buildings, vol. 268, pp. 112148, 2022.
  • J. Wang, T. Grant, S. Velipasalar, B. Geng and L. Hirshfield, “Taking a Deeper Look at the Brain: Predicting Visual Perceptual and Working Memory Load from High-Density fNIRS Data,” IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, vol. 26, issue:5, pp. 2308-2319, December 2021.
  • J. Wang, W. Chai, A. Venkatachalapathy, K. L. Tan, A. Haghighat, S. Velipasalar, Y. Adu-Gyamfi, A. Sharma, “A Survey on Driver Behavior Analysis from In-Vehicle Cameras,” accepted to appear in the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, early access version available, November 2021.
  • F. Wang; C. Zhong, M. Cenk Gursoy, S. Velipasalar, “Resilient Dynamic Channel Access via Robust Deep Reinforcement Learning,” IEEE Access Journal, vol. 9 , pp. 163188 – 163203, December 2021.
  • N. M. Sommer, B. Kakillioglu, T. Grant, S. Velipasalar and L. Hirshfield, “Classification of fNIRS Finger Tapping Data with Multi-Labeling and Deep Learning,” IEEE Sensors Journal, vol. 21, issue: 21, pp. 24558-24559, doi: 10.1109/JSEN.2021.3115405, Nov. 2021.
  • Y. Zheng, Y. Lu, and S. Velipasalar, “An Effective Adversarial Attack on Person Re-identification in Video Surveillance via Dispersion Reduction,” IEEE Access Journal, vol. 8, pp. 183891 – 183902, Sept. 2020.
  • N. Sommer, S. Velipasalar, L. Hirshfield, Y. Lu and B. Kakillioglu, “Simultaneous and Spatiotemporal Detection of Different Levels of Activity in Multidimensional Data,” IEEE Access Journal, vol. 8, pp. 118205 – 118218, June 2020.
  • D. Bandara, T. Grant, L. Hirshfield and S. Velipasalar, “Identification of Potential Task Shedding Events Using Brain Activity Data,” Augmented Human Research, 5. 10.1007/s41133-020-00034-y, 2020.
  • M. Cornacchia and S. Velipasalar, “Autonomous Selective Parts-Based Tracking,” IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, vol. 29, pp. 4349-4361, January 2020.
  • B. Kakillioglu, A. Ren, Y. Wang and S. Velipasalar, “3D Capsule Networks for Object Classification with Weight Pruning,” IEEE Access Journal, pp. 27393-27405, Febr. 2020.
  • C. Zhong, M. Cenk Gursoy and S. Velipasalar, “Deep Reinforcement Learning-Based Edge Cashing in Wireless Networks,” IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking, vol. 6 , issue 1, pp. 48-61, March 2020.
  • Y. Hu, Y. Li, M. C. Gursoy, S. Velipasalar, and A. Schmeink, “Throughput Analysis of Low-Latency IoT Systems with QoS Constraints and Finite Blocklength Codes,” IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 69, issue 3, pp. 3093-3104, March 2020.
  • C. Zhong, Z. Lu, M. Cenk Gursoy and S. Velipasalar, “A Deep Actor-Critic Reinforcement Learning Framework for Dynamic Multichannel Access,” IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking, vol. 5, issue 4, pp. 1125-1139, Dec. 2019.
  • Y. Lu and S. Velipasalar, “Autonomous Human Activity Classification from Wearable Multi-Modal Sensors,” IEEE Sensors Journal, vol. 19, issue: 23, pp. 11403-11412, Dec. 2019.
  • D. Qiao, M. Cenk Gursoy and S. Velipasalar, “Throughput-Delay Tradeoffs with Finite Blocklength Coding over Multiple Coherence Blocks,” IEEE Transactions on Communications, pp. 5892 – 5904, volume: 67 , Issue: 8 , Aug. 2019.
  • D. Bandara, L. Hirshfield and S. Velipasalar, “Classification of Affect Using Deep Learning on Brain Blood Flow Data,” Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy, 27(3), pp. 206-219, doi: 10.1177/0967033519837986, April 2019.
  • C. Ye, M. Cenk Gursoy and S. Velipasalar, “Power Control for Wireless VBR Video Streaming: From Optimization to Reinforcement Learning,” IEEE Transactions on Communications, pp. 5629 – 5644, volume: 67 , Issue: 8 , Aug. 2019.
  • M. Cornacchia, B. Kakillioglu, Y. Zheng and S. Velipasalar, “Deep Learning Based Obstacle Detection and Classification with Portable Uncalibrated Patterned Light,” IEEE Sensors Journal, vol. 18, issue: 20, pp. 8416-8425, Oct 2018.
  • Y. Lu and S. Velipasalar, “Autonomous Footstep Counting and Traveled Distance Calculation by Mobile Devices Incorporating Camera and Accelerometer Data,” IEEE Sensors Journal, vol. 17, issue: 21, pp. 7157-7166, Nov. 2017.
  • K. Ozcan, S. Velipasalar and P. Varshney, “Autonomous Fall Detection with Wearable Cameras by using Relative Entropy Distance Measure,” IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems, vol. 47, issue: 1, pp. 31-39, Febr. 2017.
  • M. Cornacchia, K. Ozcan, Y. Zheng and S. Velipasalar, “A Survey on Activity Detection and Classification Using Wearable Sensors,” IEEE Sensors Journal, vol. 17, issue: 2, pp. 386-403, Jan. 2017. Top 25 most downloaded IEEE Sensors Journal paper for nine consecutive months in 2017, and in June 2018 .
  • F. Erden, S. Velipasalar, A. Z. Alkar, A. Enis Cetin, “Sensors in Assisted Living: A Survey of Signal and Image Processing Methods ,” IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, volume:33, issue:2, pp. 36-44, March 2016.
  • K. Ozcan and S. Velipasalar, “Wearable Camera- and Accelerometer-based Fall Detection on Portable Devices ,” IEEE Embedded Systems Letters, volume: 8, issue: 1, pp. 6-9, March 2016.

