Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation

Inventor Spotlight - Burcu Akinci

Burcu Akinci is a Professor in the Civil and Environment Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University. Burcu is developing new sensing, tracking, and data capture technologies that can be used to better equip parties involved in the construction of buildings with accurate information, from the project managers and workers, to the engineers.

Dr. Akinci earned her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, in addition to an MBA from Bilkent University in Turkey. She then came to the US to pursue her PhD at Stanford University, which she completed in 2000.

Dr. Burcu joined CMU in 2000. At CMU, her research begins with an industry problem. She encourages her students to go to the front lines of construction sites and identify weaknesses and problems in current processes. She and her students then identify various applications and work on the prototypes. By using Building Information Models and Systems, she is able to locate errors in facilities and use the Information System to guide workers and engineers to the right place to fix the problem. In addition, the models enable systems to be built based on sensor data. For example, the laser scanner gives 3D spatial information and the RFID technology can track materials and other equipment in a building, which ultimately allows for indoor localization. Currently, she has a project with the U.S. General Services Administration to help them write their laser scanning guidelines.

Dr. Akinci has received numerous recognitions for her innovative work, including the prestigious 2008 CETI (Celebration of Engineering and Technology Innovation) Award from the FIATEC industry consortium, which recognizes innovators with significant achievements in new and emerging technology research.

For more information, please visit Burcu’s website:

Burcu's Homepage