The New York City Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society Announces Recipients of the
2017 Thesis Prizes

The New York City Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IESNYC) awarded its annual Thesis Prizes to Valerie Chengyi Qin, MFA Lighting Design, Parsons School of Design at the New School and to Valeria Terentyeva, MS in Lighting and a graduate research assistant at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). The winners presented their projects on May 17, 2017 and each one received a cash award of $ 1,000.

The Thesis Prize recognizes degree candidates of graduate-level lighting programs in New York State. The two theses demonstrate excellence in design and/or research, and represent the intellectual insight, rigor, and quality standards as set forth by their respective school departments and each student’s thesis committee.

“While the presentations are from different areas of focus, they did have some great similarities,” says Mike Barr, a member of the IESNYC Board of Managers, thesis prize coordinator, and an account manager at Lutron, who organized this year’s program. “Each one identified a real-world problem, which they then studied it in depth, pulled it apart to identify all the components, then discovered an innovative solution.”

Valerie Chengyi Qin

Thesis Title: The Effect of Light on Perception of Time in Healthcare Environments

Valerie’s thesis focuses on the common preoperative holding area in healthcare environments where patients often experience anxiety. In this area, patients wait for procedures, and lighting affects their emotional and psychological responses. Researchers have noted the close relationship between good emotional health and faster healing speed. In addition, negative emotions contribute to an overestimation of waiting time, which leads to patient dissatisfaction.

Valerie graduated with top honors in Building Service Engineering from the University of Hong Kong. After studying the fusion of architecture lighting with the science of photons at Parsons, she became more passionate about architectural lighting. She specifically studies how light channels our perception of time and space, and its potential to enhance physiological and psychological well-being. Valerie hopes to become a proactive lighting designer, envisioning the future of artistry and sustainability in lighting. She begins her career at Cooley Monato Studio as a lighting designer in June.

Valeria Terentyeva

Thesis Title: Analyzing Theoretical Models for Predicting Thermal Conductivity of Composite Materials for LED Heat Sink Applications

The study investigated the thermal properties of composite materials with respect to their potential to be used for 3D printing of LED heat sinks. The goal was to explain the behavior of thermal conductivity in polymer and inorganic particle filler composite materials by evaluating theoretical models and comparing their predictions to experimental results. The effects of filler size and filler particle concentration on the composite thermal conductivity were investigated. Experimental data was compared to theoretical predictions, from which the accuracy of theoretical models was analyzed.

Valeria begins her career as a lighting designer at HLB Lighting Design in Boston in July. Her plan is to bring the research that she was exposed to at LRC to practice. One day she hopes to open a lighting design firm in St. Petersburg, Russia, her hometown.

“The IESNYC has always been a strong voice for education within the lighting community,” says Brian Belluomini, president of the Section and a principal of Shimstone Design Studio. “The annual Thesis Prize is one way our Section can support future innovators and leaders in the lighting industry.”

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