Yilei Shi


  • Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, Florida International University; Concentration: Structural Engineering, 2009
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Beijing University of Technology; Concentration: Structural Engineering, 2002
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Southeast University; Concentration: Structural Engineering, 1999

Research Interests:

  • Transportation resilience
  • Sustainable construction materials
  • Structural behavior under extreme loading conditions

Current Research:

  • Improve transportation resilience by evaluation of structural performance of innovative construction materials, etc.
  • Evaluation of structural performance of sustainable construction materials
  • Design, construction and maintenance of structures under extreme loading and special construction conditions; for example, earthquake, wind, impact, and accelerated construction, etc.

Teaching Interests:

  • Solid Mechanics and Materials
  • Civil and Structural Engineering Design
  • Capstone Design
  • Bridge Engineering
  • Earthquake Engineering


  • Fellow, ASCE

Selected Publications:

Shi, Y. (2021). “Structural Design and Construction of Linked Towers.” 2021 Architectural Engineering Institute Virtual Conference, Denver, CO, April 2021.

Shi, Y. (2019). “A Statistical Summary of Accelerated Bridge Construction Practice in Federal and State Transportation Agencies.” 2019 International Accelerated Bridge Construction Conference, Miami, FL, December 2019.

Hathaway, F., Heath, G., Shi, Y. (2019). “Application of Accelerated Bridge Construction of a Steel Arch Pedestrian Bridge: A Capstone Project Perspective.” 2019 International Accelerated Bridge Construction Conference, Miami, FL, December 2019.

Shi, H., Salim, H., Shi, Y., Wei, F. (2015). “Geometric and Material Nonlinear Static and Dynamic Analysis of Space Truss Structures.” Mechanics Based Design of Structures and Machines: An International Journal, Taylor & Francis, 43(1), 38–56.

Shi, Y., Zohrevand, P., Mirmiran, A. (2013). “Assessment of Cyclic Behavior of Hybrid FRP-Concrete Columns.” Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, 18(6), 553–563.

Shi, Y., Li, B., Mirmiran, A. (2011). “Combined Shear and Flexural Behavior of Hybrid FRP-Concrete Beams Previously Subjected to Cyclic Loading.” Journal of Composites for Construction, ASCE, 15(5), 841–849.

Baris Salman


  • Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, University of Cincinnati, 2010.
  • B.Sc. (with honors) in Civil Engineering, Middle East Technical University, 2004.

Lab/Center Affiliations:

  • University Transportation Research Center (UTRC) – Region 2
  • Transportation for Livability by Integrating Vehicles and the Environment (TranLIVE)

Research Interests:

  • Smart Infrastructure
  • Building Information Modeling
  • Infrastructure Asset Management
  • Deterioration Modeling
  • Sustainable Civil Infrastructure Systems
  • Risk Assessment and Management
  • Accelerated and Fast Track Construction
  • Trenchless Inspection, Repair, and Renewal Methods

Current Research:

Dr. Salman’s research interests lie in the broad area of infrastructure asset management, and particularly on the processes of development of deterioration models and risk assessment procedures, and execution of sustainable repair, rehabilitation, and replacement practices. He has been involved in research projects that focus on various aspects of management of drainage infrastructure systems, wastewater collection lines, and transportation systems. Dr. Salman’s current research efforts aim to support these studies and are directed towards improvement of the decision-making strategies involved in different stages of infrastructure management practices. He is currently leading a research project in which the objective is to investigate innovative maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation (MRR) techniques that can be applied to asphalt roadways in an effort to reduce the economic, environmental, and social impacts associated with these activities.

Courses Taught:

  • Construction Estimating and Scheduling
  • Sustainable Development and Infrastructure Management
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering Measurements
  • Introduction to Geomatics and BIM
  • Engineering Materials
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Construction Project Management
  • Engineering Economics


  • Outstanding Reviewer Award. Journal of Infrastructure Systems (ASCE), 2013

Selected Publications:

Altami, S. A., and Salman, B. (accepted for publication) “Implementation of IoT-based sensor systems for smart stormwater management.” Journal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice, ASCE.

Keskin, B., Salman, B., and Koseoglu, O. (accepted for publication) “Architecting a BIM-based digital twin platform for airport asset management: an approach based on model based system engineering with SysML.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE.

He, S., Salem, O., and Salman, B. (2021) “Decision support framework for project-level pavement maintenance and rehabilitation through integrating Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment.” Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part B: Pavements, ASCE, 147(1).

Salman, B., Salem, O. and He, S. (2020) “Project-level sustainable asphalt roadway treatment selection framework featuring a flowchart and Analytic Network Process.” Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part B: Pavements, Vol:146, Issue:3, ASCE.

Keskin, B, and Salman, B. (2020) “BIM implementation framework for smart airport life cycle management.” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol.2674, Issue:6.

Keskin, B., Salman, B., and Ozorhon, B. (2020) “Airport project delivery within BIM-centric construction technology ecosystems.” Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Emerald.

