Congratulations to the 2020 Thesis Award Recipients:
Kasia Kozak, Trinetra Manickavasagam, and Ivan Zamora

October 2020

The IESNYC Thesis Awards recognizes degree candidates at graduate-level lighting programs in New York State. Selected by their professors, each one of the following three theses demonstrated excellence in design and/or research, and represented the intellectual insight, rigor, and quality standards as set forth by their respective school departments and each student’s thesis committee. The IESNYC awarded each recipient $2,000.

Prior to the 2020 thesis presentations, Brigid Hardiman (Lightcraft), a member of the IESNYC Board of Managers, Co-Chair of the IESNYC Student Lighting Competition, and the 2019 recipient of the $25,000 IESNYC Scholarship delivered a keynote address on her career trajectory, aspirations, and hopes for the New York City Lighting Community.

Kasia Kozak
MS in Lighting at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (May 2020)

Kasia Kozak holds a bachelor's degree in Industrial Design from Rochester Institute of Technology where she graduated in 2016. First drawn to the field of lighting because of the environmentally conscious energy saving nature of LED technology she interned at an LED retrofit and rebate management company while an undergraduate student. Having worked on the product design end of lighting in her first full time job, she decided to pursue the master's in lighting to deepen her understanding of lighting and transition her career to the architectural lighting design space. She is looking forward to using lighting to enhance the built world for the benefit of the environment, the users of the space, and the community as a whole.

Thesis Title: Evaluating LED Street Lighting Upgrades for Troy, New York
The motivation for the project was that the city of Troy, NY (where the LRC is based) had announced an upcoming plan to convert the city’s streetlights to LED. At the start of the project various LED fixtures were under consideration by the City. This project intended to provide a recommendation on what LED fixtures would provide the most value to the City. Value was considered not only by the decrease in energy consumption, but also in the improvement of the lighting conditions. The project concluded with the development of a customizable streetlight fixture recommendation tool. It is based on the use of a criteria ranking system that allows the resulting recommendation to adapt to the needs of different parts of a city. By using the recommendation tool to evaluate a combination of factors, light fixture recommendations were determined.

Kasia Kozak was selected for the New York City IES thesis award by the faculty of the Lighting Research Center (LRC) based on both her excellent academic performance as well as her work in lighting research and design. The faculty also found her master’s project to be timely, interesting, and well-conducted. She is an outstanding student, a skilled and innovative designer, and is very deserving of this award.”   —Nadarajah Narendran, Ph.D., head of the Graduate Program in Lighting at the LRC

Trinetra Manickavasagam
MFA Lighting Design Graduate from Parsons School of Design, with an undergraduate degree in architecture

Trinetra Manickavasagam believes light is a giver of form and is most interested in how light impacts human perception of a space, subconsciously. Though her interests are more design inclined, her curiosity in the technical aspects of light encouraged her to explore through her thesis, a different realm of lighting design: the technical and perceptual aspects of color and dimming. She was also one of two recipients of the 2020 Richard Kelly Grant.

Thesis Title: The Study of Potential Colour Shifts in White LED’s While Dimming in Order to Understand the Measured Aspects of Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) and other Colour Metrics
The lighting industry relies on metrics to report, evaluate and predict how a fixture is going to perform. The general assumption and conventional wisdom are that LEDs do not change in CCT when dimmed unless they are warm-dim technology. Is this an assumption or reality? Information regarding CCT and other properties like SPD, CRI and CIE chromaticity coordinate values of LEDs, when they are dimmed is not readily available. This study focuses on evaluating white LED’s when dimmed by evaluating the measured changes in advanced metrics like the TM-30, CIE chromaticity and CRI for different sources.

"Continuing a series of significant contributions by Parsons lighting design students conducting evidence-based design research, Trinetra has added to that trend, but under circumstances made more difficult by the pandemic. Planning for extensive work in our Light and Energy Lab and with human subjects, she had to make major adjustments when Parsons' classes went virtual mid-semester. She pivoted to manufacturers shipping luminaires to her apartment, where along with controls and instrumentation we were able to provide, she was able to creatively measure their performance. Despite this pivot her work stands out for the attention to detail and its contribution to our understanding of lighting technologies."   —Craig Bernecker, Ph.D., LC, FIES, professor of lighting design, director, MFA Lighting Design program, Parsons School of Design

Ivan Zamora
Master of Professional Studies in Lighting Design (MPS-L), New York School of interior Design

Ivan Zamora earned a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador in 2019. He is fascinated with implementing multi-disciplinary tools, technologies, and techniques when plastering his designs. After graduating he plans to work in the lighting industry and become a lighting leader.

Thesis Title: Jordan in Nature
Nature can provide us with the most beautiful designs. Multiple phenomena of nature are implemented in this sports store. The stars, sun, moon, and thunder take over the store. Jordan represents power in its brand and combined with the dominant elements in nature, the store offers a unique experience to its customers. Three floors are part of the store, each with a unique concept: outer space, the sunrise, and the aurora borealis. Technology is in charge of transforming these elements into light fixtures that will provide staff and customers a wonderful place to shop and work.

NYSID is proud to feature Ivan Zamora's thesis project. He began with a strong concept for the three floors of his flagship store and has followed through with strong design choices. The resulting design is thorough, enticing and features a progression as one traverses the store.”   —Shaun Fillion, LC Educator IALD, MIES, Program Director | MPS-L Lighting Design


The IESNYC Thesis Awards is an annual monetary award given to three students selected by their professors for demonstrating excellence in lighting 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. Recipients must be a degree candidate in a graduate-level lighting program at the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID), Parsons School of Design at the New School, or Lighting Research Center (LRC), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) School of Architecture. Recipients have the opportunity to present their thesis projects to the New York City lighting community at a special presentation event and eligible for consideration to be sent to the IES Annual Conference and present their work.

*Nominations are submitted by each school’s program director