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Arsalan Heydarian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as the UVA Link Lab. His research broadly focuses on user-centered design, construction, and operation of intelligent infrastructure with the objective of enhancing their sustainability, adaptability, and resilience. Specifically, his work is divided into four main research streams: (1) intelligent built environments; (2) mobility and infrastructure design; (3) smart transportation and (4) data-driven mixed reality. Dr. Heydarian received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California (USC), M.Sc in System Engineering from USC, and B.Sc. and M.Sc in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech. Dr. Heydarian is a co-founder of the Omni Reality and Cognition Lab (ORCL Lab), a state-of-the-art virtual and augmented reality lab utilizing technology to research human behavior and reaction to alternative infrastructure design. 


I'm interested in integrating human considerations within the design and operation of our infrastructure systems. Specifically, my research focuses on how our buildings and cars can sense our behaviors and collaborate with us in achieving our personal goals or how transportation systems should be designed to accommodate all users by enhancing well-being, safety and comfort.

Arsalan Heydarian

Research Interests

Intelligent built environments (smart buildings)
Infrastructure design to enhance mobility, safety, and comfort (mobility)
User-centered autonomous vehicles and smart transportation systems (smart transportation)
Data-driven mixed reality (VR/AR)
Construction automation

Selected Publications

"Towards user centered building design: Identifying end-user lighting preferences via immersive virtual environments," Automation in Construction 81: 56-66, 2017 A. Heydarian, E. Pantazis, a. Wang, D. Gerber, B. Becerik-gerber
"Lights, building, action: Impact of default lighting settings on occupant behaviour," Journal of Environmental Psychology 48: 212–223, 2016 A. Heydarian, E. Pantazis, J. P. Carneiro, D.gerber, B. Becerik-gerber
"Use of immersive virtual environments for occupant behaviour monitoring and data collection," 2016. A. Heydarian, B. Becerik-gerber
"Immersive virtual environments versus physical built environments: A benchmarking study for building design and user-built environment explorations," Automation in Construction 54: 116-126, 2015 A. Heydarian, J. P. Carneiro, D. Gerber, B. Becerik-gerber, T. Hayes, W. Wood
"Vision-based action recognition of earthmoving equipment using spatio-temporal features and support vector machine classifiers," Advanced Engineering Informatics 27: 652-663, 2013. M. Golparvar-fard, a. Heydarian, J.C. Niebles