He, S., Salem, O., and Salman, B. (2020) “Project-level highway treatment selection framework featuring life cycle cost analysis and life cycle assessment.” 99th Annual Conference of Transportation Research Board (TRB), Washington, D.C.

Keskin, B., Salman, B., and Ozorhon, B. (2019) “Analysis of airport BIM implementation through multi-party perspectives in construction technology ecosystem: a construction innovation framework approach.” 36th CIB (International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction) W78 Conference, Newcastle, UK.

Chen, X., Salem, O., and Salman, B. (2019) “A lifecycle benefit/cost analysis framework for Adaptive Traffic Control System (ATCS) deployments.” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers- Transport

He, S., Salem, O., and Salman, B. (2019) “A framework for pavement treatment alternative selection through life cycle cost analysis.” 7th International Construction Conference (jointly with the Construction Research Congress), Laval, QC, Canada

He, S., Salem, O., and Salman, B. (2019) “Life cycle environmental impacts of asphalt roadway maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation alternatives” 98th Annual Conference of Transportation Research Board (TRB), Washington, D.C.

Salem, O., Salman, B. and Ghorai, S. (2018) “Accelerating construction of roadway bridges using alternative techniques and procurement methods”, Transport, 33(2), 567-579.

Keskin, B., and Salman, B. (2018) “Building Information Modeling (BIM) implementation for sustainability analysis: A mega airport project case study.” 7th International Building Physics Conference: Healthy, Intelligent and Resilient Buildings and Urban Environments, Syracuse, NY, USA.

Salman, B., Salem, O., Garguilo, D. T., and He, S. (2017) “Innovative maintenance, repair, and reconstruction techniques for asphalt roadways: A survey of state departments of transportation.” 96th Annual Conference of Transportation Research Board (TRB), Washington, D.C.

Wang, X., Deshpande, A. S., Dadi, G. B., Salman, B. (2016) “Application of Clonal Selection Algorithm in construction site utilization planning optimization.” Procedia Engineering, Proc. ICSDEC 2016 – Integrating Data Science, Construction and Sustainability, Vol. 145, pp. 267-273.

Salem, O., Ghorai, S., Salman, B., and Aboutaha, R. (2014) “A decision support framework for accelerated bridge construction.” Proc. 93rd Annual Conference of Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.

Salem, O., Salman, B., and Najafi, M. (2012) “Culvert asset management practices and deterioration modeling.” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2285, pp. 1-7.

Salman, B., and Salem, O. (2012) “Risk assessment of wastewater collection lines based on failure models and criticality.” Journal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice, ASCE, 3(3), pp. 68-76.

Salman, B., and Salem, O. (2012) “Modeling failure of wastewater collection lines using various section-level regression models.” Journal of Infrastructure Systems, ASCE, 18(2), pp. 146-154.

Zhao Qin


  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013.
  • M.Eng., Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 2008.
  • B.Eng., Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 2006.

Research interests:

  • Development of advanced computational modeling methods for designing new materials of advanced material functions.
  • Bottom-up modeling of the multi-scale structure-mechanics relationship of nano- and bio-materials. Fundamental understanding of the material behaviors of biological and synthetic polymeric materials from the most molecular scale to macroscopic length scale.
  • Learn from nature and discover bio-inspired ideas to create and design materials with innovative material functions.
  • Prototyping, optimization and characterization of synthetic composite materials with multiple advanced material functions, for efficient usage of engineering materials.

Current Research:

My research focuses on developing advanced computational modeling methods, using them to study fundamental mechanical properties of biological materials and applying the knowledge to design new materials of advanced mechanical functions. I have a broad background in mechanics and structure of materials, with specific training and expertise in the multi-scale structure-mechanics relationship in biological materials. My research focuses on the structure and mechanics insight of general natural materials as many of them, such as mussel glue, insect wings and membranes, have fascinating mechanical and biological properties built up from simple basic molecular building blocks. I am thus strongly motivated to develop tools that enable us to learn from nature to make material innovations more efficient. I have developed a multi-scale high-throughput computational modeling method that enables me to study materials from the most fundamental molecular scale to macroscopic length scale. I have applied the tool to the investigations of several different biological materials and have revealed new mechanisms hidden in their complex structures. Some of the findings contribute to fundamental understandings of diseases that take place from the molecular scale; others contribute to designs and prototyping of synthetic composite materials with multiple advanced material functions. I have developed principles to help to optimize the material functions through structures, making it feasible to rationally design the mechanics and longevity of composite materials, leading to better performance with less energetic and environmental cost than conventional engineering materials for industrial applications.

Courses Taught:

  • CEE 325 – Mechanics of Materials
  • CEE 676 – Multiscale Material Modeling and Simulations


  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, NSF, May 2022
  • 2021 Fellowship to 25th International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ICTAM 2020+1) from USNC/TAM.
  • 2020 Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant, Syracuse University
  • Best paper award in Journal of Applied Mechanics (ASME) for the paper “Bioinspired Graphene Nanogut” among papers published during 2012-2013
  • Outstanding Paper Award, ASME Global Congress on Nano Engineering for Medicine and Biology, Boston, MA, 2013
  • Chinese Government Award For Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad, NY, 2011
  • Best Paper Award, International Journal of Applied Mechanics (Imperial College Press) 2010
  • Schoettler Graduate Fellowship, Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT, 2010
  • SAMSUNG Scholarship, Tsinghua University, China, 2007
  • 2nd Rank National Scholarship, Tsinghua University, China, 2003

