Student Team 

PhD Students

Yusuf K. Basmaci

Yusuf is presently pursuing a Ph.D. and serving as a graduate research assistant within the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at Michigan State University (MSU). Additionally, he holds the role of an energy and sustainability analyst on the MSU Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) team. In 2021, he obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Engineering from Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey. Subsequently, as an Engineer-In-Training with HASENE International NGO, he contributed to water supply projects in underserved communities in several African countries. In 2023, he completed his Master of Science (MSc) Degree at Central Michigan University (CMU) in the USA. During his MSc program, he led an EPA-funded project focused on pollution prevention in automotive industry, which sparked his interest in sustainability and energy efficiency. 

His LinkedIn profile is here

Jeonga Kang

Jeonga Kang obtained a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the Architecture Department at Kyonggi University and a Master of Science in the Architectural Engineering Department at the University of Seoul. She Joined the PhD program at Michigan State University in 2023. Based on her bachelor's degree, she has a comprehensive understanding of the entire building system. In her master's course, she focused on building energy and the environment. She submitted a master's thesis on a residential building and occupant behavior. Currently, she has a strong interest in improving the energy efficiency of residential buildings. Her ultimate goal is contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions and the improvement of the global environment, not only at the single-unit building level but also at the grid level.

Her LinkedIn profile is here

Cassandra Conrad

Cassandra is pursuing her PhD in Civil Engineering while working as a graduate assistant at MSU. She earned her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Mercer University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. It was while pursuing this degree that she became enamored with sustainability and its potential impacts on people while working alongside a friend and mentor at Mercer. After finishing her degree alongside a minor in Global Development, she joined the team at MSU where she hopes to deepen her own understanding of the field while contributing to the team's research goals.

Behlul Kula

Behlul is currently a Ph.D. student and graduate research assistant in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at Michigan State University (MSU). Also, he is a team member of MSU Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) as an energy & sustainability analyst. He completed his Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Turkey in 2015. He then worked in Qatar as a site civil engineer in Dogus Construction company for nearly one year. After, he completed his MSc Degree in Construction Management from Istanbul Technical University in 2019. For his MSc thesis, he focused on the integration of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in facilities management. Before joining the MSU, he worked as a research & teaching assistant at ITU from 2017 to 2021.

His LinkedIn profile is here

Patricia Guillante

Patricia Guillante is currently a Ph.D. student and graduate research assistant in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan State University with focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Civil Engineering from University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), in Brazil. After receiving her master’s degree, she accepted a trainee position in a large ready-mix concrete manufacturer in Brazil. She became a plant manager and worked there for three years until she joined MSU to pursue her Ph.D. Her MSc thesis focused on the use of alternative waste materials in partial replacement of cement to reduce cement contents and, consequently, CO2 emissions. She is interested in sustainability and in the role that building’s energy efficiency plays in reducing emissions, as well as their social impact on communities. 

Her LinkedIn profile is here.

Hao Dong

Hao Dong completed his BS and MS degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Dayton, OH in 2017 and 2020, respectively. For his MS studies, he focused on the field of advanced material applications under various thermal conditions to improve building safety and reliability in long term. During his MS studies, he developed interests in sustainability of building system through implementing advanced controls. Joining PhD program at Michigan State University in 2020, he is currently conducting research in the field of energy efficiency, building modeling, energy simulation, and data analysis in smart building systems.

His LinkedIn profile is here.

Secil Ceylan 

Secil Akinci-Ceylan is a PhD student in Educational Technology in the School of Education and working on a National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored engineering education project focusing on ill-structured problem solving approaches. She is currently an intern as a part of the NSF-supported INTERN program, at the American Society for Engineering Education. She holds a BA in Linguistics from Hacettepe University, Turkey. She then worked as an instructor and taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) courses at Izmir Institute of Technology for three years. She earned her MA in Teaching English as a Second Language in Applied Linguistics and Technology Program at ISU and has experience teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in the English Department and Intensive English and Orientation Program (IEOP) at ISU. Her interests are Engineering Education, Educational Technologies, Instructional Design, and Corpus Linguistics. 

