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Scalable model makes for more efficient, smarter grid use, researchers report


A Penn State-led research collaboration developed a scalable model specifically to control large groups of buildings and their energy demand in realistic operational settings. They published their approach in the Journal of Energy Storage.

Architectural engineering student team recognized in lighting design contest


A team of two students from the Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering won a $1,000 grant from the Illuminating Engineering Society. The accepted their award at the society’s annual conference held Aug. 3-5 in New Orleans.

PJ Dick and Trumbull support engineering facilities expansion with $1M gift


A $1 million gift from PJ Dick and Trumbull Corporation will name classroom 102 inside West 1, a new engineering facility set to open at University Park in spring 2024. The classroom, which is the largest in the building, will be named the George Mezey and Jeff Turconi Classroom.

Can light ease some symptoms in nursing home residents with dementia?


Researchers from Penn State’s Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing and the College of Engineering have received a to study the effects of ambient lighting interventions in nursing homes. The collaborative project will focus on nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Artificial intelligence could help make construction more inclusive


Currently, women and other underrepresented populations make up about 10% of the workforce in construction, but with automation and teleoperation increasing in construction, there may be new opportunities to make construction work more accessible across genders. Yuqing Hu, assistant professor of architectural engineering at Penn State, will lead a team to investigate these opportunities with a three-year, $559,757 National Science Foundation grant.

Media mention: ‘How to Use Ventilation to Make Indoor Hangouts a Little Safer’


William Bahnfleth, professor of architectural engineering, was featured in an article by SELF magazine that discussed ways to improve home ventilation to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne contaminants and viruses.

One robot-assisted step closer to construction safety with NSF grant


Wearable robots could reduce injuries among construction workers by providing life support, weight dispersion and posture correction, but the risks and challenges of using them on job sites remain largely unknown, according to Houtan Jebelli, assistant professor of architectural engineering in the Penn State College of Engineering. A three-year, $675,000 National Science Foundation grant will enable a team of researchers from Penn State and Virginia Tech, led by principal investigator Jebelli, to study the physical, psychological and sociotechnical risks of powered wearable exoskeletons to construction workers.

Researchers to address heat-related illnesses on construction sites


Penn State researchers have received a two-year, $423,000 grant from the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) to develop a data-driven framework for a wireless sensing system that may protect construction workers from severe heat-related illnesses.

Greg Pavlak earns building performance award from professional society


Greg Pavlak, assistant professor of architectural engineering at Penn State, was recognized by the U.S. regional affiliate of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA-USA) in September at the 2022 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild in Chicago.

Researchers to holistically assess buildings' thermal resilience, sustainability


As the frequency and severity of both heat waves and extreme cold weather events increase across the United States, assessing how well a structure can handle extreme temperatures — known as thermal resilience — becomes critical, according to Penn State Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering Julian Wang. With a four-year, $500,000 National Science Foundation grant, a Penn State team led by Wang is developing a new holistic framework to understand the relationship between thermal resilience and sustainable design strategies for buildings and communities.

Penn State architectural engineering alumnus establishes graduate student scholarship


Penn State architectural engineering alumnus Lester Boyer has established the Lester L. Boyer Graduate Research Scholarship through his estate to help full time Penn State graduate students pursuing a degree in architectural engineering.

Researchers host mayor of Makassar to discuss smart urban agricultural project


Penn State researchers were among those who met with the mayor of Makassar, Indonesia to discuss progress on Smart Garden Alley, the National Science Foundation-funded project taking place in the city.

New grant continues Arctic research addressing climate change and communities


Climate change in the Arctic is evident as temperatures rise and Alaskan coastal Indigenous communities face severe, urgent and complex social and infrastructural challenges. Penn State research in the region, driven by social sciences and in collaboration with engineering and natural sciences, will address these challenges.

Bahnfleth contributes to study on why it took so long to recognize that COVID-19 was airborne


William Bahnfleth, professor of architectural engineering at Penn State, joined contemporaries from around the world to examine how past medical maladies involving respiratory diseases may have delayed learning that COVID-19 is airborne-transmissible.

