Juliana Felkner

Assistant Professor

Juliana M. Felkner was born in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. She studied architecture and spatial planning at the University of Kansas and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm. She worked for Ateliers Jean Nouvel in Paris before moving to Zurich to conduct her Ph.D. research at ETH in the Chair of Structural Design and the Chair of Structural Mechanics. She is a member of the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (SIA). She started as a tenure-track assistant professor at the School of Architecture in 2016 and is an advisor in the Center for Sustainable Development.

Prof. Felkner’s research and teaching addresses the societal challenges that come with increasing urbanization of the world. Smart urban growth requires holistic strategies ranging from historic preservation and spatial development to architecture as materialization of the planning process and energy-related questions pertaining to a sustainable built environment.

For example, inner densification as a means of transforming an area towards more efficient use of land means that in both Europe and North America, mid-rise and tall buildings will become an increasingly important building typology with which to contend. Furthermore, the transformation of historic and industrial sites into residential areas has to be harmonized with the aims of historic preservation.

Finally, a holistic approach demands that buildings be designed or retrofitted such that they operate with low carbon emissions and integrate into the urban fabric.

Prof. Felkner received the Faculty Innovation Grant for 2017 for the project, "Form and Energy: Bridging Engineering and Architectural Education through a collaborative project utilizing interactive architectural models, sensors, control systems and real-time data"

She is currently working with the School of Engineering on a project, "Integrated Transformation of Urban, Building, and Energy Systems," which simulates programmatic spatial development scenarios resulting from integrated modeling of the energy system and the built environment.


  • Ph.D., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich
  • M.Sc. Spatial Planning / Built Environment, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm
  • Master of Architecture, University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design and Planning
  • BA English and Environmental Studies, University of Kansas


Nagy, Z., Felkner, J., et.al., “IMPACT: Integrated Multi-Domain Emission Pathways for Cities Under Land-Use Policy, Technology Adoption, Climate Change and Grid Decarbonization” (under review) pre-print available here: https://arxiv.org/abs/2202.07458

Reeves, D.C., Beck, A., Felkner, J., Nagy, Z., Who makes It in the Long Run: Estimating Equity Impacts in Policy and Land Development Scenario Projections, Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM), March 22, 2022.

Felkner, J., Mbata, E., “Energy analysis of Texas Metropolitan Areas for climate change mitigation using LiDar, CISBAT 2021 Carbon-neutral cities – energy efficiency and renewables in the digital era, Lausanne, J. Phys. Conf Ser. 2042.

Marshall, B., Felkner, J., et al, “Analysis of supplemental dehumidifcation for increased energy efficiency of shoulder seasons based on climate change predictions in Austin, Texas” CISBAT 2021 Carbon-neutral cities – energy efficiency and renewables in the digital era, Lausanne,  J. Phys. Conf Ser. 2042.

Felkner, J., Marshall, B., et al, “Linking urban scenarios with energy simulations for dense urban planning under climate change” Journal of Physics Conf. Ser. 2042.

Patil, V., Bizcarguenaga, M., Lieberknecht, K, Felkner, J., “Retrofitting solutions for a campus building to mitigate urban heat island in a hot humid climate” 2021 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 2042 

Uckok, I., Addington, M., Felkner, J., “The impact of daylight presence on cooling strategies” energy simulations of a test room in Austin, Texas and Geneva, Switzerland.” 2021 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 2042.

Demir Dilsiz, A., Vazquez-Canteli, J., Felkner, J., Nagy, Z., “Future Refurbishment and Reconstruction Scenarios Using CityDNN Under the Impact of Climate Change.” PLEA 2020 Planning Post Carbon Cities.

Dilsiz, A.D., Felkner, J., Habert, G., Nagy, Z. “Embodied versus operational energy in  residential and commercial buildings: where should we focus?” Journal of Physics:  Conference Series 1343 (1), 012178. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 2019 Nov 1). IOP Publishing.

Felkner, J., Brown, J. Vazquez-Canteli, J., Nagy, Z. Urban Densification and Housing Typology for Climate Change Mitigation CISBAT Climate Resilient Cities- Energy Efficiency and Renewables in the Digital Era, 2019 International Scientific Conference EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland.