Her LinkedIn profile is here.

Masters Students

Christiana Kiesling

Christiana is a master’s student and research assistant at Michigan State University studying civil engineering with a structural emphasis. She received her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech University in 2022, where she also worked in engineering outreach with local elementary schools. Christiana is interested in the rising popularity of mass timber construction and investigating opportunities to incorporate timber design into existing undergraduate curriculum. She also enjoys working directly with communities on the NNA Alaska project and investigating structural issues arising from the freeze/thaw of permafrost. Christiana is a certified Engineer in Training and has several years of bridge design internship experience. She recently completed a forensic structural engineering internship through the NSF INTERN program and hopes to work in this industry after graduation.

Her LinkedIn profile is here

Andreana Louise Roxas

Andreana completed her Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering with Summa Cum Laude at Morgan State University in May 2022. During her undergraduate career, she gained various industry experience in civil engineering including traffic, environmental/water resource, and bridge. However, she gained a high interest in sustainability after taking an elective course that focused on LEED. In addition to her industry experience, she has also earned the Engineer-in-Training and LEED Green Associate certifications. She joined Michigan State University in Fall 2022 in the MSc program for Civil Engineering with a focus on energy/sustainability.

Her LinkedIn profile is here

Emma Benedek

Emma is an undergraduate senior majoring in environmental engineering. Upon graduation, she is pursuing further studies at MSU in the MS/BS program, focusing on civil engineering with a concentration in sustainability. Currently, she works as an energy and sustainability analyst at the MSU Industrial Assessment Center (IAC). Her primary interests revolve around the role sustainability has within the industrial sector. 

Her LinkedIn profile is here.

Undergraduate Students

Avery Seling

Avery is a dual enrolled bachelor's/master’s student at Michigan State University studying civil engineering with a structural emphasis. She will receive her bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 2024 at Michigan State University. She has a passion for sustainable building design and will participate in research on mass timber. She has gained experience from two summer internships related to civil engineering site development and structural engineering transmission line design.   

Her LinkedIn profile is here.

Noah Dreiling

Noah Dreiling is a Junior undergraduate at Michigan State University majoring in Electrical Engineering and Economics. He interned at First Solar for the calendar year of 2021, working in the Post-Sales Support and Product Management groups. Addressing module defects and overseeing product rollouts. During the Summer of 2022, Noah is working on research investigating people’s perceptions and practices around electricity. He plans to attend graduate school to work on energy-related challenges, particularly the interface of humans and technology.

His LinkedIn profile is here.

Cade Person

Cade is currently an undergraduate junior at Michigan State studying Environmental Engineering. His interest in sustainable infrastructure inspired Cade to incorporate a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and a minor in Energy into his studies. In the Summer of 2023, Cade began working as a research assistant on the mass timber curriculum development project. Upon graduation, Cade plans to further his knowledge of sustainable engineering practices by pursuing a graduate degree.  

His LinkedIn profile is here.

Owen Wright

Owen is an undergraduate student pursuing a Civil Engineering degree, with a structural emphasis. He hopes to graduate in the Spring and start his graduate education in Civil Engineering with the BS/MS program after.

He has a strong interest in sustainability in large cities and buildings, and creating infrastructure that is better for energy and climate. After graduating, Owen would like to work on large projects (skyscrapers, subways) in a major city like Chicago

His LinkedIn profile is here.

Emily Schoepke

Massara Khalid

Massara is a Freshman undergraduate student majoring in Civil Engineering, with a more specific goal of a career in structural engineering. She has always been interested in infrastructure of all sorts. More recently, she  has become curious about the link between infrastructure and the environment. She is excited to learn more about energy’s role in sustainable development. She hopes to use her learned knowledge for application in future internships and careers.  

Her LinkedIn profile is here.

