M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management

Research Assistant Opportunity for new PhD Student

The Shimberg Center for Housing Studies and the M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida invite new PhD applicants to apply to become a fully funded doctoral student in the Construction Management program with a Graduate Research Assistant appointment. The research assistance will be completed under the supervision of Dr. Ravi Srinivasan and Dr. Sherry Ahrentzen. This research, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), aims to develop innovative ways to adapt and repurpose existing housing to make it accessible, affordable and attractive for people with disabilities. The successful candidate will be engaged in multidisciplinary research with housing experts, architects, interior designers, construction professionals, disability experts and occupational therapists. The student will assist with the development of virtual environment platform (Virtual Reality) with integrated haptic-enabled simulations of building systems such as doors, windows, cabinets.  The project simulates redesigned homes in virtual reality with haptic simulations so that they can be tested by adults with disabilities.  More about the research project can be found at:  https://dcp.ufl.edu/news/the-repurpose-project-at-uf/.

The student will be involved in intensive training and mentoring. Preferred applicants are those knowledgeable or show strong interest in Unity / VR platforms and programming languages particularly in C# in addition to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and computer-aided modeling tools. The applicant must enjoy unique challenges in building and testing the VR platforms.  The research assistant may be involved in additional housing-related research projects that emanate from the original study.

The M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management (https://dcp.ufl.edu/rinker/) is a national leader in construction management education and research. Housed in the College of Design, Construction and Planning, the Rinker School is dedicated to construction science and management and is committed to excellence in education and research. Established in 1935, it is the oldest school of construction in the U.S. and the first program to receive accreditation from the American Council for Construction Education (1975). Established in 1988 by the Florida Legislature, the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies, in the Rinker School of Construction Management, conducts research into housing policy and planning, with a special focus on housing affordability for Florida residents. The Center provides data and applied research to state agencies, local planners, the housing industry, non-profits, and others involved in shaping housing policy in Florida.

The University of Florida is a comprehensive doctoral research-extensive university that includes a full range of academic departments and programs (www.ufl.edu). It has a long history of established programs in international education, research and service and is one of only 17 public, land-grant universities that belong to the Association of American Universities. The College of Public Health and Health Professions is part of the University’s Health Science Center, which includes the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Dentistry, and Veterinary Medicine, and provides a wealth of opportunities for research collaborations.

In your application for the PhD Program, please check your interest in a Graduate School Fellowship; and in your statement of intent, also indicate your interest in this research assistant opportunity and describe your relevant background and expertise. Application materials are available at:  https://dcp.ufl.edu/academics/phd/phd-admissions/   For more information about the CM program see https://dcp.ufl.edu/rinker/academics/doctor-of-philosophy/construction-management/ or contact Mr. Joseph Carroll josephcarroll@ufl.edu. For more information about the research project contact Dr. Ravi Srinivasan sravi@ufl.edu  or Dr.  Sherry Ahrentzen ahrentzen@ufl.edu.

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