Esther Obonyo

Director, Global Building Network
Titles and Affiliations
Associate Professor, School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs

For two decades, Obonyo’s work has focused on buildings globally. For example, upon graduating from the University of Nairobi in 1998, she was hired as a construction engineer where she helped complete a 30-day emergency retrofit project for the U.S. consulate in Nairobi, which had been devastated during a deadly terrorist attack. Subsequently, she worked as an industry-based researcher as well as an innovation analyst with Balfour Beatty Group, both in the United Kingdom. Finally, during her transition to Penn State, she served as a Jefferson Science Fellow and senior policy adviser for the teams managing the U.S. Agency for International Development portfolio for construction and university-based science partnerships.

In the News

Research Keywords

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Projects

Recent Publications

Assembling the Assembler: Reanimating the “Lost” Motion Machine of Wachsmann, Bollinger, and Mendoza

Andrzejewski, E., Shaffer, M. S. & Obonyo, E., 2022, In: Technology Architecture and Design. 6, 1, p. 90-99 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Aligning learning objectives and approaches in global engineering graduate programs: Review and recommendations by an interdisciplinary working group

MacDonald, L., Thomas, E., Javernick-Will, A., Austin-Breneman, J., Aranda, I., Salvinelli, C., Klees, R., Walters, J., Parmentier, M. J., Schaad, D., Shahi, A., Bedell, E., Platais, G., Brown, J., Gershenson, J., Watkins, D., Obonyo, E., Oyanedel-Craver, V., Olson, M., Lau, R., & 8 othersRao, G., Arzon, A., Krishnaswamy, K., Pickering, A. J., Mabey, C., Johnson, A., Gehr, R. & Linden, K., Jan 2022, In: Development Engineering. 7, 100095.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Fiber reinforced compressed earth blocks: Evaluating flexural strength characteristics using short flexural beams

Donkor, P., Obonyo, E. & Ferraro, C., Nov 1 2021, In: Materials. 14, 22, 6906.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Environmental analysis of health damages coming from a residential neighborhood built in 150 countries

Nematchoua, M. K., Asadi, S., Obonyo, E. & Reiter, S., 2021, (Accepted/In press) In: Journal of Housing and the Built Environment.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Transition to zero energy and low carbon emission in residential buildings located in tropical and temperate climates

Nematchoua, M. K., Orosa, J. A., Ricciardi, P., Obonyo, E., Sambatra, E. J. R. & Reiter, S., Jul 2 2021, In: Energies. 14, 14, 4253.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Applying incremental Deep Neural Networks-based posture recognition model for ergonomics risk assessment in construction

Zhao, J. & Obonyo, E., Oct 2021, In: Advanced Engineering Informatics. 50, 101374.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Wearable inertial measurement unit sensing system for musculoskeletal disorders prevention in construction

Zhao, J., Obonyo, E. & Bilén, S. G., Feb 2 2021, In: Sensors (Switzerland). 21, 4, p. 1-28 28 p., 1324.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Design and development of energy efficient re-roofing solutions

Habibi, S., Obonyo, E. A. & Memari, A. M., May 2020, In: Renewable Energy. 151, p. 1209-1219 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Comparative analysis of bioclimatic zones, energy consumption, CO2 emission and life cycle cost of residential and commercial buildings located in a tropical region: A case study of the big island of Madagascar

Nematchoua, M. K., Orosa, J. A., Buratti, C., Obonyo, E., Rim, D., Ricciardi, P. & Reiter, S., Jul 1 2020, In: Energy. 202, 117754.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Convolutional long short-term memory model for recognizing construction workers’ postures from wearable inertial measurement units

Zhao, J. & Obonyo, E., Oct 2020, In: Advanced Engineering Informatics. 46, 101177.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Experience-based learning: Global engineering culture and society

Urbina, J., Oliden, J. F., Tunno, P., Lakhtakia, A., Rodriguez, J., Estrada, M. L., Obonyo, E., Zappe, S. E., Masters, C. B. & Pacheco, F. F., Jun 15 2019, In: ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings.

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Convolutional long short-term memory model for recognizing postures from wearable sensor

Zhao, J. & Obonyo, E., Jan 1 2019, In: CEUR Workshop Proceedings. 2394

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Decision making within the built environment as a strategy for mitigating the risk of malaria and other vector-borne diseases

Obonyo, E., Pareek, S. & Woldu, D. O., Dec 21 2018, In: Buildings. 9, 1, 02.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Compressed soil blocks: Influence of fibers on flexural properties and failure mechanism

Donkor, P. & Obonyo, E., Sep 15 2016, In: Construction and Building Materials. 121, p. 25-33 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Earthen construction materials: Assessing the feasibility of improving strength and deformability of compressed earth blocks using polypropylene fibers

Donkor, P. & Obonyo, E., Oct 15 2015, In: Materials and Design. 83, p. 813-819 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review