Anshul Srivastava

Anshul is a junior at Michigan State University completing a double major in Physics and Data Science. He is currently assisting on a project that analyzes the American Time Use Survey to find socio-economic factors that relate to home usage patterns. Once he graduates, he plans to continue doing research in industry, hopefully combining his interests in both physics and data analysis. When he is not working, he loves to cook, play the piano, and going out with friends 

His LinkedIn profile is here.

Zachary Gioppo

Zach is a current freshman at Michigan State University majoring in Environmental Engineering and Mandarin Chinese. Zach is currently working on the NNA project, and decided to apply for this role due to the opportunity to combine sociological issues with the ability to reshape the infrastructure system. Zach is hoping to work in project management for infrastructure design in developing countries. Zach's end goal is to is to ultimately make a difference in local communities. 

His LinkedIn profile is here

Janie Cooper

Janie is an undergraduate student who is in her second year of Biosystems Engineering. Janie has found a profund interest in both sustainability and renewable energy , which is how she began her involvement with this group. Her end goal is to end up working for Stryker, or to work as a Neural Engineer. 

Her LinkedIn profile is here.

Jordan Hofbauer

Jordan is a third year student double majoring in Data Science and Statistics at Michigan State University. Jordan was born and raised in Clinton Township, MI, with a passion towards finding the truth and relevance within data and data analytics. His end goal is to work within a data analytics department for a professional sports team. 

His LinkedIn profile is here

Zoe Linko

Zoe is an undergraduate student majoring in chemical engineering with an environmental concentration and a minor in environmental economics. Her interest in this research group was to have an impact on sustainable projects while creating more environmentally friendly designs.

Her LinkedIn profile is here

Taylor Stenzel

Taylor Stenzel is an Undergraduate Civil Engineer Student at Michigan State University and Undergraduate Research Assistant at the MSU College of Engineering. She is a published researcher in the Journal of Emerging Investigators and is a member of the ASCE. 

Andrew Compton

Andrew is an undergraduate student pursuing degrees in Environmental Studies & Sustainability and International Relations. Andrew's focus during his undergrad has been environmental and energy law and plans to pursue law school soon after graduating in December of 2024. He's specifically interested in NEPA and zoning reform in the wake of the accelerating clean energy transition, in addition to international renewable energy policy.


Soham Vanage, PhD

Soham Vanage completed his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mumbai University, Mumbai in 2016. He then worked for a year in Jacob’s engineering as a design engineer in the oil and gas industry until 2017. He completed his master’s in Energy System Engineering from Iowa State University in Fall 2019 with a focus on building energy systems and HVAC design and also worked with local utility as an intern for various energy-related projects in Fall 2019. His areas of interest are energy and daylighting modeling and validation and integration of buildings with the grid using demand response technologies. He completed his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Michigan State University in 2023.  He currently works at Cedar Falls Utilities, in Iowa.

His LinkedIn profile is here.

Nirja Kunwar, PhD

Niraj Kunwar completed his Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology (NIT), Durgapur, India in 2012. Then, he worked as a service engineer at Pooja International (Volkswagen Nepal) until 2015, where he learned about various engineering systems and innovative technology derived from such systems. His research area of interests are Simulation and Visualization, Control and Optimization of HVAC systems and Data analysis. He currently works at Oakridge National Laboratory. 

His LinkedIn profile is here

Yiyi Chu, PhD

Yiyi Chu completed her master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Tongji University, China in 2018. Her master’s thesis focused on studying HVAC system with ultra-low fresh air by designing an adsorption-based CO2 treatment unit, to reduce building energy consumption. During her master’s degree, she also conducted research on indoor PM2.5 control strategies in both office buildings and residential buildings and metropolitan scale electric load short-term forecasting based on load decomposition and ensemble algorithms. Her research area of interest is on building energy efficiency, energy modelling, smart building, occupant-based-control, and other innovative energy technologies and systems to improve energy efficiency and energy performance in buildings. She completed her PhD at MSU in Civil Engineering in 2022. She currently works at TRC.

