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Technology Review Recognizes Burcin Becerik-Gerber as One of the World’s Top Young Innovators

An assistant professor in the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Becerik-Gerber marks the sixth TR35 distinction for USC Viterbi in the last four years
Katie Dunham
August 21, 2012 —

MIT’s Technology Review has recognized USC Viterbi's Burcin Becerik-Gerber as one of the world’s top innovators under the age of 35, it was announced today. As an honoree on the magazine’s 2012 TR35 list, Becerik-Gerber joins 34 other innovators spanning the fields of energy, biotechnology, nanotechnology, the Web, computer and electronics hardware and software, and other emerging disciplines.

Becerik-Gerber wants humans to have a relationship with the buildings they occoupy. In the illustration above, the building learns and responds to the individual preferences of its occupants and uses smart phones and wall displays to give real time feedback ont heir energy choices.
An assistant professor in USC’s Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, she marks the sixth TR35 distinction for USC Viterbi in the last four years.

With a background in both civil engineering and architecture, Becerik-Gerber seeks to reduce building energy consumption and increase occupant comfort through solutions that discover and learn the behavior of building occupants as well as the behavior of the building and its systems and devices. Her work builds on new sensor modalities, social and mobile computing, and artificial and enabling technologies that create new forms of interactive, responsive, adaptive and sustainable experiences and buildings.

With degrees from Istanbul Technical University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Harvard University, Becerik-Gerber has worked as a construction manager, a technologist, an architect, and a professor.

“Being both an architect and an engineer, Burcin perfectly understands both the context and the physics of buildings and uses this powerful platform to innovate,” said USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos. “We are very proud of her distinction.”

“Burcin envisions an unprecedented ‘new world’ of fully integrated human-building systems, where intelligence coordinates occupant’s behavior, energy usage and elicits optimal building responses. She has taken her ideas for an energy aware society to the lab and began to invent, and implement her vision for a hyper dynamic and learned energy aware society,” said Dr. Lucio Soibelman, Chair of USC’s Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Becerik-Gerber’s mentor.

TR35 honorees are selected by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review, who this year evaluated more than 250 nominations. On October 24-26 of this year, Becerik-Gerber will join other TR35 honorees in discussing their achievements at the EmTech MIT 2012 conference, taking place at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass. All of the TR35 winners for 2012 will be featured the September/October issue of Technology Review and online.

“This year’s TR35 recipients are applying technology to some our generation’s greatest challenges, and innovating to improve the way we live and work,” said Jason Pontin, editor-in-chief and publisher of Technology Review. “We look forward to watching these young technology leaders grow and advance over the coming years.”

Previous TR35 winners from USC Viterbi include Andrea Armani (2009), Jernej Barbic (2011), Bhaskar Krishnamachari (2011), Maja Matarić (1999), Ellis Meng (2009), and Michelle Povinelli (2010).

Dr Burcin Becerik: Interactive Architecture from USC Viterbi on Vimeo.