Instructors

Burcin Becerik-Gerber

Dean’s Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Doctor of Design, Harvard University
Master’s Degree, Engineering, University of California-Berkeley
Master’s Degree, Architecture, Istanbul Technical University
Bachelor’s Degree, Architecture, Istanbul Technical University

Dr. Becerik-Gerber’s research falls at the intersection of the built environment, machine intelligence, and systems thinking. Specifically, her work focuses on the acquisition, modeling, and analysis of the data needed for user-centered built environments, and the development of novel frameworks and visualization techniques to improve built-environment efficiency, while increasing user satisfaction.  Her work, which has received support worth over 5 million dollars from a variety of sources, including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and Department of Transportation, brings together a variety of disciplines, such as engineering, design, computer science, psychology, and architecture. She is currently advising six Ph.D. students, several masters and undergraduate students in the Informatics for Intelligent Built Environments focus area. She is the recipient of MIT Technology Review’s TR35 Recognition (2012), NSF CAREER Award (2014), Viterbi Junior Research Award (2016), Mellon Mentoring Award (2017), Celebration of Engineering & Technology Innovation Award (CETI) from FIATECH (2018) and the Rutherford Visiting Fellowship at the Alan Turing Institute (2018).

Brad Cracchiola

Lecturer, USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Associate Director, Global Program Management Designworks, a BMW Company
Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California
Bachelor of Science, Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering, University of Southern California

Brad Cracchiola started his career with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and eventually transitioned into the product design/development industry with Richard Holbrook Design in Pasadena. In 2004 Brad joined BMW Designworks, a global creative consultancy, where he is currently an associate director overseeing global project management and leads technical projects. In his career, Brad has collaborated with clients including Microsoft, Disney, Herman Miller, HP as well as several startups. He has led the development of products across various industries including consumer electronics, wearable technology, medical devices, sporting equipment, furniture, and more. Brad also has experience developing software products. His “Green Genie” iPhone app was named a top 10 sustainability app by Techcrunch, Forbes among other publications, and Apple named it an “App Store Essential”.  Brad also lead the team that designed the United States Paralympic racing wheelchair, which debuted at the Rio de Janerio 2016 Summer Paralympics, helped athletes win 7 medals, and is currently on display at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. Brad has been interviewed by NBC, USA Today, Wired, Fast Company, Popular Mechanics, Business Insider, and others.

David Gerber

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Practice and of Architecture
Director, Civil Engineering Building Science Program
Director, Masters of Science in Advanced Design and Construction Technologies Program
Associate Director, Office of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Doctor of Design, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Master of Design Studies, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Master of Architecture, Architectural Association DRL in London
Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, University of California Berkeley

David Gerber’s professional experience includes working in architectural, engineering, research, and technology practices in the United States, Europe, India, and Asia for Zaha Hadid Architects in London; for Gehry Technologies in Los Angeles; for Moshe Safdie Architects in Massachusetts; The Steinberg Group Architects in California; and for Arup as the Global Research Manager. His research has won multiple awards from industry, fellowships, and the National Science Foundation and is focused on the development of innovative systems, tools, methods for the design of the built environment. He currently advises, and co advises multi-disciplinary student teams on topics that integrate design, architecture, engineering, and computation in pursuit of design and engineering solutions to global crises. David’s research and entrepreneurial focus are on the development of computational tools to automate the management and sustainability of complex design and engineering projects.

Dan Druhora

Lecturer, USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Co-Founder and Executive Producer, Safe Passage Films (U.K.)
USC Coordinator, U.S. State Department Diplomacy Lab
MFA, Film & Television Production, USC School of Cinematic Arts
B.A., International Relations, University of Washington

Daniel is an award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker. He has worked on the development and post-production of films for Warner Brothers Studios including a number of international co-productions. His feature documentary “Lives Not Grades” about the journey of this course is being distributed by PBS.  He is also producing the highly anticipated documentary “Freischwimmer” for European networks ARD and ARTE. His screenplay “Climbers” about Rwanda’s first cycling team was optioned by Paris-based Forecast Features. He is currently writing “Miracles In War” about the fight to bring ISIS to justice for the genocide committed in Iraq. His screenplay “Marjan,” about a girl living through the Syrian civil war, was shortlisted for the 2017 Academy Nicholl Fellowship. In addition to filmmaking and teaching, Daniel has managed international logistics as an operations supervisor for UPS Supply Chain Solutions and has led humanitarian relief projects in partnership with several NGOs in Greece, Germany, China, India, Mexico, Sudan, Romania, and The Republic of Moldova.  He is also the host and producer of Escape Velocity, a podcast about the human side of technology and engineering. Daniel also co-founded AgRenova, a biotech startup that helps farmers in Eastern Europe become more profitable and sustainable while reducing chemical fertilizers and improving soil health.

Entrepreneur In Residence

Michael Cesar

CEO, Duet

Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Duet, a tech nonprofit that supports refugees in Greece by allowing families to request specific items from their local stores, which are donated by individuals online anywhere in the world. He is also the Entrepreneur in Residence of USC’s Innovation in Engineering and Design for Global Crises program. This past June, he was featured in Los Angeles Business Journal’s annual ‘20 in their 20s.’ Michael graduated from USC with a degree in Business and International Relations. On campus, he was President of his Fraternity, Captain of the USC Men’s Rugby Team, Cochair of the USC Sexual and Personal Misconduct Committee, and a Warren Bennis Scholar. He represented USC at the Association of Pacific Rim Universities program on world challenges in Vladivostok, Russia. Professionally, he gained experience as the head of sales for a small tech startup, interned at UBS in private wealth management, and worked as Interim Director of Fellows at Helena, a non-profit in downtown LA.

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