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Dr. Elie Azar

Dr. Elie Azar

Associate Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering Department


Dr. Elie Azar is an Associate Professor in the department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Khalifa University of Science and Technology. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from École Polytechnique de Montreal, and his Master’s and Doctorate’s degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His research aims to assess and improve the performance of the built environment in a holistic manner, while accounting for the interaction between buildings and their users. His research has been acknowledged through various awards such as the best paper at the 2013 ASCE Workshop of Computing in Civil Engineering in Los Angeles, CA, the best paper at the 2016 UAE Graduate Student Research Conference, two best poster and presentation awards, and more recently, the Emirates Energy Award (EEA) awarded by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy. A complete list of his publications is available at his Google Scholar profile.

Finally, Dr. Azar has secured multiple external and internal funding grants and graduated more than 10 graduate students as advisor or co-advisor. He has also over five years of global experience as a construction engineer and building energy analyst in North America, the Middle East, and Europe.

Address: Abu Dhabi, UAE

Telephone: +971-2-810 9192

Email: elie.azar@ku.ac.ae

  • PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, 2014
  • MSc in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, 2011
  • BEng in Mechanical Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montreal, Canada, 2008.
  • ESMA708 – Sustainable Development: Theory, Research, and Policy
  • SCIN612 – Sustainable Building Science: Fundamentals, Tools, and Applications
  • SCIN602 – Urban Design for Sustainability: Theory and Practice
  • ESMA604 – System Dynamics for Business Policy
  • ISYE200 – Engineering Economic Analysis

The aim of my research is to assess and improve the performance of the built environment in a holistic manner, while accounting for the interaction between buildings and their users. On the one hand, actions taken by occupants and facility managers can have tremendous positive – or negative – impact on the levels of energy consumed. On the other, the indoor environmental conditions of buildings can significantly affect occupants comfort, wellbeing, health, happiness levels, and productivity. In practice, the vast majority of research efforts are focused on developing energy-efficient building designs and systems, overlooking the important role that building users and operators have on building performance. The main challenge for a more human-in-the-loop approach to the study of building performance is the complexity involved to move from the building systems’ level to the more granular building users’ level. To address this challenge, I follow a multidisciplinary approach where I integrate a variety of techniques and disciplines such as data collection and statistical analysis, building energy modeling, agent-based modeling, and machine learning techniques, in addition to social science models of opinion and behavior dynamics.

Selected Publications

  • Azar, E., Abdelraouf, M. (2017) (Book, Lead Editor). “Sustainability in the Gulf: Challenges and Opportunities”. Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), London, UK and New York, NY. ISBN: 978-1138040687.
  • Papadopoulos, S., Azar, E., Woon, W. L., and Kontokosta, C. E. (2017). “Evaluation of tree-based ensemble learning algorithms for building energy performance estimation”. Building Performance Simulation, 11(3)322-332.
  • Azar, E., and Al Ansari, H. (2017). “Framework to investigate energy conservation motivation and actions of building occupants: The case of a green campus in Abu Dhabi, UAE.” Applied Energy, 190, 563-573.
  • Azar, E., and Al Ansari, H. (2017). “Multilayer Agent-Based Modeling and Social Network Framework to Evaluate Energy Feedback Methods for Groups of Buildings.” Computing in Civil Engineering, 31(4)040117007.
  • Azar, E., Nikolopoulou, C., and Papadopoulos, S. (2016). “Integrating and optimizing metrics of sustainable building performance using human-focused agent-based modeling”. Applied Energy, 183, 926-937.
  • Papadopoulos, S., and Azar, E. (2016). “Integrating building performance simulation in agent-based modeling using regression surrogate models: A novel human-in-the-loop energy modeling approach.” Energy and Buildings, 128, 214-223.
  • Azar, E. and Menassa, C. (2016). “Optimizing the Performance of Energy-Intensive Commercial Buildings: An Occupancy-Focused Data Collection and Analysis Approach.” Computing in Civil Engineering, 30 (5), C4015002:1-11.
  • Menassa, C., Azar, E., Wang, C., Yan, D., Jiang, Y. (2016) (Book chapter). “Developing Occupancy Influence Coefficients in Commercial Buildings using Energy Modeling and Simulation of Human Behavior.” In: Analytics for Building-Scale Sustainable Ecosystems (BSSE), Begell House, New York, USA. ISBN: 978-1567002799.
  • Azar, E. and Menassa, C. (2015). “Evaluating the Impact of Extreme Energy Use Behavior on Occupancy Interventions in Commercial Buildings”. Energy and Buildings, 97, 205-218.
  • Azar, E. and Menassa, C. (2014). “A Comprehensive Framework to Quantify Energy Savings Potential form Improved Operations of Commercial Building Stocks.” Energy Policy, 67, 459-472.
  • Azar, E. and Menassa, C. (2014). “A Framework to Evaluate Energy Saving Potential from Occupancy Interventions in Typical US Commercial Buildings.” J. of Comp. in Civil Engineering, 28(1), 63-78.
  • Menassa, C., Kamat V. R., Lee S., Azar, E., Feng C., Anderson, K. (2014). “Coupling Distributed Energy Simulation and Occupancy Models for Comprehensive Building Energy Consumption Analysis.” J. of Comp. in Civil Engineering, 28(1), 50-62.
  • Azar, E. and Menassa, C.  (2012). “A Comprehensive Analysis of the Impact of Occupancy Related Parameters in Energy Simulations of Office Buildings.” Energy and Buildings, 55, 841-853.
  • Azar, E. and Menassa, C. (2012). “Agent-Based Modeling of Occupants’ Impact on Energy Use in Commercial Buildings.” J. of Comp. in Civil Engineering, 26(4), 506.
  • Honek, K., Azar, E. and Menassa, C. (2012). “Recession Effects in United States Public Sector Construction Contracting: Focus on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” J. of Management in Engineering, 28(4), 354–361.

A complete list of Dr. Azar’s publications is available at his Google Scholar profile.

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