The Built Environment Research Group (BERG) is the research group of Dr. Brent Stephens in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology. BERG is dedicated to investigating problems and solutions related to energy and air quality within the built environment. We work on projects ranging from measuring exposures to indoor air pollution to dynamic building energy modeling.

If you are interested in (1) working with, (2) sponsoring, or (3) learning more about the Built Environment Research Group, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always looking for motivated students interested in architectural engineering, environmental engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, or architecture to work in the group.

If you are new to grad school at IIT or are interested in learning more about how BERG operates, take a look at our compilation of information for new graduate students.

The Built Environment Research Group in the news

In 2015, we were featured in two articles in the IIT Magazine, including the appropriately titled “Paging Dr. Building” and an article about our unoccupied test apartments titled “Area 51? No. studioE.”

In 2014, we worked with investigators at CBS Chicago to investigate air quality on Metra regional trains and inside train stations in downtown Chicago. We found some alarming levels of particulate matter pollutants as described in our blog. Watch the video below.

Also in 2014, Dr. Stephens gave a presentation for the group called Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS), “Indoor Exposures to Outdoor Air Pollution,” which is available here. Thanks to the Heinz Endowment and ROCIS team for putting this on!

Our 2013 paper in Atmospheric Environment, “Ultrafine particle emissions from desktop 3D printers”, has been the subject of several recent news reports, including articles on, Gizmodo, IEEE Spectrum, Huffington Post, Fast Company Co.Exist, and internationally in The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, and Le Monde. It also continues to be the most downloaded paper in Atmospheric Environment in the last 90 days!

Working with BERG

If you are interested in working with us as a graduate student, you should submit an application to the Graduate Admissions office at IIT with a note describing your intent to work with Dr. Stephens and the Built Environment Research Group. You may also contact Dr. Stephens directly with questions prior to submitting your application.