Simi Hoque is an associate professor in Architectural Engineering at Drexel University, where she runs a research program on Urban Metabolism. She was trained as an architect and an engineer, with degrees from the University of California-Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, and Johns Hopkins. Simi moved to Philadelphia in 2016, after spending a decade in Massachusetts, teaching at MIT and then at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. During this period, she was also working as a consulting engineer on the design of mechanical systems for high performance buildings in eastern Massachusetts.
Simi was born in Bangladesh and spent the first 12 years of her life in a small town in south-eastern Nigeria. She then moved to Pittsburgh in her middle school years, which was an emotionally and culturally challenging period, even if she didn’t have an African accent. With the help of many mentors and teachers, she carved a path from a nerdy girl who loved building things to slightly less nerdy professor who still loves building things.
Simi now teaches design to architectural engineering students who share her love of buildings while also managing a research team of Ph.D. students interested in sustainability in the urban environment. She is also deeply invested in promoting diversity in science and engineering, and in 2013 she helped to organize a Eureka! Program with Girls Inc. of Holyoke (in Massachusetts), where middle school girls work with STEM experts at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, for a month of hands-on workshops. Since arriving in Philadelphia, she has been working with Girls Inc. of Philadelphia to organize a STEM University summer program for middle school girls at Drexel’s campus. This summer will be the second STEM University program and more information can be found here.