ASCE has honored Burcin Becerik-Gerber, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE, with the 2023 Computing in Civil Engineering Award for her contributions on modeling and analysis of the data needed for user-centered built environments and development of data-driven engineering solutions for improving built-environment efficiency, sustainability, and safety.
Becerik-Gerber is a lead researcher in user-centered, responsive, and adaptive engineering and built environments. Her work focuses on acquiring, modeling, and analyzing the data needed for user-centered built environments and developing data-driven engineering solutions for improving built-environment efficiency, sustainability, and safety. Her talent stems from her ability to imagine future buildings/infrastructure as responsive, adaptive, interactive, and learning machines. She has developed several algorithms to control and automate building operations and find ways to fuse sensor-based data with very “noisy” human behavior. Notably, her work uses engineering and computation to improve societal welfare. For example, in one of her current projects, she investigates how building attributes affect human behavior during active shooter incidents. Specifically, she models built environment attributes in virtual reality and simulates the behavior of both the adversaries and the crowd using agent-based modeling. Her work looks at this societal problem through the lens of building design and operation. It helps us improve our preparedness for and response to active shooter events by informing safer building designs and operations and training occupants and security personnel on responding to human-enabled catastrophic events, thus saving lives.
Beyond her research contributions, Becerik-Gerber has a strong service and outreach track record. She has been the associate editor of the ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering since 2011. She is a member of several ASCE Technical Council on Computing and Information Technology (TCCIT) committees and served on the ExCOM of the ASCE Computing Division between 2015 and 2020.
The Computing in Civil Engineering Award recognizes outstanding achievement and contribution in the use of computers in the practice of civil engineering.