Assistant Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering
New York University Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

Borja García de Soto is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at New York University Abu Dhabi, and holds an appointment as Global Network Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering at the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University (NYU). He is the director of the S.M.A.R.T. Construction Research Group at NYU Abu Dhabi and conducts research in the areas of construction automation, cybersecurity in the AEC industry, artificial intelligence, lean construction, and BIM.

With over ten years of professional experience in the construction industry and Professional Engineer (PE) licenses in California and Florida, Borja has international experience in multiple aspects of project management, including project cost estimating, risk management and control, delay analysis and forensic engineering.

Borja received his PhD from ETH Zurich. He also holds an MSc in Civil Engineering with a concentration in engineering and project management from the University of California at Berkeley, an MSc in Civil Engineering with a concentration in structural design from Florida International University (FIU), and a BSc in Civil Engineering (graduated cum laude) also from FIU.

Presentation: Cybersecurity Implications in The Building Commissioning Process

Commissioning is the process of verification of all the building systems (e.g., security controls, mechanical, and plumbing systems) to meet the desired design, quality, and safety standards. This is typically performed by a granting authority (e.g., government or private certified agencies) based on monitored data regarding building systems performance, ambient indoor, and outdoor parameters.

The data is usually collected with the help of fixed stationary sensor network systems comprising of wired and wireless sensors. Athough many studies have proposed frameworks and methodologies to develop such sensor and data collection technologies, investigation of cybersecurity implications and related challenges have not been found in the literature.

That is, none of the studies have explored the motivation of different stakeholders, including manufacturers, installers, or facility managers to tamper the data or compromise the sensors to create fabricated data that can assist in the certification or commissioning process.

To address this, the objectives of this work are to a) identify the possible reasons or motivations for stakeholders/facility managers to misrepresent or manipulate ground truth information during the commissioning process, b) determine cyber-vulnerable roles and processes that can assist in the falsification, c) propose a secure and reliable mobile robotic based data collection method that can be used by certifying (e.g., approved third party or government) agencies to verify and validate the stationary sensor network data given by the stakeholders/facility managers, d) compare and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of both these approaches.

Results suggest that the proposed method is reliable compared to the traditional commissioning process. In addition, the study findings will address some of the key cybersecurity issues and define new research areas in the architectural, engineering, construction, and facility management (AECFM) domain.