Confirmed Speakers

Dr. Jan Carmeliet, Professor, Chair of Building Physics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, ETH Zurich

Multiphysics Modeling of Materials, Assemblies, Buildings and Cities

Since June 2008, Jan Carmeliet is full professor at the Chair of Building Physics at the department of Mechanical Engineering at ETH Zürich and head of the Laboratory of Multiscale studies in Building Physics of EMPA (until 01.04.2017), Dübendorf (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), Switzerland. Jan Carmeliet, graduated from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven) in Engineering Architecture, got his PhD in Civil Engineering at K.U.Leuven in 1992 and was postdoc a TU.Delft in 1993-1994. He has been Assistant (1998), Associate (2001) and Full professor (2004) at K.U.Leuven and part-time Professor at T.U.Eindhoven (2001-2008). He was in 2007 on sabbatical leave at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and at Los Alamos Governmental Laboratories. His research resulted until now in more than 245 scientific journal papers. His research interests concern multiscale behaviour of porous and granular materials and their fluid interactions, heat-air-moisture flow in the urban environment and multi-energy decentralized systems at building and urban scale. Research is based on advanced computational modelling (atomistic, molecular dynamics, discrete elements, lattice Boltzmann, CFD, FEM, energy-hub) and advanced experimental techniques (X-ray and Neutron Tomography, …) and time-resolved imaging in wind and water tunnels (PIV, LIF). He is research councillor of the National Science Foundation Switzerland, expert of the Commission of Technology and Innovation Switzerland (CTI/engineering), director of the graduate program ‘master integrated building systems’ at ETHZ, and member of the Board of Energy Science Centre ETH Zürich. He was member of the research commission of ETH Zürich and of the scientific commission of the CCEM (Centre of Competence Energy and Mobility). He is very active in the SCCER (Swiss competence centre energy research) FEEB&D (Future energy efficient buildings and districts) phase I (2014-2016) and phase II (2017-2020).



Dr. Patricia J. Culligan, Robert, A. W. and Christine S. Carlton Professor of Civil Engineering, Columbia University

Green Infrastructure and Urban Sustainability: Recent Advances and Future Challenges

Patricia J. Culligan is the Robert, A. W. and Christine S. Carlton Professor of Civil Engineering at Columbia University, where she served as the Founding Associate Director of Columbia University’s Data Science Institute and still serves as the Co-Director of the Earth Institute’s Urban Design Lab. Dr. Culligan’s expertise lies in the field of geo-environmental engineering, with an emphasis on water resource management and issues related to urban and environmental sustainability. Her research group is currently active in investigating the opportunities for green infrastructure, social networks and advanced measurement & sensing technologies to improve the management of urban water, energy, and eco-system services in the face of rapid urbanization and climate change. She is one of the lead investigators of a $12 million research network sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop new models for urban infrastructure to make cities cleaner, healthier, and more enjoyable places to live. Culligan has received numerous research and teaching awards for her academic contributions, including the National Science Foundation’s CAREER AWARD and Columbia University’s Presidential Teaching Award. She has also served on the Board of Governors of the Geo-Institute and the National Academies Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, and has Chaired the National Academies Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering. She is the author or co-author of more than 150 technical articles. Culligan received her BSc from Leeds University, England and her MPhil and PhD from Cambridge University, England.


Dr. Richard deDear, Professor & Director of Architectural & Building Science & Technology, Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney

Dynamic Environment, Adaptive Thermal Comfort, and Natural/Hybrid Ventilation

Over the last 35 years, Professor Richard de Dear has focused his research career on defining what occupants want and need from their built environments, and assessing the performance of buildings in terms of meeting those requirements. He is currently the most highly cited living researcher in the domain of thermal comfort, with over 250 peer-reviewed papers plus several monographs on the subject. Within that body of research it is his adaptive model of thermal comfort that’s had the greatest impact, not just on the research community but also on the design and operation of actual buildings. De Dear’s adaptive model underpins the American Society of Heating and the Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers’ thermal comfort standard, ASHRAE 55-2004, 2010, 2013, which in turn, informs several national thermal comfort standards around the world.


Dr. Yuguo Li, Professor, Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hong Kong

The Physics in Natural Ventilation of Cities and Buildings

Yuguo Li is a Professor and the Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering, the University of Hong Kong. Li was a Principal Research Scientist and the team leader of indoor environments at CSIRO Australia prior to 2000 when he joined the University. He studied at Shanghai Jiaotong University, Tsinghua University Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. His research interests are in building environment engineering. His current research topics include city climate, environment studies of infection and indoor air quality. His work led to the findings of the roles played by airflow in the 2003 Amoy Gardens SARS outbreak. He led and developed the 2009 WHO guidelines on natural ventilation. He has been leading two collaborative research grants in Hong Kong with one on ventilating a high-rise compact city and another on spread of virus in a large city. His work has also been supported by GRC GRF, RFCID, NSFC, WHO, Boeing and Microsoft. He was a guest/adjunct/visiting professor in Shanghai Jiaotong University, Aalborg University, Tianjin University, Technical University of Denmark, currently at Dalian University of Technology and Xi-An University of Architecture and Technology. He currently also serves as President, Academy of Fellows of International Society of Indoor Air Quality (ISIAQ). He also serves as an Associate Editor of Indoor Air and in editorial board of Energy and Buildings, Buildings and Environment etc. He received the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (SSTPA) (Second Prize) in 2010, Best Paper Awards of the Indoor Air in 2008 and 2011, the Rydberg Gold Medal of SCANVAC in 2014, Honorary Doctor Degree of Aalborg University in 2015 and the Inoue Memorial Award, SHASE, Japan in 2016. He was elected a Fellow of ASHRAE, ISIAQ, HKIE, and IMechE.


Dr. Vivian Loftness, FAIA LEEDAP Paul Mellon Chair in Architecture University Professor Carnegie Mellon University

Intelligent Buildings for Resiliency, Health and Productivity

Vivian Loftness, FAIA, LEEDAP, is an internationally renowned researcher, author and educator focused on environmental design and sustainability, climate and regionalism in architecture, and the integration of advanced building systems for health and productivity. In addition to eight book chapters and over 100 journal articles, she edited the Reference Encyclopedia Sustainable Built Environments, released by Springer Publishing in 2013.

At Carnegie Mellon University, Professor Loftness holds the Paul Mellon Chair in Architecture, is one of 35 University Professors, and served a decade as Head of the School of Architecture. With over 30 years of industry and government research funding, she is a key member of Carnegie Mellon’s leadership in sustainability research and education, and contributor to the ongoing development of the Intelligent Workplace – a living laboratory of commercial building innovations for performance.

She has served on over 25 Board of Directors including EPA’s NACEPT, DOE’s FEMAC, and the National USGBC and AIA COTE Boards. She has been a member of twelve National Academy of Science panels as well as the Academy’s Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment, and given three Congressional testimonies on sustainable design. Her work has influenced national policy and building projects, including the Adaptable Workplace Lab at the U.S. General Services Administration and the Laboratory for Cognition at Electricity de France.

In the past five years, Vivian has recognized as a LEED Fellow, a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, and one of 13 Stars of Building Science by the Building Research Establishment in the UK. She received the Award of Distinction from AIA Pennsylvania, holds a National Educator Honor Award from the American Institute of Architecture Students, and a “Sacred Tree” Award from the US Green Building Council. Vivian Loftness has a Bachelors of Science and a Masters of Architecture from MIT.