Burcu Akinci is the head of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She earned her B.S. in civil engineering (1991) from Middle East Technical University and her M.B.A. (1993) from Bilkent University at Ankara, Turkey. After that, she earned her M.S. (1995) and her Ph.D. (2000) in civil and environmental engineering with a specialization in construction engineering and management from Stanford University.

Her research interests include development of approaches to model and reason about information-rich histories of facilities, to streamline construction and facility management processes. She specifically focuses on investigating utilization and integration of building information models with data capture and tracking technologies, such as 3D imaging, and embedded sensors and radio-frequency identification systems to capture semantically-rich as-built histories of construction projects and facility operations.

Akinci has one patent, two patent applications, more than 60 referred journal publications, and 80 refereed conference publications. She co-edited a book on CAD/GIS integration and another book on embedded commissioning. She has graduated more than 16 Ph.D. students and 15 M.S. thesis students, and is currently advising/co-advising four Ph.D. students.

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Burcu Akinci
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Making Infrastructure Systems More Resilient, Sustainable and Robust

Smart Infrastructure for Smarter Decisions


2000 Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University

1995 MS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University

1993 MBA, Bilkent University

1991 BS, Civil Engineering, Middle East Technical University

Media mentions

CMU College of Engineering

2023 Engineering Faculty Awards announced

The 2023 Engineering Faculty Awards highlight faculty members who have shown outstanding educational, research, and service efforts. Congratulations to all of this year’s awardees!

Carnegie Mellon University

Three Engineering faculty named University Professors

Three College of Engineering faculty members have been elevated to the rank of University Professor, the highest distinction a faculty member can receive at Carnegie Mellon: CEE Head Burcu Akinci, CyLab Director Lorrie Faith Cranor, and CEE’s Greg Lowry.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Akinci and Lowry named University Professors

CEE Professors Burcu Akinci and Greg Lowry have been elevated to the rank of University Professor, the highest distinction a faculty member can receive at Carnegie Mellon.

CMU Engineering

Akinci, Cagan, and VanBriesen named 2022 AAAS Fellows

Burcu Akinci, Jonathan Cagan, and Jeanne VanBriesen, senior faculty members in the College of Engineering, have been named 2022 AAAS Fellows.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

The rise of digital twins

Part Two: A Space Ripe for Innovation & Industry Collaboration

Civil and Environmental Engineering

The rise of digital twins

Collaborating with industry leaders while combining infrastructure, data analysis, and computing expertise, CEE faculty are working on numerous digital twin projects. Their research aims to predict and prevent vehicle and equipment failures, maintain smart habitats in space, and optimize the safety, equity, and sustainability of various infrastructure systems.

Pittsburgh Business Times

Akinci named in PBT’s 20 People to Know in Energy

CEE Head Burcu Akinci has been named as one of 20 people to know in energy by the Pittsburgh Business Times. Akinci has been a member of the CEE department for 21 years and recently became the head of the department.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

New department head Burcu Akinci sets a path for the future

Settling into her new role, Akinci sees her key priority as enabling the department to work toward its strategic vision of reimagining civil and environmental engineering. As the world grapples with climate impacts and social and environmental injustices, the field appears on the cusp of a major change, and Akinci is confident that the CEE department is designing a way forward.

CMU Engineering

Safer work zones for all

Causal modeling of the relationship between work zones and car accidents informs practices and policies that improve safety on the road.

CMU Engineering

Decarbonizing the grid with flexible buildings

Researchers in CEE have created a new model that can help decrease energy consumption from buildings and provide for a more efficient grid.

Route Fifty

Qian discusses work zones and road accidents

CEE’s Sean Qian spoke to Route Fifty about his team’s recent study of road accidents in work zones. The study found that crashes are less frequent in shorter work zones and tend to increase during the day.