Achyuthan Jootoo

PhD Candidate

About

Hi there! I am a PhD candidate with a keen interest in interdisciplinary research. I hail from a Civil Engineering background but my coursework, interests and projects span various topics such as Bayesian inferencing, artificial intelligence, optimization, algorithms and parallel computing. I firmly believe that fundamental knowledge of a broad set of tools helps envision problems from different domain in a new light which can lead to intuitive and smart solutions.

Before coming to George Mason for my PhD studies, I participated in the competition Solar Decathlon, as part of Team Shunya. The key focus of the competition was to design a sustainable house, and develop and implement technologies for the same. This exposure to a highly interdisciplinary project involving (broadly) architecture, structures, construction, HVAC, sustainability and photovoltaics impacted me significantly. For the competition, Team Shunya designed and constructed a steel based structure for the house. However, this structure was fairly overdesigned, and could have been made more efficient. The irony of using a structure which consumed more raw material than was required in a competition aimed at sustainability was not lost on me. This led to my interest in optimal structural design. This led to my firm belief that the least we, as structural engineers could do, was to design optimal structures.

Having used optimization for different problems, I believe that there is a lot of potential in the use of optimization in various domains. My current interests broadly span in the application of optimization for construction scheduling, structural design, transit network design, warehouse location problem among others, since the use of optimization can improve the efficiency and performance of these systems.