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April 24: Burcu Akinci Honored by Engineering Society for Outstanding Research


Chriss Swaney

Carnegie Mellon's Burcu Akinci Honored by
Engineering Society for Outstanding Research    

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Burcu Akinci has been selected to receive the prestigious 2007 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The prize is awarded to ASCE members under the age of 40 in honor of their notable research achievements in civil engineering. Akinci, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, will receive her award at the ASCE national meeting, Nov. 1–3 in Orlando, Fla.     

Burcu Akinci"I am delighted to receive this award because it is a recognition from my peers for my research. I am very pleased to be doing research that contributes to and enables civil engineers to take advantage of today's ever-changing world of technological innovation," said Akinci, one of five award recipients nationwide this year.     

"We are very pleased that Burcu received this outstanding national recognition because she is so deserving of this honor," said James H. Garrett Jr., head of Carnegie Mellon's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "Burcu is a stellar, innovative and very hardworking researcher who greatly contributes to the international technical knowledge base, and in doing so significantly adds to the reputation of this department."    

Akinci's seminal work focuses on leveraging building information models and a variety of sensors to streamline construction and facility-management practices. Her award citation will read, "For outstanding and real contributions in construction engineering and management. She has pioneered the integration of design information with as-built information, collected from construction sites using sensors, to support better management and construction projects."

"Few people realize that civil engineers make or design most of what we use daily, from our morning work commute to delivering clean water that our kids bath in," said Akinci, who helped launch a new project-based international construction project-management course with students from the United States, Turkey, Israel and Brazil.   

Akinci has received numerous accolades for her expertise and professional service, including the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Award in 2005, the George Tallman Ladd Research Award from Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering in 2003, a Lieberman Fellowship at Stanford University's Engineering School and a NATO doctoral student scholarship through the Turkish National Science Foundation.     

Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon in 2000, Akinci worked as a project engineer on several multistory housing and water treatment projects in Turkey. She likes to say engineering is in her genes. Both her parents and her grandfather were civil engineers. Her mother was one of the first female professional engineers in Eastern Europe.

Akinci earned a master's degree and Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford University in 1995 and 2000, respectively. She received her bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Middle East Technical University in 1991, and earned an MBA from Turkey's Bilkent University in 1993.