Designed to adapt: Living materials are the future of sustainable building


Working together across disciplines, researchers from Penn State and the University of Freiburg are applying materials that adapt, respond to the environment, self-power and regenerate to meet the challenges of adaptive architecture.

Researcher to study food, energy and water security in rural Alaska communities


An interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers received a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study food, energy and water security in remote Alaska communities.

Media mention: “‘Over & Over Again’ exhibition bridges gap between science, art at Penn State’s HUB Galleries”


Sven Bilén, professor of engineering design, electrical engineering and aerospace engineering, and Ali Memari, Bernard and Henrietta Hankin Chair in Residential Building Construction, director of PHRC and professor of architectural engineering and civil and environmental engineering, were recently featured in a Daily Collegian article.

Architectural engineering students win top spots in global design competition


Penn State architectural engineering students won first- and second-place awards from the American Society of Heating for projects focused on a new energy-efficient performing arts building on a university campus in Sydney, Australia.

John Messner inducted into National Academy of Construction


John Messner, Charles and Elinor Matts Professor of Architectural Engineering at Penn State, has been inducted into the National Academy of Construction.

Media Mention: ‘For some students, back to school will mean better-ventilated classrooms’


William Bahnfleth, professor of architectural engineering, discusses how the COVID pandemic provided an opportunity for U.S. schools to address the long-term problem of poor indoor air quality in the classroom.

Media mention: ‘DIY box helps clear indoor air of the coronavirus’


William Bahnfleth, professor of architectural engineering, was recently featured in a Los Angeles Times article about air filtration devices and how they can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Researchers awarded $2M NSF grant to develop Africa water-food-energy network


An interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers has received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to lead a three-institution team developing the “Sustainfood Network,” which links scientists, communities and policymakers to address challenges in Africa at the nexus of water, energy and food security.

Researchers develop framework to study ozone levels on realistic indoor surfaces


Penn State researchers develop a modeling framework to study how indoor ozone levels react with common indoor surfaces, such as carpet.

Media mention: ‘Innovation for the Future’


Houtan Jebelli, assistant professor of architectural engineering, was featured in the summer 2022 issue of the Keystone Contractor Association’s magazine, “The Keystone Contractor.” In the article, “Innovation for the Future,” Jebelli discusses the use of self-optimizing collaborative robots, artificially intelligent heavy machines and unmanned vehicles on construction sites. He highlights the challenges of robots operating in dynamic job sites, a focus of his work in Penn State’s Robotics, Automation, and Intelligent Sensing Lab, where Jebelli serves as the director.

Two students in the Penn State College of Engineering named Fulbright finalists for the 2022-23 academic year


Two students in the Penn State College of Engineering were named Fulbright finalists for the 2022-23 academic year.

Penn State wins third place at Solar Decathlon Design Challenge


A team of engineering and architecture students from Penn State brought home third place in the Retrofit Housing Division of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2022 Design Challenge Competition on April 23 at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

Media Mention: “We Need to Improve Indoor Air Quality: Here’s How and Why”


William Bahnfleth, professor of architectural engineering and chair of the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ Epidemic Task Force, was featured in a Scientific American article that discussed the importance and urgency behind upgrading buildings’ ventilation and filtration to decrease COVID-19 transmission and improve health and cognitive performance.

Engineering faculty members named Fulbright Scholars, Fulbright Specialist


Three Penn State College of Engineering faculty have received Fulbright Awards for the 2022-23 academic year, according to the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program. Another was named a Fulbright Specialist.

College of Engineering recognizes early career alumni


The Penn State College of Engineering will recognize 11 early career alumni for their achievements and demonstrated commitment to their professions, communities and Penn State at a ceremony on June 17 at University Park.

Researchers evaluate bridge life cycle impact on remote community in Alaska


Researchers traveled to Dillingham in April to study the social and engineering impacts of the Wood River Bridge on the surrounding rural community.

