Fernandez named new leader of MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative


October 23, 2015

john fernandez esi head architecture

John E. Fernandez, a professor of building technology in the Department of Architecture, has been named as the new director of MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI), a campuswide initiative launched in 2014. Fernandez succeeds Susan Solomon, the Ellen Swallow Richards Professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, who has served as the Initiative’s founding director.

“I’m honored to be taking over from such an eminent scientist,” says Fernandez, who has served on the MIT faculty for 16 years. “It’s really humbling to hear her talk about her work and be given the opportunity to extend the reach of the ESI.”

Fernandez’s appointment was announced today in a letter to the MIT community from Provost Martin Schmidt and Vice President for Research Maria Zuber.

“Professor Fernandez approaches this role as a world expert on high-performance, sustainable building materials, as a leading scholar on the resources and infrastructure of cities — home to more than half the human population — and as a practicing architect who has led the design for more than 2.5 million square feet of new construction in cities from Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles to Jakarta, Tokyo, and Shanghai,” Schmidt and Zuber wrote. “A member of our faculty since 1999, he founded and directs the Urban Metabolism Group, a highly multidisciplinary research group that studies how intelligent design and technology can reduce the resource intensity of cities.”  Read more

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