Recent Publications:

DA Qureshi, S Goffredo, Y Kim, Y Han, M Guo, S Ryu, Z Qin (2022) Why mussel byssal plaques are tiny yet strong in attachment, Matter, 5, 710-724

S Liu, K Duan, J Feng, L Li, X Wang, Y Hu, Z Qin (2022), The design of strongly bonded nanoarchitected carbon materials for high specific strength and modulus, Carbon, 195, 387-394

R Xu, L Yang, Z Qin (2022), Design, manufacture, and testing of customized sterilizable respirator, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 131, 105248

L Yang, D Park, Z Qin (2021), Material Function of Mycelium Based Bio-composite: A Review, Frontiers in Materials, 8, 374

J Cui, M Jiang, M Nicola, A Masic, Z Qin (2021), Multiscale understanding in fracture resistance of bamboo skin, Extreme Mechanics Letters, 49, 101480

J-K Qin, C Sui, Z Qin, J Wu, H Guo, L Zhen, C-Y Xu, Y Chai, C Wang, X He, P D Ye, J Lou (2021), Mechanical anisotropy in two-dimensional selenium atomic layers, Nano Letters, 21, 8043-8050

J. L. Kessler, G. Kang, Z. Qin, H. Kang, F. G. Whitby, T. E. Cheatham, C. P. Hill, Y. Li, and S. Michael Yu (2021), Peptoid Residues Make Diverse, Hyperstable Collagen Triple-Helices, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 143, 29, 10910–10919

J Ni, S. Lin, Z. Qin, D. Veysset, X. Liu, Y. Sun, A.J. Hsieh, R. Radovitzky, K.A. Nelson, X. Zhao (2021), Strong Fatigue-Resistant Nanofibrous Hydrogels Inspired by Lobster Underbelly, Matter, 4, 1919–1934.

Q Huang, T Deng, W Xu, CK Yoon, Z Qin, Y Lin, Tengfei Li, Y. Yang, M Shen, S M. Thon, J B. Khurgin, D H. Gracias (2020), Solvent Responsive Self‐Folding of 3D Photosensitive Graphene Architectures, Adv. Intell. Syst., 2020, 2000195

K Tanuj Sapra, Z Qin, A Dubrovsky-Gaupp, U Aebi, D J Müller, M J Buehler, O Medalia (2020), Nonlinear mechanics of lamin filaments and the meshwork topology build an emergent nuclear lamina, Nature Communications, 11, 6205

X Guo, L Zhao, Z Qin, L Wu, A Shehu, Y Ye (2020), Interpretable Deep Graph Generation with Node-Edge Co-Disentanglement, Proceedings of the 26th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining, 1697-1707

JL Zitnay, GS Jung, AH Lin, Z Qin, Y Li, SM Yu, MJ Buehler, JA Weiss (2020), Accumulation of collagen molecular unfolding is the mechanism of cyclic fatigue damage and failure in collagenous tissues, Science Advances, 6, eaba2795

G Grezzana, HC Loh, Z Qin, MJ Buehler, A Masic, F Libonati, Probing the Role of Bone Lamellar Patterns through Collagen Microarchitecture Mapping, Numerical Modeling, and 3D‐Printing (2020), Advanced Engineering Materials, 2000387

J Cui, Z Qin, A Masic, MJ Buehler, Multiscale structural insights of load bearing bamboo: A computational modeling approach (2020), Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 107, 103743

Z Qin, Q Yu, MJ Buehler, Machine learning model for fast prediction of the natural frequencies of protein molecules (2020), RSC Advances, 10, 16607-16615

B Azimi, M. Milazzo, A. Lazzeri, S. Berrettini, M.J. Uddin, Z. Qin, M.J. Buehler, S. Danti, Electrospinning piezoelectric fibers for biocompatible devices (2020), Advanced Healthcare Materials, 9, 1901287

Z Qin, L Wu, H Sun, S Huo, T Ma, E Lim, P-Y Chen, B Marelli, M J Buehler (2020), Artificial intelligence method to design and fold alpha-helix structural proteins from the primary amino acid sequence, Extreme Mechanics Letters, 36, 100652

J Liu, S Lin, X Liu, Z Qin, Y Yang, J Zang, and X Zhao (2020), Fatigue-resistant Adhesion of Hydrogels, Nature Communications, 11, 1071

J Wu, Z Qin, L Qu, H Zhang, F Deng, M Guo (2019), Natural hydrogel in American lobster: a soft armour with high toughness and strength, Acta Biomaterialia, Vol 88, pp. 102-110

Y Han, M-Y Li, G-S Jung, M A. Marsalis, Z Qin, M J. Buehler, L-J Li, D A. Muller (2018), Sub-Nanometer Channels Embedded in Two-Dimensional Materials, Nature Materials, Vol. 17, pp 129-133

Z Qin, G S Jung, M J Kang, M J. Buehler (2017), The mechanics and design of light-weight three-dimensional graphene assembly, Science Advances, Vol. 3, paper #: e1601536

Eric M. Lui


  • Ph.D., Purdue University, IN.
  • M.S.C.E., Purdue University, IN.
  • B.S.C.E. (High Honors), University of Wisconsin at Madison, WI.

Research Interests:

  • Steel structures, structural stability
  • Structural dynamics, earthquake engineering
  • Numerical modeling
  • Damage identification and quantification
  • Computer-aided analysis and design of structures

Areas of Expertise:

Dr. Lui’s current research is in the areas of nonlinear behavior and limit states design of steel structures, seismic analysis and performance-based design of structures, effect of nonlinear damping on structures, application of shape memory alloys in earthquake resistant design, passive magnetic negative stiffness dampers, energy dissipative segmented steel plate shear wall, seismic assessment using the endurance time method, damage identification and quantification using system dynamic properties.

