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About Us

Learn from yesterday. Experience today. Invent for tomorrow. 

Made possible through the generous support of the IDC Foundation, the Institute of Design and Construction (IDC) Innovation Hub serves as a catalyst among technology, business, and academia to join forces and ignite our imaginations while seeking solutions to our most pressing needs. It will provide a transformational framework to enable the construction industry to build faster, in a more cost-effective manner, and more creatively while maintaining stringent safety standards. We work with our member firms to achieve construction excellence by driving change, asking probing questions, and posing “what if” scenarios.

The IDC Innovation HUb is made up of professors, students, and staff experienced in the construction industry and is supported by both Ph.D. and masters-level candidates. Chaired by Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, PE, our team offers a broad array of skills gained through exclusive hands-on experience.

Dr. Michael Horodniceanu

IDC Foundation Chair in Design & Construction, Ph.D., PE

Judith (Judy) DeScenza Cooper

Associate Director, IDC Innovation Hub, F.SAME

Dr. Chen Feng

Assistant Professor, Ph.D.

Lawrence Chiarelli

Industry Professor, PE, Esq.

Dr. Semiha Ergan

Assistant Professor, Ph.D.

Dr. Frank DarConte, RA

Director of Applied Research, Ph.D.

See All


As a membership-based entity, the IDC Innovation Hub welcomes applications for membership. We are structured with various levels of participation each offering benefits commensurate with a particular level.

A representative listing of current members includes:

  • Sam Shwartz Engineering
  • STV, Inc.
  • Strook & Strook & Lavan
  • Local Union 147
  • Full Stack Modular
  • Grroup PMx
  • Hatch
  • Bombardier
  • MPHlex

We would be pleased to discuss membership opportunities for your firm.  Please email Judy Cooper at for further details.


Construction management executive Frank DarConte joins IDC Innovation Hub at NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

View full press release



Prof. Horodniceanu was interviewed by Spectrum News NY1 on January 23, 2020. To view the full interview please press here.



The Institute of Design & Construction had a busy November. On Nov. 5, the  IDC Foundation held the event “Innovations & Intersections: Architecture, Engineering & Building Construction” at the Center for Architecture in Manhattan, with speakers (pictured, from left): Amale Andraos, dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Frances Bronet, president of the Pratt Institute; Laura Sparks, president of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art; Jelena Kovacevic, dean of New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering; Maria Perbellini, dean of the School of Architecture and Design at New York Institute of Technology; and moderator Carol Loewenson, partner at Mitchell Giurgola Architects and an IDC Foundation board member. Kovacevic noted: “Data was hard to come by in construction years ago, and today it’s a deluge of data,”  which should help the industry improve building codes and other aspects, but also poses challenges of how to interpret and apply such data.

On Nov. 21, IDC’s Innovation Hub of the  NYU Tandon School of Engineering had its inaugural symposium. Chaired by Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, the hub aims to serve as a catalyst for business, academia and industry in promoting best practices in design and construction. So far it has attracted firms such as STV Group, PMX, Jacobs and Sam Schwartz Engineering. The hub also seeks to bring startups with innovative ideas to the more established construction industry. At the event, Upbrella Construction, a subsidiary of 3L Innogenie, discussed its technology that can offer benefits ranging from coverage against weather elements to reducing the number  of cranes needed during construction through the use of jacking. For membership information, contact Judy Cooper, associate director of the Innovation Hub, at or 646-997-3607.



The IDC Innovation Hub held its inaugural Forum on Thursday, November 21.  Held at the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) in Queens, NY, it attracted approximately 80 attendees from various areas within the construction industry – A/E/C firms, law firms, contractors, agencies, and NYU students and faculty.  The program consisted of the following participants:

  • Commissioner Lorraine Grillo – President and CEO of the NYC School Construction Authority and Commissioner, NYC Department of Design & Construction
  • Howard Milstein – Chairman, The Milstein Organization and former Chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority
  • Joey Larouche – CEO of Upbrella Construction, an innovative construction firm that builds from a structure’s roof down.

Commissioner Grillo spoke about the need to work creatively within the industry and her appreciation of the goals of the IDC Innovation Hub.  Mr. Milstein focused on his tenure as Chairman of the Thruway Authority during the time that the new Tappan Zee Bridge was first discussed under Gov. Cuomo and the need to have the project done through the design/build procurement method.  Mr. Larouche, through a presentation and video, discussed how his company finds distinct benefits in building from the roof downward.

Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, Professor and Chair of the IDC Innovation Hub, opened the program with a discussion on the need for innovation within the construction industry in terms of new methods of building such as that offered by Upbrella Construction as well as differing procurement methods such as design/build, design/build/finance/maintain, etc.  Judy Cooper, Associate Director of the IDC Innovation Hub, closed the program with a brief discussion on the benefits of membership within the Innovation Hub

This is the first in a series of programs to be offered by the Innovation Hub.  Stay tuned for details on our next program!


Dr. Horodniceanu will participate in City & States’s New York In Transit conference, serving as the moderator for the “Reshaping New York’s Transportation Infrastructure” panel. Panelists include Catherine Rinaldi, President, Metro-North Railroad; Phillip Eng, President, Long Island Rail Road; and George Latimer, Westchester County Executive. The event will be held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, New York, NY on Thursday, January 30, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.


For additional details, please contact Lissa Blake at


The Institute of Design & Construction Innovation Hub Inaugural Forum

Join with colleagues as we explore the concept of innovation in the construction industry and how the IDC Innovation Hub can assist in making a positive difference in the ways our industry does business.

When: November 21, 2019, at 8:30 am

Where: NYC School Construction Authority located at 30-30 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101


  • Lorraine Grillo
  • Howard Milstein
  • Jacques Gauthier


Innovative Mobile Projective AUgmented Reality (MPAR) Method

The goal is to improve safety on construction sites and benefit human-robot collaboration for construction robotics. Current project achievements:

  • Advanced the camera-projector system (the MPAR system) so that it is able to project pre-planned building/facility information in real-time. Previously the system projected markers onto the wall that the system processed offline and prevented real-time usage. This development allows a construction worker to deploy the system with limited knowledge of the computing background.
  • Tested the MPAR system in a mock-up indoor construction scenario, where utility pipes behind a wall are projected accurately on the corresponding positions on the wall to improve onsite facility management efficiency.
  • Quantitatively evaluated the MPAR’s projection precision through experiments. The projection error (the difference between the actual projection position and the pre-planned projection position) is within 1cm in both x and y directions on the wall.
  • Qualitatively stabilized the real-time projection results using an inertial measurement unit (IMU). Further experiments are still needed to demonstrate quantitative improvements.

Facade Inspection Using Natural Language Processing of Inspection Report

  • Researched three different inspected buildings (brick masonry, metal panel, and concrete) to understand and record the challenges faced by inspectors in capturing and organizing the data on defects.
  • Meetings with the DOB façade inspection team showed that it will be ideal to have a mechanism to show the changes over time for supporting the decision making on whether a building façade has substantial defects that require immediate action.
  • The team also examined, using natural language processing algorithms, the reports submitted (expected to be around 14,000 buildings in the current cycle of 5-year inspection ending by February 2020). The findings will be presented to the DOB inspection team in the next month and will be published in a top tier construction/automation journal.