Her Linkedin profile is here. Her Google Scholar profile can be found here.

Debrudra Mitra, PhD

Debrudra Mitra completed his Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and Masters degree in Energy Science and Technology from Jadavpur University, India in 2014 and 2016 respectively. His master thesis focused on studying on different types of sustainable building envelopes. He also completed Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University in 2019. During his masters degree he conducted research on sustainable building envelope materials and concentrated solar thermal applications. His research area of interest is on sustainable building energy systems. He mainly focused on occupant behavior, occupant-based controls and its impact on energy performance in building system. He completes his PhD at MSU in CIvil Engineering in 2022. He currently works at TRC.

His LinkedIn profile is here. His Google Scholar profile is here.

Sajed Sadati, PhD

Sajed Sadati earned his BSc and MSc degrees in the field of Structural Dynamics from Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT), Tehran, Iran, in 2008 and 2011 respectively. He worked on identification of dynamic parameters of nonlinear structures during his masters at AUT. Because of his interest in studies on sustainable development and renewable energy technologies, he pursued a second master in Sustainable Environment and Energy Systems program at Middle East Technical University (METU), Northern Cyprus Campus, starting from September 2013. His research at METU included investigation on applications of energy storage systems for deploying renewable energy units. During his studies on renewable energy technologies he had researches on the feasibility of installing renewable energy units based on the available meteorological data for any specific region. His research interests include sustainable constructions, integration of renewable energy technologies in building design, energy storage systems and modeling of nonlinear structures. He graduated with his PhD in the CCEE department at ISU. He currently works for EcoSmart Solutions.

His LinkedIn profile is here

Diba Malekpour-Koupaei, PhD

Diba Malekpour Koupaei completed her Ph.D. in 2022 in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at Iowa State University. She holds master’s degrees in Civil Engineering (2020) and Sustainable Environments (2018) from Iowa State University and received her bachelor’s degree from Art University of Isfahan in Architectural Engineering (2015). Diba’s research is mainly concerned with building energy performance modeling and energy efficiency in the built environment, specifically residential buildings in the rural and urban landscapes. In addition, she has also worked with smart home energy management systems, where her work involved evaluating users’ perceptions and attitudes towards such devices. 

Her Google Scholar profile is here. Her Linkedin profile is here.

Huyen Do, PhD

Huyen Do completed her PhD in the CCEE department in Construction Engineering in Fall 2018. Her dissertation topic was “Data-Driven Modeling for Improved Residential Building Electricity Consumption Prediction and HVAC Efficiency Evaluation”. She graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Construction Economics and Project Management at The University of Danang, University of Science and Technology (UD-UST), Vietnam in 2008. She has been a lecturer at UD-UST since 2008. She spent two years (2010-2012) at Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea completing her Master of Engineering in Construction Management, focusing on green construction and sustainable development. Her research areas of interest are smart building system, improving the efficiency of buildings, and big data analysis

Her Linkedin profile is here

Sina Moharramzadeh, PhD

Sina Moharramzadeh earned his BS degree in civil engineering from Azad University – Central Tehran Branch in 2011 and his MSc degree in environmental engineering in 2014 from the University of Tehran (UT), where his research was mainly focused on drinking water treatment. After his master’s degree, he worked in a Nanotechnology research lab at UT as a researcher for one year, working on enhancing sludge sedimentation using graphene oxide and iron nano-particles. In 2016, he joined Iowa State University to earn his Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering. His research focus is on a new freeze separation process for seawater desalination and RO brine management. He graduated with his PhD at Iowa State University in 2021. He currently works at HDR.