Dr. Lui has authored/coauthored numerous journal papers, conference proceedings, special publications and research reports in these areas. He is also a contributing author to a number of engineering monographs and technical handbooks. In addition, he is the author/co-editor of the 2nd edition CRC Handbook of Structural Engineering, and is the co-author/co-editor of four books on the subject of steel design, structural stability, and earthquake engineering. He currently serves as editor-in-chief of two journals and serves on the editorial boards of several other scientific and engineering journals.


  • Bleyer Scholarship, University of Wisconsin (1979)
  • Bates and Rogers Foundation Scholarship, University of Wisconsin (1980)
  • David Ross Fellowship, Purdue University (1982, 1983)
  • Nellie Munsion Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant, Purdue University (1982)
  • Coauthor of the AISC Higgins Award Paper (1985)
  • Crouse Hinds Award for Excellence in Education, Syracuse University (1997)
  • Nominated for the Munro Prize for Best Paper (2000)
  • ASCE Committee on Student Services Certificate for Exemplary Services (2000)
  • ASCE Faculty Adviser Reward Recipient (2000, 2001, 2002)
  • Letter of Honorable Mention, SU ASCE Student Chapter, Faculty Advisor (2000, 2001)
  • Certificate of Commendation, SU ASCE Student Chapter, Faculty Advisor (1999, 2003, 2005, 2006)
  • Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY) College Educator of the Year Award (2007)
  • Named one of two Recipients of the ECS Faculty Excellence Award (2009)
  • Member of Honor Society Tau Beta Pi
  • Member of Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi
  • Member of Honor Society Sigma Xi
  • Member of Honor Society Chi Epsilon

Selected Publications:

Majd, N.S. and Lui, E.M. “Analysis and design of a novel segmented energy absorbing steel plate shear wall system,” Advances in Structural Engineering, 2024, 27(1), 85-104. (DOI:

Mamaghani, M., and Lui, E.M. “Use of continuous wavelet transform to generate endurance time excitation functions for nonlinear seismic analysis of structures.” CivilEng, 2023, 4(3), 753-781. (DOI:

Zhou, Y., Shao, H.T., Lui, E.M., Zhong, G. and Li, Z. “Behavior of elliptical buckling restrained braces under cyclic axial load,” Structures, 2023, 48, 331-345. (DOI:

Zheng, T. and Lui, E.M. “A variable stiffness energy dissipation device for drift control of steel frames,” Advances in Structural Engineering, 2023, 26(1), 183-202. (DOI:

Tang, W.K. and Lui, E.M. “Analysis and design of a hybrid re-centring energy dissipation device for steel moment frames,” International Journal of Structural Engineering, 2022, 12(3), 209-239. (DOI:

Wang, Q.W., Liang, L., Lui, E.M., and Shi, Q.X. “Behavior of eccentrically loaded UHPC filled circular steel tubular short columns,” Journal of Constructional Steel Research, 2022, 193, 107282, 16p. (DOI:

Zhou Y., Shao H.T., Cao Y.S. and Lui, E.M. “Application of buckling-restrained braces to earthquake-resistant design of buildings: A review,” Engineering Structures, 2021, 246(1), 112991, 20p.   (DOI:

El Masri, O.Y. and Lui, E.M. “Behavior and design of steel delta girders for flexure and shear,” Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, 2021, 147(9): 04021141, 13p. (DOI:

Wang, F. and Lui, E.M. “Experimental investigation of post-fire residual stresses in Q690 welded I-sections,” Thin-walled Structures, 2021, 163: 107631, 14p. (DOI:

Ma, H.W., Zheng, H., Zhang, W., Tang, Z.Z. and Lui, E.M. “Experimental and numerical study of mechanical behavior of welded steel plate joints,” Metals, 2020, 10: 1293, 16p. (DOI:

Wang, F. and Lui, E.M. “Experimental study of the post-fire mechanical properties of Q690 high strength steel,” Journal of Constructional Steel Research, 2020, 167, Article 105966.

Liu, W.-X. and Lui, E.M. “Mathematical modeling and parametric study of magnetic negative stiffness dampers,” Advances in Structural Engineering, 2020, 23(8):1702-1714.

Chen, Y.-L., Chen, Z.-P., Xu, J.-J., Lui, E.M., and Wu B. “Performance evaluation of recycled aggregate concrete under multiaxial compression,” Construction and Building Materials, 2019, 229, Article 116935.

Ma, H.W., Wang, J.W., Lui, E.M., Wan, Z.Q, and Wang, K. (2019) “Experimental Study of the Behavior of Beam-column Connections with Expanded Beam Flanges,” Steel and Composite Structures, 31(3), 319-327. (DOI:

El Masri, O.Y. and Lui, E.M. (2019) “Influence of Imperfections on the Flexural Resistance of Steel Delta Girders,” Advanced Steel Construction, 15(2), 157-164. (DOI:10.18057/IJASC.2019.15.2.5)

El Masri, O.Y. and Lui, E.M. (2019) “Cross-Section Properties and Elastic Lateral-Torsional Buckling Capacity of Steel Delta Girders,” International Journal of Steel Structures, 19(3), 914-931. (DOI:

Wang, Q.W., Shi, Q.X., Lui, E.M., and Xu, Z.D. (2019) “Axial Compressive Behavior of Reactive Powder Concrete-Filled Circular Steel Tube Columns,” Journal of Construction Steel Research, 153, 42-54. (DOI:

Wang, X.W, Zhu, B., Cui, S.G., and Lui, EM. (2018) “Experimental Research on PBL Connectors Considering the Effects of Concrete Stress State and Other Connection Parameters,” Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, 23(1), 14p. (DOI:

Ataei, H., Mamaghani, M., and Lui, E.M. (2017) “Proposed Framework for Performance-Based Seismic Design of Highway Bridges,” ASCE Structures Congress, Denver, Colorado, April 6-8, 2017, 14p.

