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Building the Future: A Distinguished Lecture Series for Academics and Professionals

This virtual lecture series provides a forum to discuss each strategic theme and build a broad community that includes industry professionals, researchers, educators, and students. We aim to break down traditional barriers between the lab and the field, and accelerate research into practice.

Through presentations from leading experts and panel discussions that bring new insights, this series explores a range of perspectives on the five strategic directions. To be notified as registration opens for each lecture, sign up for our email list at the bottom of the page.

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Shaping Resource Flows | Buildings: A Climate Solution with Bruce King

Friday, March 12 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET

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Bruce King is the author of “The New Carbon Architecture,” and has been a structural engineer for 40 years, designing buildings of every size and type all over the world. He is also author of the ASTM standard for earthen construction, the Marin County Low-Carbon Concrete code, and the books “Buildings of Earth and Straw,” “Making Better Concrete,” and “Design of Straw Bale Buildings.” Mr. King is also the Founder and Director of the Ecological Building Network (EBNet), a non-profit information resource that sponsors the BuildWell Source, an online library of low-carbon and carbon storing materials.

Buildings: A Climate Solution tells the emerging story of architecture that heals the climate by storing more carbon than ever emitted: Building to cool the planet. Around the world, the theory and the practice of making “carbon smart” buildings is being developed by a rapidly expanding network of experts and innovators. Here we will explore the time value of carbon, low-carbon concrete and the new family of low-carbon building codes, and plant-based, carbon-storing materials, mapping an ambitious but practical pathway toward a built environment that has net zero operating emissions but also acts as a massive carbon sponge.


  • Lucca Henrion, Research Fellow, Global CO2 Initiative, University of Michigan
  • Lionel Lemay, Executive Vice President/Division Head, Structures and Sustainability, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA)
  • Missy Stults, Sustainability and Innovations Manager, City of Ann Arbor

Sponsored by 
A2 Zero logo

American Concrete Institute logo

Center for Low Carbon Built Environment logo

Global CO2 Initiative logo


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Autonomy with Albert Cho

Friday, April 2 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET

More information coming soon

Albert Cho is Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer at Xylem. In this role, he is responsible for driving Xylem’s efforts to digitize water infrastructure, as well as the continued development of business strategies to achieve Xylem’s vision and create social and economic value. Before joining Xylem, Al worked as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary at the State Department, where he was a White House Fellow and served on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff. He has also been an executive at Cisco Systems, worked at McKinsey & Company, and served at the United Nations on a global plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Al serves on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Water Alliance and the Canadian Water Network, and the Programme Committee for Singapore International Water Week. He is also an Honorary Research Associate of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

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Smart Infrastructure Finance with Newsha K. Ajami

More information coming soon

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Adaptation: Coming Soon

More information coming soon

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Past Event Recordings

Human Habitat Experience | Senseable Cities with Carlo Ratti

Friday, February 26, 2021

Recording coming soon

An architect and engineer by training, Professor Carlo Ratti teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he directs the Senseable City Lab, and is a founding partner of the international design and innovation office Carlo Ratti Associati. He graduated from the Politecnico di Torino and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, and later earned his MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK. A leading voice in the debate on new technologies’ impact on urban life and design, Carlo has co-authored over 500 publications, including “The City of Tomorrow” (Yale University Press, with Matthew Claudel), and holds several technical patents.

Senseable Cities: The way we live, work, and play is very different today than it was just a few decades ago, thanks in large part to a network of connectivity that now encompasses most people on the planet. In a similar way, today we are at the beginning of a new technological revolution: the Internet is entering the physical space – the traditional domain of architecture and design – becoming an “Internet of Things” or IoT. As such, it is opening the door to a variety of applications that – in a similar way to what happened with the first wave of the Internet – can encompass many domains: from energy to mobility, from production to citizen participation. The contribution from Prof. Carlo Ratti will address these issues from a critical point of view through projects by the Senseable City Laboratory, a research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the design office Carlo Ratti Associati.


  • Kenichi Soga, Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Geoffrey Thün, Professor of Architecture and Senior Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Sponsored by
AEC logo

Taubman logo

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