Kate Simonen

Kate Simonen
The Edward and Mary Allen Lecture in Structural Design

Presented with the Building Technology group as part of the MIT Fall 2023 Architecture Lecture Series.

ONLINE Webcast: http://youtube.com/mitarchitecture

6:00 PM

The importance of decarbonizing structures -eliminating the emissions resulting from manufacturing, using and disposing of the materials used to construct buildings and infrastructure-is inarguable. Approximately 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to just two major structural materials, cement and steel. We will not meet global climate goals unless we address these significant emissions.

While lower carbon structural solutions are available today and novel methods and materials are emerging, the pathway to totally decarbonize structures remains uncertain. The changes required to building design and construction practice, material production and social and economic systems are dramatic. Professor Simonen will draw connections between past evidence, present potential, and future pathways speculating on some of the structures that show promise to help us achieve decarbonization goals while we build the future.

Kate Simonen is the founding director of the Carbon Leadership Forum and Professor of Architecture at the University of Washington. Licensed as an architect and structural engineer, she connects significant professional experience in high performance building design and technical expertise in environmental life cycle assessment to spur collective action to bring net embodied carbon to zero through cutting-edge research, cross-sector collaboration, and the incubation of new approaches.

She is an honorary fellow of the UK's Institution of Structural Engineers and was named Engineering News Record Top 25 Newsmaker in 2020 for her impact rallying industry to reduce embodied carbon. Under her leadership, the Carbon Leadership Forum has grown to become globally recognized for advancing embodied carbon data, methods and policy as well as inspiring and empowering collective action in the building sector through advances in low carbon data, methods and policies.

This lecture will be held in person in Huntington Hall, 10-250 and streamed online. 

Lectures are free and open to the public. Lectures will be held Thursdays at 6 PM ET in 7-429 (Long Lounge) and streamed online unless otherwise noted. Registration required to attend in-person. Register here or watch the webcast on Youtube.