His Linkedin profile is here

Elham Jahani, PhD

Elham Jahani completed her BSc degree in Geomatics Engineering at Iran University of Science and Technology. She has had four years of job experience in Iran in the field of Geomatics and Construction. She continued her masters studies in the field of Sustainable Environment and Energy Systems at Middle East Technical University (METU). Her masters thesis was on the application of sustainable practices for improving water management in urban areas. During her studies at METU, she also had conducted research on renewable energy resources and employing renewable hybrid energy systems for providing clean energy for communities located on islands based on meteorological data. She graduated with her PhD in Intelligent Infrastructure Engineering in Fall 2020. She currently works at Austin Energy. 

Her LinkedIn profile is here

Kaanthi Sundaravadanam

Kaanthi Sundaravadanam graduated from Iowa State University in Summer 2017 with her masters in in Construction Engineering and Management. Her masters work focused on Sensitivity Analysis of Building Parameters on Inverse Change Point Models of Residential Building HVAC Systems She currently works full-time at Nelson Engineering. She holds a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering, India, 2015. During her undergraduate studies, she focused on the efficient design of the piping system for her college campus and also focused on the quality testing of the materials. She currently works as an estimator at Shimizu North America.

Her LinkedIn profile is here

Nancy Nicho

Nancy Nicho graduated with her masters in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies in Summer 2018. Her three focus areas were Civil Engineering, Architecture and Education. Nancy’s MS focused on the development of educational modules for K-12 students on energy efficiency and building performance.  She is currently a teacher at Des Moines Public Schools.

Emily Kawka 

Emily completed her master's at Michigan State University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, following the reception of her bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. With over four years of industry and research experience driven by her passion for sustainability, Emily's background covers a wide range of industries and roles. Emily's technical ambitions include machine learning, engaging informational platforms, smart technologies, energy modeling and analysis, occupant behavior in buildings, and building-grid interactions. She graduated in 2022 and currently works at Glumac.

Her LinkedIn profile is here

Maria Milan 

Maria completed a masters in Environmental Engineering at MSU in 2021. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2020 in Civil Engineering from MSU. Her research focused on improving the infrastructure of rural communities in Alaska. She travelled to Alaska in summer of 2021 to collect field data on the energy efficiency of houses in a rural community. Outside of school, Maria loves her dog and family. She likes to hang out in coffee shops, bookstores, farmer’s markets, and thrift shops, and her favorite season is winter. Maria hopes to continue research in the improvement of building efficiency in cold climates and overall, as this will be her personal effort against climate change. She graduated in 2022 and currently works at Elevate. 

Her LinkedIn profile is here

Kaylan Prasad

Kalyan Prasad Vesta graduated from Iowa State University in Spring 2017, majoring in Construction Engineering and Management. Kalyan’s research topic was on Evaluating the gap in actual and predicted energy performance of LEED buildings: A case study of the State Gym at Iowa State University. Currently he works as a Project Manager for Stueve Construction in Sioux Falls, SD. Prior to ISU, he graduated from Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) University, India with Bachelors in Civil Engineering in 2015. During study at VIT, he conducted research on the utilization of sustainable materials in concrete as a substitute of conventional materials. He also worked as an intern at a power plant construction as an undergraduate to gain practical experience. 

Natalie Fylak

Natalie is a current graduate student at University of Toronto. She was an undergraduate at Michigan State, studying civil engineering. She initially pursued civil engineering because of a fascination of the built world and urban structures. As her experience grew, she began to become drawn towards the impact of infrastructure on the climate and pollutants. Natalie is interested in finding a career path revolved around resolving environmental concerns relating to building and construction. Natalie is working in the Building Energy and Indoor Environment (BEIE) Lab at the University of Toronto 

Her LinkedIn profile is here.

Molly is a site civil engineer at Langan Engineering & Environmental Services. She was an undergraduate student at Michigan State University where she majored in civil engineering with a concentration in water resources and a minor in environmental science. During Summer 2021, she is completing research on factors impacting households’ decisions to invest in energy efficiency.

Her LinkedIn profile is here.

Olivia Pauls

Olivia is graduating in April 2024 with her B.S. in Civil Engineering with a focus on structures. She is interested in further developing the sustainability and efficiency of infrastructure projects. After graduation, Olivia plans to join an engineering design firm as a consulting analyst, guiding business and construction decisions with sustainability at the forefront.   

