Sofia Dermisi holds a joint appointment between the Department of Real Estate and the Department of Urban Design and Planning. She is the Victor L. Lyon and Alvin J. Wolff Endowed Professor in Real Estate. She is also the Chair of the Interdisciplinary Group for Real Estate (IGRE), which focuses in cross-discipline collaboration in teaching and research. In her joint appointment role she focuses on maintaining a formal two-way connection between the two departments on courses, student interests and research. This role is especially important among the MUP students who pursue the Real Estate specialization or have interests in real estate courses, for which she serves as their advisor.
Prof. Dermisi has an interdisciplinary approach in her teaching and research as real estate is one of those fields someone can have significant flexibility in focusing on different uses (e.g. office, residential, retail etc.), scales (local, national, international etc.) and aspects (e.g. market analysis, development, investment etc.). Real estate is also typically linked with other fields such as social and economic, construction among many others, which help us understand and possibly predict in the short and long-run expansion and contraction patterns of the real estate markets. Her area of research has always focused on understanding the evolution of office markets and the effect of internal and external shocks in downtown areas. Office markets have evolved significantly through time and understanding how real estate markets react to deferent economic conditions helps predict future market shifts in a highly cyclical industry. The adoption of sustainable practices by office buildings is another aspect of my research especially in regards to existing buildings, when the capital investment tends to be more significant than a new construction. The last but not least aspect of her research focuses on the effect of disasters on office and hotel markets.
Prof. Dermisi has received various grants for her research and received multiple awards highlighting her contribution to the field. She also serves as the elected Program Chair of the American Real Estate Society conference in 2018 and the Vice President of the Society. She will be the President of the American Real Estate Society in 2019-2020, and only the second woman to be elevated by members in such a position, but the first non-US born.
Prof. Dermisi, holds a Diploma in Planning and Regional Development Engineering from the University of Thessaly-Greece (1998) and a Master and Doctorate in Design Studies (1999 and 2002 respectively) from Harvard University.