Penn State architectural engineers serve on editorial team for new book


Houtan Jebelli, assistant professor of architectural engineering at Penn State, is part of a team from Penn State and the University of Michigan that recently had their book, Automation and Robotics in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Industry, published with Springer, a global publisher of scientific, technical and medical media.

Communities, researchers join forces to design framework for sustainable housing


With a two-year, $400,000 National Science Foundation Boosting Research Ideas for Transformative and Equitable Advances in Engineering (BRITE) Synergy award, Obonyo is bringing the community voice to the forefront of design criteria by leading the project, “Developing and Validating a Framework for Measuring Resilience in Low-Income Housing in the Post-Pandemic World.”

Architectural engineering students win top spots in international competition


Penn State students won first place in four categories and second place in one category at the 2022 Architectural Engineering Institute International Student Design Competition in Arlington, Texas. The team, named CaliberX, comprises students majoring in architectural engineering, each with a focus in a construction, lighting/electrical, mechanical or structural option area.

Six Penn State engineering students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships


The National Science Foundation has selected five current Penn State College of Engineering students as 2022 awardees for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and one College of Engineering student for an honorable mention.

Materials Research Institute announces 2022 seed grant recipients


The Penn State Materials Research Institute has announced the 2022 recipients of seed grants that will enable University faculty to establish new collaborations with partners outside their own units for the exploration of transformative ideas for high-impact materials science and engineering.

Scholarship helps architectural engineering student pursue career goals


Penn State architectural engineering student Madison Canter grew up watching her father work in facilities and property management. Now, the Turner Construction Company Scholarship for Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of Architectural Engineering will give her the opportunity to pursue her career goals in project management.

NASA features concrete project led by Penn State


The Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification project, an ongoing endeavor run by the Concrete Research Group at Penn State, was recently featured on NASA’s website as one of five research studies contributing to deep space exploration.

2022 spring student marshal: Justin Sembower


Justin Sembower has been named the spring 2022 student marshal for architectural engineering.

Architectural engineering professor honored by global society


John Messner, Charles and Elinor Matts Professor of Architectural Engineering, received the 2022 Computing in Civil Engineering Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the nation’s oldest engineering society. The award recognizes an ASCE member who has made an outstanding contribution to the application of computers to the practice of civil engineering, according to the ASCE website.

Applications open for high-performance building summer camp for college students


Applications are open for the inaugural High-Performance Building Summer Camp, an intensive three-week program that introduces participants to the design and construction principles of more sustainable, more efficient and healthier buildings. The day camp will take place from May 31 through June 17 in Pittsburgh, a city classified as a United Nations International Center of Excellence on High-Performance Building.

College of Engineering adds 15 faculty members


The Penn State College of Engineering has added 15 faculty members this semester, with 11 tenured or tenure-line members and four non-tenure-line members.

Corporate architectural engineering scholarship made personal


Penn State alumnus David Angle’s 41-year career in the building industry has included overseeing everything from hotels and hospitals to universities and synagogues. Each project required different approaches and considerations, but Angle attributes these professional successes to the same strong foundation: his Penn State degree in architectural engineering. To help others have the same opportunity, Angle has established the David Angle Endowed Scholarship in Architectural Engineering.

Eleven alumni to receive College of Engineering’s highest honor


Eleven Penn State engineering graduates will be honored on April 4 at the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Engineering Alumni Awards ceremony at Hyatt Place State College. Charlie Blenko, an undergraduate student majoring in civil engineering, will serve as the event’s emcee.

From the ground up: Taking 3D printing technology to the next level


Researchers at Penn State are at the leading edge of the field now known as additive manufacturing, working to advance the capabilities of 3D printing with a goal of addressing pressing problems in human health, housing and transportation, among other areas.

News Media mention: 'White House emphasizes indoor air quality as pandemic moves to new phase'


William Bahnfleth, professor of architectural engineering, was quoted in the New York Times story, "The White House emphasizes the importance of indoor air quality as the pandemic moves into a new phase."

2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award: Cherish Samuels


Cherish Samuels, a principal engineer at Amazon, has been named one of 11 recipients of the 2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award by the Penn State College of Engineering.

