Assistant Professor

Juliana M. Felkner was born in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. She studied architecture and 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 PhD 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).

Her research interests include the role of the built environment in addressing some of society’s greatest challenges through the efficient use of land, construction materials and energy. The tall building serves as an application for her research on integrating design and technology to improve urban conditions, building performance and human comfort.

She is responsible for teaching:
-Construction III
-Tall Buildings: Structure and Climate
-Environmental Controls I

As a member of the Junior League of Austin, she is committed to FIT (Food in Tummies), a volunteer program that provides healthy food for the weekends to approximately 1,500 children in Austin on a weekly basis.

She also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Faculty Women’s Organization steering committee at UT Austin.


  • Ph.D., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich
  • M.Sc. Planning, 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


Felkner, J., Schwartz, J., and Chatzi, E. “Multi-objective optimization of structural efficiency and operational energy for a tall building”, under review

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

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

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

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

photo of Juliana Felkner
  • Sustainable Design and Construction, Structural Design, Tall Building Structures, Smart Buildings and Cities