Joon-Ho Choi receives 2017 National Science Foundation Award

School News

Joon-Ho Choi receives 2017 National Science Foundation Award

August 29, 2017

Professor Joon-Ho Choi, Ph.D. has received a 2017 National Science Foundation Award for his research project “Human-Building Integration: Bio-Sensing Adaptive Environmental Control for Human Health and Sustainability.” The $299,999.00 award will be dispersed over a three-year time period.


This award-winning project is a continuation of a body of research that aims to find ways to more closely link real-time human physiology and active environmental control systems for buildings. Professor Choi’s groundbreaking work on measuring and integrating individual human physiological responses with building systems has the potential to dramatically alter the ability of buildings to support human comfort using real-time data. The initial discoveries are a very powerful demonstration of the ability to increase comfort and simultaneously decrease energy loads through physiological responses.


“His work is especially timely as architects and engineers seek ways to support human well-being and sustainability,” says Professor Douglas Noble, Ph.D., director of the Master of Building Science program at the USC School of Architecture.


The goal of the research is to develop a novel approach to senor-based interpretation of physiological signals as applied to building environmental controls. Therefore, according to Choi’s research overview, the research outcome will "fill the integrative research gap between building systems and human physiology in the engineering domain. The knowledge and technology to be generated from this proposed project will provide scalable, integrative, and transformative solutions for real-world issues (e.g., people’s wellbeing and environmental sustainability)."


The collaborative project also includes research partners, Shrikanth Narayanan, Professor of Engineering at USC Viterbi and Maryann Pentz, Professor of Preventive Medicine at Keck USC School of Medicine. The collaborators will bring their expertise in the fields of sensing technologies and preventive medicine respectively. The project seeks to involve a number of industry partners including Buro Happold, USGBC and SIEMENS.


“Professor Joon-Ho Choi’s research on the design of sensing agents that will integrate building systems with physiological data from a building’s occupants is very promising” said Dean Milton Curry. “The support from the National Science Foundation affirms the potential groundbreaking work of Professor Choi and his collaborators. We are excited for Professor Choi, our school, and for the impacts that his research will deliver in the coming years.”


Prof. Choi has been with the USC School of Architecture since 2012.