As Assistant Professor of Circular Engineering for Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), Prof. Catherine De Wolf is conducting research on digital innovation towards a circular built environment. She is the director of the Chair of Circular Engineering for Architecture (CEA). The CEA lab is an interdisciplinary team of civil engineers, architects, urbanists, and computer scientists who collaborate towards automating the reuse of building materials. Catherine De Wolf is also the founder of De Wolf Environmental Architecture Thinking. A key element in Catherine's work is ensuring a continuous link between academia and industry. Therefore, she works with real-world examples such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
After studying Civil Engineering and Architecture at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), she obtained a Masters of Science in Building Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This was followed by a PhD in Architecture: Building Technology at MIT with Prof. John Ochsendorf. Her dissertation was about low carbon pathways for structural design and embodied life cycle impacts of building structures. During her PhD, she also worked in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, as well as in the Center for Natural Resources and the Environment in Kuwait and the African Urban Metabolism Network in South Africa. She also has an education in documentary filmmaking.
Previously, Catherine lectured and conducted research in Design and Construction Management at the University of Technology Delft (TU Delft), after completing a postdoc in the Structural Xploration Lab (SXL) within the smart living lab at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), co-funded by Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships from the European Commission and the Swiss Excellence schollarship. Other professional experiences include working for Arup, Ney & Partners and other leading architectural and structural design firms. She was one of the initiators of the Structural Engineers 2050 Commitment Initiative with the Carbon Leadership Forum and companies such as Arup and Thornton Tomasetti.