Wangda Zuo joins Department of Architectural Engineering


Wangda Zuo recently joined the Penn State College of Engineering as a professor of architectural engineering on Jan. 1. He also serves as associate director for the Global Building Network, an initiative that aims to advance building science, construction process and building management in order to create an international framework that will make buildings more sustainable, efficient and healthier for people.

Architectural engineering memorial scholarship established, now accepting applications


The BKM-Gary E. Johnson Memorial Scholarship is open to students in good standing who are pursuing a degree in architectural engineering, mechanical option. Students who would like to be considered for the scholarship should submit a Department of Architectural Engineering scholarship application.

Building a great summer — and future — with an architectural engineering camp


What if you had the opportunity, as a teenager, to design a building, learn how to program artificial intelligence for construction purposes, tour world-class labs and facilities, interact with top-of-their-field professionals and immerse yourself in the fast-paced world of architectural engineering? Now, high school students can do all of this and more at the AEspiring Architectural Engineering camp at Penn State.

Penn State and UNECE renew Global Building Network


With the goal of creating an international framework to make buildings more sustainable, more efficient and healthier, Penn State and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe renewed the Global Building Network, coordinated through the College of Engineering, for another three years.

Machine learning offers shortcut to optimal HVAC operation


Detailed control models for building heating, ventilation and air conditioning can optimize multiple variables such as energy efficiency and temperature but can take a long time to work. Penn State researchers developed a method that leverages machine learning to create controls that balance building energy cost, comfort and efficiency at a fast pace.

Nine engineers recognized with $5.5 million in NSF early career awards


Nine faculty members in Penn State’s College of Engineering earned National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards. Each project funded ranges in duration from three and a half to five years, with grants from roughly $500,000 to more than $800,000.

Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory capstone project winners announced


The College of Engineering Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory showcases for the fall 2021 semester took place virtually from Dec. 10 – 17 and in-person on Dec. 7. Students in the senior capstone design courses presented the culmination of their semester-long projects at the events.

Architectural engineering alumni create student support fund


Rob and Helen Diemer, both 1981 architectural engineering graduates, wanted to provide for students needing to cover a range of costs from unexpected family emergencies to enhanced educational experiences. The couple endowed the Rob and Helen Diemer Student Emergency Fund in the Department of Architectural Engineering to support those students.

Engineers assess structural damage and resilience after Kentucky tornado


Sometimes research means combing through data on a computer or studying a sample in a quiet lab. Other times, it means taking an unplanned, 12-hour road trip to don a hardhat and collect the data yourself. Faculty members and graduate students from the Penn State College of Engineering did the latter, traveling to Mayfield, Kentucky, to capture data on tornado destruction in the wake of the December 2021 Midwest Tornado series.

Balancing sustainability, safety and comfort in engineered floor slabs


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Using less material in floors is a viable strategy for improving sustainability in buildings, as it can reduce the structure’s environmental footprint. Prioritizing only this goal, however, can lead to unwanted effects — such as an echo in a room or noise traveling between floors, according to Nathan Brown, assistant professor of architectural engineering.

Architectural engineering graduate student team recognized in lighting design contest


A team of three graduate students from the Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering was named the honorable mention for the 2021 Howard Brandston Lighting Design Education Grant, presented by the Illuminating Engineering Society.

National society recognizes College of Engineering as 'academic ally'


On behalf of the Penn State College of Engineering, Justin Schwartz, the Harold and Inge Marcus Dean in the College of Engineering, and Esther Adhiambo Obonyo, associate professor of engineering design and architectural engineering and director of the Global Building Network, received the Academic Ally award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) on Dec. 2, 2021.

Nanoscale window coating could help reduce energy costs


Double-pane windows, which sandwich a layer of insulating air, can offer improved energy efficiency over single-pane windows, but replacing existing single-pane windows can be expensive or technically challenging.

Engineering scholarship opens doors for architectural engineering student


Kelli Johnson, a fourth-year student in architectural engineering at Penn State, has been interested in art, science and math for as long as she can remember.

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