CGBC Research Team


Salmaan Craig, Eng.D., Research Associate »
Sal currently runs courses in materials science and energy at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and conducts research on new types of “architecture-d materials” for the thermoregulation of future buildings. Salmaan studied product design before undertaking an engineering doctorate (EngD) hosted by Brunel University and Buro Happold consulting engineers. During this time, he designed and tested a biologically inspired material for protecting buildings from solar and ambient heat while allowing them to cool through radiation to the sky and outer space. After completing his doctorate, Salmaan continued at Buro Happold as a facade engineer, specializing in the design of material systems in extreme climates, such as the perforated, multilayered dome of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. He then moved to the Specialist Modeling Group at Foster + Partners, continuing to develop his research interests in the context of a number of high-profile building projects, such as the Masdar Institute, the Apple Campus, and Bloomberg Place.

Jonathan Grinham, DDes, Postdoctoral Fellow »
Jonathan's research interests range from paper robots to thermal monocoques. He received a doctor of design degree at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where his dissertation developed novel fabrication and design methods for milli- to micro-scale fluid-flow systems for thermal control in buildings. His past research agendas track themes in advanced materials, interactive and responsive environments, embedded computation, computational design, and automated fabrication workflows. Jonathan has taught technology seminars and led design studios at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Catholic University of America, and Virginia Tech. His professional practice ranges from super-tall mixed-use to single-family residential buildings to facade consulting. Jonathan holds a BArch and an MsArch from Virginia Tech.

Wenbo Shi, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow »
Wenbo’s research interests primarily involve the smart grid area, including algorithms and systems for managing smart homes, smart buildings, microgrids with renewables, energy storage units, and various smart loads. His research has been published in top engineering journals, and one of his papers is constantly ranked as one of the most popular online articles in the journal IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid. Wenbo has a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, an MASc from the University of British Columbia, and a BS from Xi’an Jiaotong University.

Ran Song, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow »
Ran's primary research areas are environmental economics and labor economics in China. His recent research interests include estimating the economic value of clean environments in developing countries and the impacts of pollution regulation on the real estate market in China. Ran received a PhD in economics from Sun Yat-sen University. During his PhD studies, Ran received a national scholarship from the Chinese Ministry of Education and joined the China Air Filtration Project at Harvard University. He is also currently a Wertheim Fellow in the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School and a visiting fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

Bin Yan, Ph.D., Research Associate »
Bin’s primary research areas are energy modeling and HVAC system simulation. Her recent research projects include developing a web platform for smart building applications, quantifying uncertainties in HVAC system operations, and developing data-oriented models to predict building energy demand and HVAC system performance for the purpose of decision-making. Bin received both her bachelor and master of engineering degrees from Tsinghua University. She received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, where she conducted a dissertation on “A Bayesian Approach for Predicting Building Cooling and Heating Consumption and Applications in Fault Detection.”


Doctor of Design and Ph.D. Students

Spyridon Ampanavos
Spyridon is a doctor of design studies student at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His research interest is centered around the synergy of artificial intelligence with human designers and he is exploring the influence of digitally mediated collaborative environments in the design process. His past research at the GSD includes fabrication workflows with industrial robots, interactive data visualization, VR applications, and web and software development for environmental data, water strategies and coastal simulations. Spyridon holds a Master of Design in Technology with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Diploma of Architectural Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece.

Yujiao Chen »
Yujiao is a DDes and CSE dual-degree student at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Previously a research associate at the CGBC, she worked on projects ranging from building simulations to sustainable urban development. She has also worked as a research assistant at the T.C Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy Studies and at the Harvard Building Energy and Simulation Lab and as a Sustainable Community Leader for the Harvard University Office for Sustainability. Yujiao received a bachelor of architecture degree from Zhejiang University in 2012, a master in environmental building design degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, and a master’s in design studies with a concentration in energy and environments from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2014. Her previous work has been published in international journals, including Applied Energy, Building and Environment, the Journal of Environmental Management, Environment International, and Building Simulation.

Sabrina Osmany »
Sabrina is a PhD student in architectural technology at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her research explores how agency is mediated by digital interfaces. Her interdisciplinary work is divided between the development of tools to study decision-making in interactive systems as well as the development of experimental frameworks to study choice behavior. During her time at Harvard, Sabrina is particularly excited to explore machine learning and multi-agent simulation as tools to study human dynamics in the forthcoming age of consumer virtual reality, which promises real-time human avatars aplenty. She is a recent graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (MPS) where she prototyped interfaces for tangible and social computing. Her work includes the development of a programming language in Urdu, a mobile application that uses computer vision to identify and connect with network devices, and a one-hundred-and-twenty-foot video installation at InterActiveCorp headquarters in New York City.

Bing Wang »
Bing is a doctor of design studies candidate at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His research interests include environmental simulation technologies and their applications in design. Bing’s work includes the development of a design decision-making support system to achieve fast and valid evaluations of building performance, in addition to a design optimization methodology based on building performance given by computational simulation technologies. He believes that the idea of climate adaption and building performance will form a new design methodology with the help of simulation technologies. Bing holds a master in design studies in energy and environments degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a bachelor of engineering degree from Tsinghua University in China. He has worked as an environmental design consultant for several companies, most recently at Transsolar in Stuttgart, Germany. His professional experience also includes teaching and research assistance at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Tsinghua University. His previous work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences.

Arta Yazdanseta »
Arta is a LEED-certified architect and a doctor of design studies candidate in the energy and environment concentration at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. As part of her research work at the CGBC, Arta investigates the impact of green walls on the thermal performance of buildings. In addition, she has served as vice president of the Boston chapter of the International Building Simulation Association (IBPSA). She received a master of design, energy and environment in design degree from the GSD, where her group was the first prize winner of the IBPSA Student Competition Award, and her master’s thesis was a winner of the Harvard Sustainability Grant. Arta received her professional architectural degree with honors from the Pratt Institute, and she later founded her own architectural design studio, LINX Architecture, while serving as a visiting instructor there. Arta is a recipient of the Circle Award Fellowship and was an AIA Women's Architectural Auxiliary Eleanor Allwork Scholar. Her work has been displayed at the New York Chapter of the AIA and published in Metropolis magazine.

Nari Yoon »
Nari is a doctor of design studies student at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Her cross-disciplinary design research involves high performance, urban airflow, building energy simulation, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Her academic and professional interests range from architectural design to engineering for sustainability. Before joining the DDes program, she worked as a building performance analyst and CFD engineer at Cradle North America, where she helped CFD users with their projects and conducted independent studies on CFD simulations for buildings. Her recent study about BIM-integrated CFD automation demonstrated the potential for applying CFD to design phases, and her current research on the prediction of natural ventilation effectiveness aims to assist with making design decisions in an interactive way. She has held several workshops and lectures about the applications of CFD for buildings at professional conferences and academic institutions. Nari holds a master’s degree in design studies from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a BArch from Hongik University in Korea.

Wei Zhang »
Wei is a second year PhD student in architectural technology at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and his focus is on artificial intelligence and building science. As an engineer in France, he was in charge of confinement systems design and HVAC&R systems design for the reactor building of the EPR power plant for over four years. He also worked in complex system analysis and modeling for more than three years in Paris and Grenoble, France. He holds a DPEA post-master’s degree in architectural studies from ENSA Paris-La Villette, a Diplôme d'Ingénieur in mechanical engineering from INSA Toulouse, and a BEng degree from Southeast University in China. He also has research experience at the University of Toronto, ETH Zurich, and the Aarhus School of Architecture.