Carnegie Mellon University
August 03, 2018

Rubin Keynotes Interdisciplinary Sustainable Architecture LAB

Ed Rubin, Alumni Chair Professor of Environmental Engineering and Science, Engineering & Public Policy and Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, gave the keynote presentation at the Interdisciplinary Sustainable Architecture LAB Workshop this summer from June 10-15. The conference, hosted by the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Valencia, Spain, brought together an international audience of graduate students and faculty from six universities in Europe and North America and focused on the sustainable design of urban areas.

Interdisciplinary Sustainable Architecture LAB Workshop

CMU students and faculty (left to right): Ritu Philip (Engineering), Pragya Chauhan (Engineering, Maddi Johnson (Architecture), Prof. Ed Rubin (Engineering),Harsha Vardhan (Architecture), Prof. Stefani Danes (Architecture), Matthew Prelich (Engineering), Roshni Krishnan (Architecture).

Rubin’s keynote talk focused on sustainability challenges and opportunities posed by global climate change. His message was that the impacts of climate change will pose increasing levels of risk and vulnerability to all regions of the world, and that to avoid or minimize such impacts, social systems and technologies must be designed to make them more resilient and sustainable in the face of climate change threats.  He outlined a number of ways in which more sustainable systems could be developed, stressing the need for innovation across the landscape of social systems, technology and infrastructure upon which we rely for our well-being.

Workshop participants included a team of eight graduate students and faculty members from CMU’s College of Engineering and the Department of Architecture, who joined graduate student and faculty groups from the University of British Columbia (Canada), Cambridge University (UK), University College Cork (Ireland), Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain), which hosted the week-long workshop from June 10-15.  The workshop aimed to provide students with real-world project experience in creating more sustainable communities, buildings and infrastructure in urban areas as part of their graduate programs in sustainability studies. Recommendations from the student teams studying specific projects in the Valencia region are now being evaluated by project sponsors to determine the best paths forward.

Back in Pittsburgh, Pragya Chauhan, one of the engineering students in the program, summed up the experience of all participants as a “once in a lifetime opportunity.

Sustainability workshop participants

Sustainability Workshop participants at a reception by the Mayor at Valencia City Hall.