Yao, Z.L. and Lui, E.M. (2017) “Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Seismic Performance of an A-frame-truss-column Hybrid Supporting Structure,” Advances in Structural Engineering, 20(9), 1277–1298, (DOI:

Mezgebo, M. and Lui, E.M. (2017) “A New Methodology for Energy-based Seismic Design of Steel Moment Frames,” Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibrations, 16(1), 131-152. (DOI: 10.1007/s11803-017-0373-1)

Mezgebo, M. and Lui, E.M. (2016) “Hysteresis and Soil Site Dependent Input and Hysteretic Energy Spectra for Far-Source Ground Motions,” Advances in Civil Engineering, Volume 2016, Article ID 1548319, 10p. (DOI:

Liu, W.X and Lui, E.M. (2016) “Negative Stiffness Dampers for Structural Vibration Control,” Access Science, 9p. (DOI:

Wang, F. and Lui, E.M. (2016) “Behavior of High Strength Steels under and after High Temperature Exposure,” Journal of Steel Structures and Construction, 2:2, 10p. (DOI:10.4172/2472-0437.1000123)

Chen, Z.P., Xu, J.J., Chen, Y.L., and Lui, E.M. (2016) “Recycling and Reuse of Construction and Demolition Waste in Concrete-filled Steel Tubes: A Review,” Construction & Building Materials, 126, 641-660. (DOI:

Woldegebriel, Z.T. and Lui, E.M. (2015) “Long-span hybrid suspension and cable-stayed bridges,” McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology, 168-172.

Tang, W. and Lui, E.M. (2014) “Hybrid re-centering energy dissipative device for seismic protection,” Journal of Structures, Volume 2014, Article ID 262409, 17p. (DOI:10.1155/2014/262409)

Singh, R. and Lui, E.M. (2014) “Design of PR frames with top and seat angle connections using the direct analysis method,” Advanced Steel Construction, 10(2), 116-138.

Lui, E.M. and Zhang, X. (2013) “Stability Design of Cross-Bracing Systems for Frames,” Engineering Journal, American Institute of Steel Construction, 3rd Quarter, 50(3), 155-168.

Yang, Y. and Lui, E.M. (2012) “Behavior and design of steel I-beams with inclined stiffeners,” Steel and Composite Structures, 12(3), 183-206.

Oguzmert, M. and Lui, E.M. (2011) “Seismic design of inelastic structures using equivalent linear system parameters: part 1 – derivation and comparison,” The IES Journal Part A: Civil & Structural Engineering, 4(2), 89-102.

Oguzmert, M. and Lui, E.M. (2011) “Seismic design of inelastic structures using equivalent linear system parameters: part 2 – application and verification,” The IES Journal Part A: Civil & Structural Engineering, 4(2), 103-114.

Khanse, A.C. and Lui, E.M. (2010) “Pulse extraction and displacement response evaluation for long-period ground motions,” The IES Journal Part A: Civil & Structural Engineering, 3(4), 211-223.

Ge, M., Lui, E.M., and Khanse, A.C. (2010) “Non-proportional damage identification in steel frames,” Engineering Structures, 32, 523-533.

Sara Eftekharnejad


  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Arizona State University, 2012
  • MSc. , Electrical Engineering, West Virginia University, 2008
  • BSc., Electrical Engineering, University of Tehran, 2006

Research Interests:

  • Integration of renewable energy into power systems
  • Power system stability and control
  • Power system reliability and security
  • Phasor Measurement Units (PMU) in smart grids

Current Research:

My research focuses on integration of renewable energy resources and power system stability with high penetration of renewables. I investigate how power systems are impacted when various renewables are integrated into systems. I also investigate how power system operation and planning needs to be modified to accommodate more renewables while achieving reliable power systems.

I also investigate the problems at the intersection of network science theory and power system analysis. This includes identification of critical contingencies and solutions to prevent cascading blackouts.

Courses taught:

  • Introduction to Power Systems
  • Power System Analysis
  • Power Electronics

Selected Publications:

Eftekharnejad, G.T. Heydt, and V. Vittal., “Optimal Generation Dispatch with High Penetration of Photovoltaic Generation”, IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy, Vol 6, Issue 3, pages 1013-1020, July 2015.

Eftekharnejad, V. Vittal, G.T. Heydt, B. Keel, and J. Loehr, “Impact of Increased Penetration of Photovoltaic Generation on Power Systems”, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 28, Issue 2, pages 893 – 901, May 2013.

Eftekharnejad, V. Vittal, G.T. Heydt, B. Keel, and J. Loehr, “Small Signal Stability Assessment of Power Systems with Increased Penetration of Photovoltaic Generation: A Case Study”, IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy, Vol. 4, Issue 4, pages 960 – 967, October 2013.

