Kaven Hall 206
+1 (508) 8315000 x4895
Diploma of Architecture Sint-Lucas Instituut, Brussels 1990
PhD University of Florida 2000

My research and teaching activities are in the area of sustainable building design and building technology, with a special focus on the study of adaptive building enclosure systems. One of the goals of this research is to develop smart materials that can alter their thermal properties in response to changing outdoor conditions, in order to conserve energy and optimize building thermal comfort. This research entails the use of energy modeling tools, experimental investigations including synthesis of new materials, and the study of practical applications. The broader perspective of this work is to realize sustainable construction systems that minimize material consumption and optimize energy use while reducing costs. In this work we are also working with undergraduate students on projects that deal with the practical challenges of sustainable building design. Examples of such projects include participation in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competitions, which focuses on the design of zero-energy buildings. Such projects are designed to offer opportunities to students that are interested in expanding their knowledge of environmental design, energy modeling tools, new materials, construction detailing, and the practical planning and construction of building projects.

Scholarly Work

Gert Guldentops and Steven Van Dessel, “A numerical and experimental study of a cellular passive solar façade system for building thermal control”, Solar Energy, Volume 149, June 2017, Pages 102-113 (2017) 2017

Guldentops Gert, Van Dessel Steven, “Experimental and numerical study of building skins using small greenhouse cells and phase change materials” Proceedings of the 11th Conference on Advanced Building Skins, 10-11 October 2016, Bern, Switzerland 2016

Zabeti Targhi, S. Van Dessel, “Potential contribution of urban developments to outdoor thermal comfort conditions: The influence of urban geometry and form in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA” International Conference on Sustainable Design, Engineering and Construction - ICSDEC 2015, 10 - 13 May 2015, Chicago, USA 2015

Van Dessel Steven, Tahar El-Korchi, “Performance based design of a net-zero-energy house” Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment, December 12-15, 2014, Kandy, Sri Lanka. 2014


New WWl memorial at Green Hill Park

Steven Van Dessel, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and his students were highlighted in The Telegram & Gazette (scroll down to last graph) for designing the new WWl memorial at Green Hill Park, which was unveiled yesterday.

Too Hot, Too Cold? Scientists Search For The Optimal Temperature For Learning

Forbes reported online about research led by Shichao Liu to study the optimal indoor conditions for learning. Liu, Jacob Whitehill and Steven Van Dessel received $299,991 develop technologies that detect and boost student engagement in lessons by controlling classroom temperature, ventilation, and lighting.