NU Sustainability Seminar

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Northwestern Sustainability Lecture Series

Conceived within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northwestern by Prof. Alessandro Rotta Loria, this annual event is sponsored by The Alumnae of Northwestern University, the Center for Engineering Sustainability and Resilience, and the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern. This event addresses the analysis of questions, problems, and solutions that result from human interactions with the Earth both above and below the surface, with the aim to expand the educational and cultural experience of a large audience: from the undergraduate and graduate students of Northwestern to its faculty members, but also the industry, stakeholders, and the public.CEE is pleased to announce the launch of the Northwestern Sustainability Lecture Series – a 1-day summit wherein world-renowned experts will discuss “Earth-Human Interactions: Sustainability and Development.” This event will be held in a hybrid format on May 26, 2022, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Guild Lounge within Scott Hall at Northwestern University or remotely via Zoom.

In its first edition, the Northwestern Sustainability Lecture Series will feature keynote talks delivered by Prof. Lynn Loo (Princeton University), Prof. Lyesse Laloui (EPFL), Prof. Pamela Matson (Stanford University), Prof. Mary K. Firestone (University of California at Berkeley), Prof. Carlo Ratti (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Prof. Jan Carmeliet (ETH Zürich) on crucial sustainability subjects within the areas of Energy, Climate and the Environment, and Urban Transformations. The ultimate goal of this event is to inform and inspire present and future leaders, while recognizing excellence across the fields of applied sciences and engineering, physical sciences, social sciences, and architecture.

The event is open to the public. It will allow for an in-person audience and will also be remotely accessible. Registration is required for organizational purposes. We look forward to seeing you on this occasion.

Speakers and Sustainability Lectures


Sustainability Lecturer 1: Lynn Loo, Ph.D., Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University; Chief Executive Officer, Global Center for Maritime Decarbonisation                

Lecture title: Decarbonising international shipping: Challenges and opportunities

Sustainability Lecturer 2: Lyesse Laloui, Ph.D., N.A.E.S., Professor of Geo-Energy and Geo-Engineering and Director, Civil Engineering Section, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne                          

Lecture title: Sustainable (geo-)energies: Global progress and existing challenges

Climate and the Environment

Sustainability Lecturer 3: Pamela Matson, Ph.D., N.A.S., A.A.A.S., Professor of Environmental Studies, Stanford University                  

Lecture title: The practical pursuit of sustainability: A systems perspective

Sustainability Lecturer 4: Mary K. Firestone, Ph.D., N.A.S., Professor of Soil Microbiology and Director, Firestone Lab, University of California, Berkeley               

Lecture title: The importance of cross-kingdom interactions in soil carbon and nutrient dynamics

Urban Transformations

Sustainability Lecturer 5: Carlo Ratti, Ph.D., Professor of Urban Technologies and Planning and Director, Senseable City Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology                          

Lecture title: Senseable cities

Sustainability Lecturer 6: Jan Carmeliet, Ph.D., Professor of Building Physics and Director, Chair of Building Physics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich                          

Lecture title: Can we mitigate the extreme urban climate during heat waves, or do we have to adapt?