Professor Thomas Spiegelhalter Awarded European Union’s Erasmus Plus Grant to Conduct Sustainability Design Research


Associate Professor Thomas Spiegelhalter and Co-Director of  FIU College of Communications, Architecture and the Arts’ (CARTA) Structures and Environmental Technologies Lab (SET-Lab) was awarded the European Union’s Erasmus Plus grant to conduct research and thesis work on Parametric-Algorithmic Sustainability Design and Engineering in Genoa, Italy.

The Erasmus Plus grant funds the exchange program between FIU CARTA and UNIGE-Architecture & Design students and faculty. Spiegelhalter was the first FIU-faculty exchange participant in Genoa from July 1 to August 1, 2017.

Spiegelhalter during this time participated in the International Workshop and Symposium “Rebel Batters / Social Matters” organized by Universita degli Studi di Genoa ( UNIGE), Dipartimento di Architettura e Design from July 3 to July 9 in Gavoglio, a former military barrack complex in Genoa. This international workshop was organized by KAAU (Knowledge Alliance Advanced Urbanism), UNIGE and the European URBACT Local Group that promotes urban transformation to serve local needs, to generate innovative proposals for transforming the former military barracks of Caserma Gavoglio in the Lagaccio valley.

Approximately 100 students from Italy, Spain and Germany in teams of ten made innovative proposals to transform the complex. A conference and round table was held on Wednesday, July 5 and included Spiegelhalter’s lecture on “Carbon Neutral Architecture and Design Protocols”. He showcased his best practices and case studies on carbon-neutral design/built projects, mitigation of sea level rise, and resilient blue infrastructures that embrace living and working with water.

In addition, Spiegelhalter was also a co-supervisor of the final thesis of two UNIGE graduate students who created their thesis at the Miami Beach Urban Studios from Fall 2016 to Spring 2017. The thesis included also supervisors from UNIGE Professors Renata Morbudicci and Christiano Lepratti. It focused on parametric-algorithmic design proposal which including elements of visual programming, scripting and coding for an carbon-neutral, adaptive, optimized building complex in Miami Beach that adapts to Sea Level Rise. The final Master Thesis presentation was on July 21st at the UNIGE Engineering Department. The master thesis was awarded top honors, 30 con lode, and will be published in the research outreach journal of the UNIGE Politecnico.

Spiegelhalter also engaged with Prof. Daniele Caviglia and Dr. Matteo Colli, Department of Biophysical and Electronic Engineering (DIBE) of the Unige Politecnico discussing their project on digital environmental monitoring. Furthermore Spiegelhalter met with Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s Giuseppe Semprini, responsible for the Genoa office’s integration of BIM technology; discussed the transformation of the design process integrating environmental and building performance modelling technologies, and possibilities of a collaborative publication and future FIU architecture student internships.

To view more of Spiegelhalters projects and scientific collaborations in Genoa and information on the Erasmus Plus grant, please visit the FIU Genoa site here.

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KAAU Knowledge Alliance for Advanced Urbanism:

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