Biography

Andrew Sonta is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and a member of the Urban Informatics Lab. Andrew is interested in understanding how information about human behavior in the built environment can be used to better design and manage urban systems for energy efficiency. In his research, he models and analyzes networks of building occupants in order to more closely match building systems -- such as heating, cooling, and lighting -- with the behavior of building occupants. He is also involved with a project that collects anonymized urban-scale data about human activity in order to better understand how city form impacts walkability. At Stanford, Andrew designed and co-teaches a seminar course called "Hard Earth," in which graduate students from across the university give talks about some of the biggest, most bedeviling questions related to environmental sustainability. The course includes both invited graduate-student-talks as well as discussions that he leads with those who enroll in the class.
 
Andrew grew up in Chicago, where his experience living in a city made him passionate about sustainable urban systems. He holds a BS in civil engineering from Northwestern University, where he also studied architecture and economics. At Northwestern, he was heavily involved in student activities, including serving on the executive board of Northwestern University Dance Marathon, a year-long student endeavor that culminated in a 30-hour dance marathon and that raised over $1.2 million for the Starlight Children's Foundation. Andrew has received various academic awards, including his undergraduate department's highest honor, the civil engineering senior award, as well as the Stanford Graduate Fellowship.