Tarek Rakha is an architect currently conducting a PhD in Building Technology in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a member of the Sustainable Design Lab , where he is part of the developing team for umi, the urban modeling simulation platform. Prior to his move to MIT he was studying towards a Doctorate of Design in Sustainable Design from Harvard University, as recipient of the Graduate School of Design Scholarship for Arab Students. Starting Fall 2014 he is the principal instructor for a new seminar called Comfort in Motion at MIT, and in Spring 2015 he will be an Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
In the past seven years he has taught environmental control and sustainability design to students at MIT, the American University in Cairo (AUC) and his alma mater, Cairo University. He was a practicing architect in multiple Cairo-based firms with a deep interest in integrating environmental technologies in design practice. His research interests include the walkability and bikeability of neighborhoods, outdoor thermal comfort, daylighting, building science, energy efficiency, performance simulation, sustainability, generative design and optimization. His research on the built environment was published in numerous peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and his work received various recognition that includes two Best Paper Awards and three IBPSA-USA Student Scholarships.
In addition, Tarek is a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) in the US. He taught and participated in multiple architecture, urban design and energy simulation workshops across Europe and the Middle East. He was also an invited speaker and critic by a variety of organization and academic institutions that include TEDxCairo, the Architecture Boston Expo (ABX), and Northeastern University. He was President of the Egyptian Student Association (ESA) at MIT in 2013/14. Their leadership was instrumental to the establishment of the MIT-Egypt program, a seed fund research grant and student exchange program between Egypt and MIT. Their efforts were recognized through several awards from the institute that include the William L. Stewart Jr. Award and the Bridge Builder Award for Leadership.