Bing Dong


  • Ph.D. in Building Performance and Diagnostics, Carnegie Mellon University
  • M.S. in Building Science, National University of Singapore
  • B.E. in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Nanjing University of Technology

Lab/Center Affiliations:

  • Built Environment Science and Technology (BEST) Lab
  • Syracuse Center of Excellence in Energy and Environmental Systems

Research interests:

  • Modeling occupant behavior in buildings
  • Intelligent building operation
  • Fault detection and diagnostics
  • Buildings-to-grid integration
  • Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings
  • Urban mobility
  • Urban building energy modeling
  • Modeling and optimization of urban energy system
  • Human performance

Current Research:

Prof. Dong’s current research goal is to explore how smart buildings play an active role in urban scale cyber-physical energy system considering human behavior, renewable energy, energy storage, smart grid, health and resilience through physics-based modeling, optimization and controls, heterogeneous sensing and data-driven models. Current major research topics are: (1) Human-Building-Interactions including Detecting, Modeling and Simulating Occupant Behavior in Buildings and Behavior-driven Control and Optimization for Energy Systems and (2) System-level Modeling, Optimization and Control for Urban Built Environment including Buildings-to-Grid Integration Control and Optimization Framework, Modeling of Occupancy Behavior at a Community Level and Connect with other Urban Infrastructures and Community energy planning and management.

Major ongoing research projects are (1) NSF CAREER: Holistic Assessment of the Impacts of Connected Buildings and People on Community Energy Planning and Management, (2) Department of Energy – Argonne National Lab: Spatial-temporal data-driven weather and energy forecasting for improved implementation of advanced building controls, and (3) ARPA-E: Quantification of HVAC Energy Savings for Occupancy Sensing in Buildings through An Innovative Testing Methodology.

Teaching Interests:

  • HVAC design
  • Building performance modeling and diagnostics

Honors and Awards:

  • 2019 NSF CAREER Award
  • 2018 IBPSA-USA Emerging Contributor Award
  • 2017 Innovator of the Year, The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • 2017 Faculty Research Award, The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • 2017 Distinguished Service Award for IEA EBC Annex 66 Project
  • 2010 Isabel Sophia Liceaga Discretionary Fund Faculty Award, Carnegie Mellon University
  • 2009 Akram Midani Award, Carnegie Mellon University

Select Publications:

Dong, B., Liu, Y., Fontenot, H., Ouf, M., Osman, M., Chong, A., Qin, S., Salim, F., Xue, H., Yan, D. and Jin, Y., 2021. Occupant behavior modeling methods for resilient building design, operation and policy at urban scale: A review. Applied Energy, 293, p.116856.

Pang, Z., Chen, Y., Zhang, J., O’Neill, Z., Cheng, H. and Dong, B., 2021. How much HVAC energy could be saved from the occupant-centric smart home thermostat: A nationwide simulation study. Applied Energy283, p.116251.

Pang, Z., Chen, Y., Zhang, J., O’Neill, Z., Cheng, H. and Dong, B., 2020. Nationwide HVAC energy-saving potential quantification for office buildings with occupant-centric controls in various climates. Applied Energy279, p.115727.

Wu, W., Dong, B., Wang, Q.R., Kong, M., Yan, D., An, J. and Liu, Y., 2020. A novel mobility-based approach to derive urban-scale building occupant profiles and analyze impacts on building energy consumption. Applied Energy278, p.115656.

O’Brien, W., Wagner, A., Schweiker, M., Mahdavi, A., Day, J., Kjærgaard, M.B., Carlucci, S., Dong, B., Tahmasebi, F., Yan, D. and Hong, T., 2020. Introducing IEA EBC Annex 79: Key challenges and opportunities in the field of occupant-centric building design and operation. Building and Environment178, p.106738.

Wagner, A., O’Brien, W. and Dong, B. eds., 2018. Exploring Occupant Behavior in Buildings: Methods and Challenges. Springer.

Dong, B., Yan, D. Li, Z.*,Jin, Y., Feng, X.H., Fontenot, H. 2018. Modeling occupancy and behavior for better building design and operation—A critical review. In Building Simulation (in Press). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. (IF: 1.170)-Invited Paper: 10 Years Anniversary.

Dong, B., Li, Z.*, Taha, A. and Gatsis, N., 2018. Occupancy-based buildings-to-grid integration framework for smart and connected communities. Applied Energy, 219, pp.123-137.(IF: 7.182)

Shobha K. Bhatia


  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 1980.
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, IIT Roorkee, India, 1973.
  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering, IIT Roorkee, India, 1971.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Use of synthetics and natural products in mitigating soil erosion and soil
  • Dewatering and containment of dredged sediments and waste
  • Use of recycle materials in civil infrastructures
  • Women in science and engineering

Dr. Bhatia’s current research efforts focus on the testing, development, design, and innovative use of sustainable natural and polymeric materials for the protection of water quality. In the area of soil erosion, a significant issue that can negatively impact surface water quality, Dr. Bhatia has worked extensively to develop methods to reduce stream bank erosion, evaluate the properties and performance of erosion control products, and develop new, innovative products to minimize soil erosion. Using a multidisciplinary collaborative approach, Dr. Bhatia has worked closely with manufacturers, national and international agencies, and research centers in the development of sustainable solutions for soil erosion issues. Recently, Dr. Bhatia worked on a research project to assess stream restoration methods to reduce stream bank erosion in the Catskill Mountains. Dr. Bhatia has also performed research to evaluate the technical, political, and cultural aspects of the use of natural erosion control materials (coir and jute) in India and the United States. Dr. Bhatia has also established unique testing facilities at Syracuse University to test erosion control products.

