2017 Thesis Prizes Recipients:
Valerie Chengyi Qin, Parsons School of Design, School of Constructed Environments and Valeria Terentyeva, Lighting Research Center

May 2017

The IESNYC Thesis Prizes are awarded to three students, one from Parsons School of Design, one from the Lighting Research Center and one from New York School of Interior Design, who 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.


Valerie Chengyi Qin 
Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design
Parsons School of Design at The New School School of Constructed Environments
Researchers have noted the close relationship between good emotional health and faster healing time. Valerie’s thesis focuses on the lighting in common preoperative holding areas in healthcare environments. In this area, patients often experience anxiety while they are waiting for procedures, and lighting affects their emotional and psychological responses.

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. She hopes to become a proactive lighting designer, envisioning the future of artistry and sustainability in lighting. After graduation, she begins her career at Cooley Monato Studio as a lighting designer.

Valeria Terentyeva
Master of Science in Lighting
Lighting Research Center Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Valeria’s thesis involves analyzing theoretical models of 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 graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas with a degree in physics. She is a graduate research assistant and upon graduation she begins her career as a lighting designer at HLB Lighting Design in Boston. She would eventually like to start a lighting design firm in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Russia.



Parsons School of Design Thesis Prize – M.F.A. Lighting Program
The thesis project is the culmination of study in the program and is a year-long self-guided project which includes research, a written essay, and a studio based design problem in which the student completes a comprehensive analysis of a chosen topic that questions conventions, standards and applications associated with the practice of lighting design.

Lighting Research Center at RPI Thesis Prize – M.S. Lighting, M.S. Architectural Sciences with a concentration in lighting, PhD, Architectural Sciences Programs
The thesis project is an intensive student-initiated project using original research or design evaluations to test hypotheses. Each student works closely with a faculty advisor and committee on the development and execution of his or her thesis project. The results are presented in a thesis and demonstrate the student’s mastery of an area of lighting. The LRC has both the facilities and the faculty to support a wide range of thesis topics. Students are encouraged to develop their own interests and build on their previous academic or professional experience. Thesis topics can be geared toward a research or a design aspect of lighting. Each year the LRC has seen more unusual and imaginative thesis topics introduced, reflecting the students’ diverse backgrounds.