Project Title: Noninvasive Real Time Detection of Human Comfort for Increased Energy Savings in Buildings

Faculty Sponsor: Mihai Burzo

Department: Computer Science, Engineering, & Physics



Project Description: 

Recent statistics indicate that over 41% of the U.S. primary energy is consumed by the buildings sector, with resident buildings accounting for 54% of this energy consumption, and the remaining 46% for commercial buildings. Effective energy management in the buildings is one of the key factors impacting the overall energy consumption, and thus has important consequences on climate and the environment. The ultimate goal of this project is to build an automatic human comfort prediction model that relies on physiological, thermal imaging, and visual signals directly collected from a building’s inhabitants, thus enabling innovative adaptive control scenarios for a built environment conditions in real time, as well as a significant reduction in building energy usage directly related to human occupancy and their desired comfort levels. To create these systems, we target three research objectives. First, we will collect a novel multimodal dataset using verbal cues and infrared thermal imaging as a contact free mean, and physiological features as a non contact free mean (e.g., heart rate, respiration rate, galvanic skin response, skin temperature). Second, we will explore feature extraction methods to process and simplify the large collected data. Third, we will construct data-driven learning systems for detection of thermal comfort, taking advantage of the recent progress in thermal imaging and multimodal fusion models.

This project is a UM Flint – UM Ann Arbor collaboration and is IRB-approved

Student Tasks & Responsibilities:

Key Student Tasks & Responsibilities:

  • Distribute recruiting materials and help with finding participants for the study.
  • Collect multimodal data.
  • Help with data analysis and processing.
  • Attend weekly project meetings
  • Prepare articles, reports, and presentations
  • Manage and respond to project related email.
  • Prepare a final report of the project findings.

Additional (Optional) Tasks & Responsibilities:

  • Prepare materials for submission to granting agencies and foundations.
  • Request or acquire equipment or supplies necessary for the project.
  • Attend area seminars and other meetings as necessary.

Minimum Qualifications: Engineering students that have completed at least one-year towards a BSE in Mechanical Engineering (or Engineering) Degree