Dr. Bhatia has also worked extensively on the development of sustainable materials and methods to dewater dredged sediment, a significant and urgent issue in the US and around the world. Dr. Bhatia is currently investigating the dewatering performance of twenty-five different dredged sediments from water bodies in the US using polymeric and natural flocculants and polymeric and natural fiber geotextiles. Bench-scale, pilot-scale, and large-scale tests will be conducted to evaluate the interaction between sediments, flocculants, and geotextiles. Unique testing facilities have been developed at Syracuse University to characterize the sediments and flocculants. A model will be developed incorporating the sediments, flocculants, geotextiles, and filter-cake characteristics to predict geotextile performance. The systematic study will explore the use of environmentally-friendly flocculants and geotextiles in dewatering and containing dredged sediments and also provide a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of chemically-conditioned sediment dewatering using geotextile tubes. The wealth of data that will be generated will allow for the thorough evaluation of existing test methods, the development of new test standards (in consultation with an industrial advisory board), and the creation of a model to verify results. Dr. Bhatia is also working extensively with industry and international researchers on the development of geotextile tubes for dewatering fly ash.

Dr. Bhatia has also been extensively involved in engineering education. She is co-director of the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) initiative at Syracuse University. She is a Co PI of the National Science Foundation funded project SUADVANCE.


  • Recognized as GeoLegend, Geo Institute, American Society of Civil Engineering, January 2020.
  • Recipient of the Award of Appreciation from the ASTM in 2019 and 2014 for successfully completing more than ten studies and 31 one years of service to D 35 Committee.
  • Appointed to the National Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering of the National Academy of Science-Engineering-Medicine, 2016-2018.
  • Woman in Engineering Proactive Network (WEPAN), 2015 University Agent Award, 2015.
  • Invited and participated in an educational workshop on multi-scale soil-environment problems, to explore key challenges for future geo-engineers at University of Cambridge, England. Funded by the National Science Foundation, September 2014.
  • Appointed member of the Diversity and Inclusion committee, Geo Institute, American Society of Civil Engineering, 2012 – 2015.
  • YWCA Syracuse and Onondaga County, Diversity Achievers Award, Syracuse, New York, 2012.
  • Chancellor’s Citations for Faculty Excellence and Scholarly Distinction, Syracuse University, February 2009
  • Recipient of the Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award, the Graduate School, Syracuse University, March 2008
  • Recipient of the Women of Influence Award – Division of Student Affairs, Office of Residence Life, Syracuse University, April 2007
  • Recipient of the College Technology Educator of the Year award from the Technology Alliance of Central New York for her pronounced and consistent role in the community – beyond “the hill” of Syracuse University, March, 2004
  • Recipient of the International Network for Engineering Education and Research (iNEER) Award for Excellence in Fostering Sustained and Unique Collaborations in International Research and Education, July, 2003
  • Recipient of 2000 Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence, Syracuse University, 2000-2003

Select Publications:

Bhatia, S. K., Lebster, G., and Khachan, M. (2021). “Dewatering Contaminated Slurries Using Geotextile Tubes,” GEOSTRATA, American Society of Civil Engineering, March/April Issue, 2021.

Fatema, N., and Bhatia, S. K. (2020) “Role of Geotextile Pore Opening on the Dewatering Tests,” Geosynthetics International, September,

Fatema, N., and Bhatia, S. K. (2019). “Comparisons between Geotextile Pore Sizes Obtained from Capillary Flow And Dry Sieving Tests, “Geotechnical Testing Journal , DOI: 10.1520/GTJ20180203.

Gallagher, P., Bhatia, S. K., Alestalo, S., Soundarajan, S., and Athanasopoulos-Zekkos, A. (2019) “Increasing Collaboration among Geotechnical Engineering Faculty: A Case Study from the “Geotechnical Engineering Women Faculty: Networked and Thriving Project,” ASCE, Geotechnical Special Publication, GSP 314 ed., pp. 86-98.

Duggan, K. L., Morris. M., Bhatia, S. K., and Lewis, K. E. (2019).  “Analyzing the Toxicity of Cationic Polyacrylamide and Cationic Starch on Aquatic Life,” Journal of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste, ASCE. Oct; 23(4): 10.1061/ HZ.2153-5515.0000467.

Fatema, N., and Bhatia, S. K. (2018). “Sediment Retention and Clogging of Geotextile with High Water Content Slurries,” International Journal of Geosynthetics and Ground Engineering, 4: 13.

Ratnayesuraj C.R, Kiffle, Z.B., Bhatia, S.K., Lebster G. and Timpson, C. (2018).Tests and Analytical Model to Predict Geotextile Tube Performance in the Field: A Case  Study.  International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo, March 5-10, 2018.

RatnaYesuraj, C.R. and Bhatia. S.K. (2018). Testing and Analytical Modeling of Two-dimensional Geotextile Tube Dewatering Process. Geosynthetics International, Volume 25, No. 2 April, pp.132-149.

Fatema, N., and Bhatia, S. K. (2018). “Sediment Retention and Clogging of Geotextile with High Water Content Slurries,” International Journal of Geosynthetics and Ground Engineering, 4: 13.

Khachan, M. M., and Bhatia, S. K. (2017). The Efficacy and Use of Small Centrifuge for Evaluating Geotextile   Tube Dewatering Performance. Geotextiles and Geomembranes45(4), 280-293.