Carnegie Mellon University

Akinci, Center

July 12, 2023

Akinci Receives ASCE Peurifoy Construction Research Award

Akinci presenting talkThe ASCE Peurifoy Construction Research Award was recently presented to Burcu Akinci, the Christiano Professor and Head of the CEE Department. This prestigious recognition acknowledges her groundbreaking work in the fields of digital twins and context-aware AI for construction and infrastructure management.

Akinci has become the first engineer from Carnegie Mellon University to receive this prestigious award, and she is only the third woman to be honored since its establishment in 1986. The award celebrates individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of construction engineering through their research and development of new technologies, principles, or practices.

Akinci’s research focuses on modeling and analyzing information-rich histories of buildings and infrastructure systems to enhance construction and infrastructure operations. One specific area of her investigation involves exploring the integration and utilization of building information models with technologies such as 3D imaging and embedded sensors. This integration enables the creation of digital twins for construction projects and infrastructure operations, facilitating proactive and predictive operations and management. 

As a member of the National Academies of Construction, Akinci holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey. She also earned an MBA from Bilkent University, Turkey, as well as Master's and PhD degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, specializing in Construction Engineering and Management.

She holds two patents and one provisional patent, and she has published over 70 journal articles and 100 conference papers. Her work has received support from various federal and state agencies as well as industry partners.

The award, named after Professor Robert Peurifoy (1902-1995), pays tribute to his exceptional leadership in construction education and research. Peurifoy's career in academia began in 1946 when he joined Texas A&M University to teach construction engineering. Over the years, he played a pivotal role in transforming the study of construction engineering into a recognized academic discipline.