Felkner, J., Brown, J., Vázquez-Canteli, J., Schutte, R., Castejón, N., Nagy, Z., “The Impact of Climate Change and Envelope Retrofit on Urban Energy Consumption, Comfort, and Overheating in Austin, Texas”  PLEA 2020 Planning Post Carbon Cities.

Felkner, J., Chatzi, E., Schwartz, J. Framework for Balancing Structural Efficiency and Operational Energy in Tall Buildings” Journal of Architectural Engineering, 2019 25(3). *Best paper award.

Bixler, P.R., Lieberknecht, K., Leite, F., Felkner, J., Oden, M. Richter, S., Atshan, S., Zilveti, A., Thomas, R. “An Observatory Framework for Metropolitan Change: Understanding Urban Social–Ecological–Technical Systems in Texas and Beyond” Sustainability, July, 2019.

Kim, D., Felkner, J. A Sustainable Strategy to Balance Between Historic Preservation and Sustainable Development in Washington DC”, ASCE International Conference on Computing in Civil Engineering (I3CE) 2019

Kim, D., Felkner, J., “A Sustainable Approach to the Adaptive Reuse of Historic Brick Buildings: Analysis of Energy Efficiency Strategies for Historic Façade Retrofits” International Building Physics Conference (IBPC) 2018 Syracuse N.Y.

Felkner, J., Schwartz, J., and Chatzi, E. “Tall Buildings: Structure and Energy,” in Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA), Edinburgh, 2017

Felkner, J. “Multi-objective design balancing structural, environmental, and architectural considerations.”, PhD Thesis, ETH Zurich, 2016 doi: 10.3929/ethz-a-010689078

Felkner, J., Chatzi, E., and Kotnik, T. “Interactive Truss Design using Particle Swarm Optimization and NURBS curves” Journal of Building Engineering, vol 4, pp. 60-74, 2015 doi: 10.1016/j.jobe.2015.08.004

Felkner, J., Chatzi, E., and Kotnik, T. “Interactive particle swarm optimization for the architectural design of truss structures.” In Proc. IEEE Symp. on Comp. Intelligence for Engineering Solutions (CIES), 2013, pp. 15-22, doi: 10.1109/CIES.2013.6611723

Felkner, J., Chatzi, E., and Kotnik, T. “Architectural feedback in the structural optimization process.” In Proc. Structures and Architecture: Concepts, Applications, and Challenges, 2013 doi: 10.1201/b15267-95

Felkner, J., Chatzi, E. “Effect of Structure and Morphology on Natural Ventilation Potentials, Comfort, and Energy Use in Tall Buildings”, in Proc. 8th Windsor Conference: Counting the Cost of Comfort in a changing world, 2014

Lesnikowski, W., Felkner, J. “Krystalicyne drapacze chmur w sasiedztwie palacu kultury?” (“Crystalline skyscrapers in the area of the Palace of Culture?”) Archivolta 4(40) / 2008

Felkner, J. “Improving American Cities through Sustainable Transit: Lessons Embodied in Stockholm, Sweden”, MSc Thesis, KTH Stockholm, 2009


Felkner, J. “Climate Change, Population Growth, and Energy Consumption in Texas,” in Sustainable Design – Innovation on Middle Ground, PLATFORM Magazine, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin, 2021.

Daepp, M., Fitzmaurice, H., Janzen, S., Ponce, J., Roseway, A., Felkner, J., Copfer, W., Pinfold, W., Niyogi, D., “Popping into Focus: Community Engagement for Environmental Impact and Awareness”, EcoPod Publications, Microsoft Research, July 2020.

Felkner, J. “Vertical Extensions for Austin, Texas: Experiments in Balancing Urban Densification and Historic Preservation” in Complexity, Scale, Power, PLATFORM Magazine, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin, 2019.

Lieberknecht, K., Oden, M., Leite, F., Bixler, P., Felkner, J., et. al., “People, Land and Water: Stories of Metropolitan Growth,” Texas Metro Observatory Report for Planet Texas 2050 Bridging Barriers, University of Texas at Austin, 2019.

Juliana Felkner Headshot
  • Sustainable Design and Construction
  • Historic Preservation
  • Urban Planning
  • Urban Design
  • Structural Design
  • Tall Building Structures
  • Smart Buildings and Cities

Sustainable Architectural Design

Research Design

Structures I

Environmental Controls I

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