Architectural engineering professor receives grant for color science course

Tessa M. Pick
April 07, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Dorukalp “Alp” Durmus, assistant professor of architectural engineering in the Penn State College of Engineering, received a $30,000 grant from the Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education to establish a new color science course, “Color Science for Architecture, Design and Engineering.”

professor in collared shirt smiles and poses for professional headshot

Dorukalp “Alp” Durmus, assistant professor in architectural engineering in the Penn State College of Engineering, received a grant from the Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education to establish a new color science course.

IMAGE: Penn State College of Engineering

The Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education provides support for college-level lighting programs across the country. Each year, the organization evaluates proposals from numerous colleges and universities and funds the most innovative educational programs that focus on light in architecture, according to the fund’s website

“I was over the moon when I learned that the Nuckolls Fund selected my proposal,” Durmus said. “The grant will help me run tutorials using modern devices, such as eye-tracking technology, to highlight the importance of lighting and color in architectural spaces. The color science course will also include innovative teaching methods, such as active learning strategies.”

This new course will be the first permanent color science course in the Department of Architectural Engineering, and it will be one of the few comprehensive courses on color science in North America, according to Durmus. It will focus on an array of topics, including human color vision, color order systems, color rendition, chromatic adaptation, color appearance models and the use of color in art, design and architecture. 

“Color science is one of the most fundamental topics in lighting education, along with visual perception and photometry,” Durmus said. “Color science is the characterization of human color vision, and it provides mathematical models that help us estimate how people perceive spaces and light sources. These mathematical models have practical importance for lighting designers and engineers.”    

Although this course will be housed in the Department of Architectural Engineering, it will be open to all students. According to Durmus, this course’s curriculum will be beneficial to students from many disciplines. Durmus said he wants to bring this course to a wider audience and demonstrate the value of color science concepts to students from disciplines beyond illumination engineering. 

“Lighting is very interdisciplinary in nature. We have students from various backgrounds, and we continue to attract students from disciplines outside architectural engineering,” Durmus said. “There are a lot of valuable concepts and lessons to be learned for designers and engineers of all sorts.”

 

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Last Updated April 07, 2021