Jun 5th 2020

Architecture Alumna Receives Honor for Doctoral Research

The Architectural Research Centers Consortium has recognized Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture adjunct faculty member Narjes Abbasabadi (Ph.D. ARCH ’19) with an honorable mention in the 2020 ARCC Dissertation Awards.

Abbasabadi’s doctoral dissertation titled “An Integrated Data-Driven Framework for Urban Energy Use Modeling (UEUM)” proposes a modeling framework for evaluating urban energy use through machine-learning algorithms. Critically, it develops a multiscale model that captures not only the energy use of urban buildings, but also transportation.

“To manage energy use in cities and ensure urban sustainability, a holistic and reliable approach for measuring and understanding different components of urban energy use is essential,” says Abbasabadi. “This approach allows for developing a sensible image of energy demand assessment and a reliable predictive tool considering urban context, socio-spatial patterns, and their inherent complexities in the model to promote low-carbon cities.”

The multiscale element allows designers, planners, and policymakers to analyze and understand energy usage, from the building-scale to full blocks, neighborhoods, and cities. Doing so allows these users to make informed judgments on how to approach smaller, building-specific interventions or to understand the larger picture of energy usage across an entire metropolitan area.

“As a building-level analysis, [the UEUM framework] can be used for energy efficiency and retrofit purposes, while block-level analysis allows for capturing inter-building effects. Neighborhood- and urban-scale modeling can provide a bigger picture of energy consumption for decision-making purposes regarding urban spatial patterns, zoning, land use, and accessibility,” explains Abbasabadi.

In addition to the ARCC’s Honorable Mention, Abbasabadi’s doctoral work garnered her the College of Architecture’s Best Defended Dissertation Award in 2019. Abbasabadi has been appointed as an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington beginning in fall 2020.

“I am honored and thrilled to be recognized by the ARCC for my research,” says Abbasabadi. “I hope this work can contribute to urban sustainability, even moderately, and benefit society.”