CTBUH Chapter Event

CTBUH New York Presents: Innovation Symposium

Tuesday, 25 June 2024 | 66 Hudson Boulevard East, New York, NY 10001 | New York City

Artificial intelligence (AI) is dominating headlines as the latest hot topic, but its significance extends far beyond the buzzword. In this session we will explore how AI will transform the next generation of buildings and urban habitats.

The program will begin with an inspiring keynote from Karan Girotra, Professor of Operations, Technology, and Information Management (OTIM) and Charles H. Dyson Family Professor of Management at Cornell Tech. Next, a visionary panel of industry thought leaders will share their perspectives on the influence and outlook on AI across their disciplines, highlighting AI innovations aimed at enhancing human capabilities. From automating small, everyday tasks to training models to behave like architects, the discussion will cover AI’s expansive potential to transform the built environment!

Join us to learn how with AI as our ally, we can tackle the built environment’s most pressing challenges. Please save the date, you do not want to miss this!


Keynote Presentation

The AI Revolution

Karan Girotra

Karan Girotra is the Charles H. Dyson Family Professor of Management and Professor of Operations, Technology, and Innovation at Cornell-Tech and the Johnson College of Business at Cornell University. Karan’s recent work is focused on the best practices for identifying business opportunities and managing strategic threats arising out of the rapid advances in “artificial intelligence” and the organizational processes for refining and scaling these opportunities. He has also studied new business models and economic institutions that help reduce carbon emissions, improve urban living, manage global supply chains, and make online retail less loss-making.

Karan is one of the founders of Cornell Tech, Cornell University’s New York City-based campus that integrates research and teaching on technology, business, and law. He leads Cornell Tech’s flagship studio-based education programs and the design and delivery of our executive education offerings, working closely with leaders in industry.

In addition to his academic work, Karan was one of the founders of TerraPass Inc., which the New York Times identified as one of the most noteworthy ideas of 2005. Since then, TerraPass has helped businesses and individuals reduce over a hundred million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Prior to Cornell Tech, Karan held the Paul Dubrule Sustainability Chair at INSEAD, earned a doctorate at the Wharton School, and a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Panel Discussion

From Artificial Intelligence to Intelligence Augmentation in AEC

Exploring how stakeholders in AEC are adopting and implementing AI to augment human capabilities. Our panelists will share their perspective on the influence and outlook on AI within their disciplines and highlight AI related innovations currently being explored and/or employed to augment human capabilities during this discussion on AI’s potential impact on the built environment.

Robert Otani

Robert K. Otani, PE is Chief Technology Officer at Thornton-Tomasetti, Inc., a 1700+ person multidisciplinary engineering and applied science firm, and founded the CORE studio, a digital design, application development, AI, and R&D group at his firm. He has extensive structural design experience involving commercial, infrastructure, institutional, cultural and residential structures on projects totaling over $3 billion USD of construction and has led numerous software applications including Konstru, Design Explorer, Beacon, and the first ML-powered structural engineering application Asterisk in the industry.   
Charlie Whitney

As VP and General Manager, Charlie Whitney is responsible for developing and overseeing short- and long-term strategic plans that affirm Turner’s position as one of New York City’s largest and most trusted construction service providers. In this capacity, he oversees a portfolio of projects across a broad spectrum of industries and provides executive oversight on matters related to Turner’s operational, financial, and sales initiatives. Charlie began his career with Turner in 1988 as an engineer. In the following years, he was promoted to positions of greater responsibility in the New York office, including Project Executive in 2006 and Construction Executive in 2012.

Charles Portelli

Charles Portelli is a licensed architect based in New York City. Charles has strong interests in exploring new methodologies that link computation, design, and fabrication.
Currently, he is an Associate and Digital Innovation Strategist for Perkins&Will’s I/O group, where he focuses on envisioning 3D models and data as a focal point for project design and delivery strategies. Charles also teaches Environmental Parametrics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Center for Architecture and Sustainable Ecologies (CASE) program, where he focuses on combining parametric modeling, optimization, and daylighting as a strategy to inform design. Previously, he has taught and guest lectured at multiple institutions, including Pratt, CUNY College of Technology, and MIT.

Additional panelists to be announced.

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