Carnegie Mellon University

Burcu Akinci

Burcu Akinci

Paul Christiano Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director, Engineering Research Accelerator
Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering

Civil & Environmental Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890


Dr. Burcu Akinci is the Paul Christiano Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Associate Dean for Research for the College of Engineering, Director of the  Engineering Research Accelerator and co-director of Pennsylvania Smarter Infrastructure Incubator at Carnegie Mellon University. 

She earned her BS in Civil Engineering (1991) from Middle East Technical University and her MBA (1993) from Bilkent University at Ankara, Turkey. After that, she earned her MS (1995) and her Ph.D. (2000) in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a specialization in Construction Engineering and Management from Stanford University.  

Her research interests include the development of approaches to model and reason about information-rich histories of facilities, to streamline construction and facility management processes. She specifically focuses on investigating utilization and integration of building information models with data capture and tracking technologies, such as 3D imaging, embedded sensors and radio-frequency identification systems to capture semantically-rich as-built histories of construction projects and facility operations.

Dr. Akinci has one patent, two patent applications, over 60 refereed journal publications, and 80 refereed conference publications. She co-edited a book on CAD/GIS Integration and another book on Embedded Commissioning. She has graduated more than 16 PhD students and 15 MS thesis students and is currently advising/co-advising 4 PhD students.


PhD 2000 - Stanford University
MS 1995 - Stanford University
MBA 1993 - Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
BS 1991 - Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey


Research Group: AIS 
Research Centers: 
SiiEngineering Research Accelerator

Areas of Interest

Approaches for achieving reliable construction schedules and estimates, approaches for situation awareness and assessment via information-rich as-built models and reality capture technologies.


Tang, P., Huber, D., Akinci, B. (2011) "Characterization of Laser Scanners and Algorithms for Detecting Flatness Defects on Concrete Surfaces,” ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 25: 31-42.

Soibelman, L., Sacks, R., Akinci, B., Dikmen, I., Birgonul, T., Eyb Poosh, M. (2011) "Preparing Civil Engineers for International Collaboration in Construction Management,” Journal of Professional Issues In Engineering 

Tang, P., Huber, D., Akinci, B., Lipman, R., Lytle, A. (2010) "Automatic Reconstruction of As-built Building Information Models from Laser-Scanned Point Clouds: A Review of Related Techniques,” Automation in Construction, 19: 829-843.

Ergan, S., Akinci, B. (2010) "Automated generation of customized field data collection templates to support information needs of cost estimators," ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 24: 129-139.

Ergan, S., Akinci, B., Gonzalez, C. (2010) "Comparison of experienced and novice cost estimator behaviors in information pull and push methods," Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 37: 290-301.

Recent Awards

  • 2014: named Paul Christiano Professor of Civil and Environemntal Engineering
  • 2012: ASCE, Outstanding Reviewer
  • 2011: named Professor of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Pittsburgh Section. This award is given for outstanding teaching ability and significant contributions toward improving professional aspects of civil engineering education.
  • 2011: Most Cited Paper award (2007-2011) - Advanced Engineering Informatics
  • 2010: received the "Bringing the World into the Classroom: ACE Award to Recognize Innovative Use of Technology to Promote Internationalism" from the American Council on Education (ACE) with Lucio Soibelman.
  • 2008: FIATECH's CETI Outstanding Early Career Researcher award
  • 2007: ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize 

Burcu Akinci: Making Infrastructure Systems More Resilient, Sustainable and Robust

How can we make our infrastructure systems more intelligent, so that we can make better decisions about them? Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Burcu Akinci discusses her research into using smart infrastructure techniques to make infrastructure systems more resilient, sustainable and robust.