M. Pena Acosta (Monica)

PhD Candidate

About Me

Hello there, welcome to my page!

I’m an engineer passionate about research! Currently, my work is devoted to developing a data-driven decision support tool that captures the interplay between road infrastructure and  Urban Heat Islands (UHIs), to help contractors and decision-makers develop effective and achievable strategies for assessing/mitigating the impact of road infrastructure on UHIs. Drop me a line if you would like to know more about my research!


38 heatwaves occurred in Europe in the last century whereof 17 were in the last decade. Climate projections for the next decades show that the frequency and severity of heatwaves will further increase unless immediate actions are taken.

In urban areas, the effects of global warming are intensified because air and surface temperatures are on average higher than in the surrounding areas. With half of the world’s population living in urban areas, GHG emissions are likely to further increase, as cities continue to grow. 

Extensive research has been carried out in recent years in order to investigate urban heat islands and their role in urban energy consumption, particularly looking at buildings’ geometry, buildings’ energy consumption, in conjunction with, densely built areas. And this is where we would like to contribute to academia --  by finding what is the contribution of road infrastructure to UHIs and how this contribution (positive or negative) can be implemented to both mitigate heat islands and make our cities resilient!


Pena Acosta, M. , Vahdatikhaki, F. , Oliveira dos Santos, J. M., Hammad, A. , & Doree, A. (2021). A generalizability analysis of a data-driven method for the Urban Heat Island phenomenon assessment. In Proceedings of the 38th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC) (pp. 73-80) https://doi.org/10.22260/isarc2021/0012
Pena Acosta, M. , Vahdatikhaki, F. , Santos, J. , & Dorée, A. G. (2020). A conceptual framework for more efficient simulation of the interplay between road pavements and the Urban Heat Island phenomenon. In L-C. Ungureanu, & T. Hartmann (Eds.), EG-ICE 2020 Workshop on Intelligent Computing in Engineering: 1st–4th July 2020, Online, Proceedings (pp. 264-274). Berlin University Press.

UT Research Information System

Google Scholar Link

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Engineering Technology
Horst Complex (building no. 20)
De Horst 2
7522LW  Enschede
The Netherlands

Navigate to location

Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Engineering Technology
Horst Complex
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

Social Media