Her LinkedIn profile is here.

Justin Brust

Justin is a Senior in the Linked Master of Public Policy at Michigan State University. He finds an interest in anything relating to energy utilities and sustainable development. His goals for the future include working in either government or local communities, in hopes of fulfilling their utility needs. Justin's involvement with the engineering department is to not only help complete research projects, but also to grow and learn from fellow engineers on energy topics. 

His LinkedIn Profile is here.

Sam Evans 

Samuel Evans, an Electrical Engineering Undergraduate at Michigan State University, was a Undergraduate Research Assistant (URA) from 2020-2022. He worked on the  development/maintenance of residential HVAC controllers, designing a camera-based ground truth methodology, and discovering ways to connect devices to the IoT for better data recording methods and control. The main component used to accomplished this have been implementing microcontrollers (mainly Raspberry Pi's and ESP32's). 

His Linkedin profile is here.

Don Madhawajayaweera 

Don is an undergraduate student at Michigan State University majoring in Computer Science and a minor in Game Design. He is researching ways to increase energy efficiency by analyzing the behavior patterns of occupants in households under the guidance of Professor Cetin. He hopes to use his knowledge to solve interesting problems in different fields in data science.

Coleson White 

Coleson is a Mechanical Engineering student at Michigan State University. He worked for Dr. Cetin for two semesters as an undergraduate research assistant on programming and data cleaning. He has held a board position with the Engineering Student Council at MSU and is involved in a campus ministry called Cru. 

His LinkedIn profile is here.

Zachary Ruddick

Zach is a graduate of the MSU Civil Engineering program and a former URA on Dr. Cetin's research team. Born and raised in the Lansing area, Michigan State University was the obvious choice for my engineering education. Originally, he chose to pursue an engineering degree because he was strongly interested in a career within electrical infrastructure but chose civil engineering over electrical engineering because he wanted to study sustainable and renewable infrastructure. Zach was extremely excited to join the team in early 2020 because he had no exposure to the academic research process. It was rewarding to learn more about the current challenges and barriers to the improvement and widescale implementation of automated occupancy-based building utility systems. Zach hopes to play a role in the future implementation of smart infrastructure system in my future career within engineering consulting.

His LinkedIn profile is here.  

Brady Berg 

Brady Berg is an undergraduate at Michigan State University where he is majoring in computational data science. His interest in data science began after seeing the expanding possibilities of machine learning and algorithms through big data. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends and VR gaming. Brady started researching at MSU in 2021 and plans to pursue a career in developing new ways to gain insights from data. 

His LinkedIn profile is here.

Suhail Saleem

Suhail is a Junior undergraduate student majoring in Environmental Engineering at MSU. He is currently helping out as a research assistant on a few different projects. One example being the ARPA-E project that focuses on CO2 level variations in an environment in relation to occupancy number. Once he graduates, he plans to work on projects related to sustainability of green zones and more environmentally friendly building procedures for the future. 

His Linkedin profile is here

Xiangxiu (Melody) Zhang

Xiangxiu(Melody) earned her BA in Special Education-Learning Disabilities from Michigan State University (MSU) in 2021. She completed her masters at MSU in the College of Education with a focus on world language teaching and curriculum design. Her research interests are Engineering Education, Curriculum Structure, and Development. During her free time, she likes to travel, read and write for fun. She currently is a Chinese Dual Language Immersion Teacher.

Her Linkedin profile is here.

Ash Mckesson

Ash graduated from MSU in 2020. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

Her Linkedin profile is here.  

Emily Peruski

Emily graduated from MSU in Spring of 2020. At MSU she was involved Engineers for a Sustainable World, Biosystems Engineering Club, Vietnamese Student Association, and the  Pilipino American Student Society (PASS). She currently works at Wade Trim. 

Her Linkedin profile is here.