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Circular Connecting

Catherine De Wolf, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

October 30, 2023 · 6:00 pm8:00 pm · Betts Auditorium

School of Architecture

Catherine De Wolf is Assistant Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). She is also Chair of Circular Engineering for Architecture (CEA), an interdisciplinary team of civil engineers, architects, urbanists, and computer scientists who collaborate towards automating the reuse of building materials. Through the CEA, she conducts research on digital innovation—particularly the use of AI and machine learning—towards a circular built environment. A key element in Catherine’s work is ensuring a continuous link between academia and industry. She collaborates closely with governmental institutions and pioneering industry partners on the reuse of building materials in real-world projects, such as the reuse of the glass from the Centre Pompidou in 2021, which she described as turning the caterpillar into a butterfly.

Catherine has a dual background in civil engineering and architecture from Belgium, and obtained her Ph.D. in building technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where her dissertation examined low-carbon pathways for structural design and embodied life cycle impacts of building structures. She also worked for the University of Cambridge, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), and University of Technology Delft (TU Delft). She has received a number of awards and recognitions including the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s (ACSA) Research Contribution Award (US) in 2020, International Association for Space and Shell Structures’ (IASS) Hangai Prize (JP) in 2016, and MIT’s Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Belgium Award (US) in 2015, among others.

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