Decision Engineering Sustainable Infrastructures

The purpose of our research is to offer new solutions for less carbon intensive and more user-centered infrastructure systems. Our approach bridges data science and cognitive psychology to engineering for sustainability.

Recent Publications

Blog

Greater energy efficiency through behavioral science

Recent advances in behavioral decision science can help reduce energy consumption in facilities. This paper explores cognitive biases and an approach to overcome them overcome them, a tactic called choice architecture.

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Blog

Civil Engineering Students' Belief in Climate Change

Based on a nationally distributed survey to first year college engineering students in the US, civil engineering students are less likely than others to believe that climate change is caused by humans, and that is a sustainability problem.

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Blog

Choice Architecture for Whole System Design

This paper discusses how intentional choice architecture, meaning the way decisions are posed, can nudge decision-makers to employ whole systems design and result in more sustainable infrastructure.

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Motivation for Our Research

Global sustainability challenges such as rapid urbanization and climate change create a less predictable future with reduced warning times and compressed decision cycles for those responsible for maintaining and constructing our built environment. Therefore, our goal is to improve decision making under uncertainty to encourage more sustainable infrastructure systems. More specifically, to create a shared discipline and language between civil engineering, cognitive psychology and data science that leads to more informed and sustainable engineering solutions. Our focus on decision making uniquely complements what are often costlier investments in technology and holds promise for less intrusive solutions compared to legal and economic policies.

- DE Lab Group