Keynote Speakers



Nathalie Röbbel is a technical officer in the Department of Public Health, Environmental, and Social Determinants of Health (SDH) at WHO in Geneva and is currently leading the department’s work on developing WHO Housing and Health Guidelines. Her main tasks are to provide technical support for streamlining social determinants of health within environmental health programs. Before joining WHO HQ, she worked as a technical officer at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, in Bonn and Copenhagen, where she was responsible for environmental health performance reviews and involved in several housing and health related projects. Ms Röbbel holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhems University in Bonn, Germany.

Click here to download Nathalie’s presentation.


Nevil Pierse Photo


Dr. Nevil Pierse is Deputy Director of He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme. Originally a statistician by training, his current work is done in partnership with a wide variety of stakeholders including government and community organisations, and is focused on the design and implementation of randomised trials in the home and community.

His previous studies have shown the benefits of efficient home heating and insulation, which was instrumental in the $300 Million EECA, Warm Up New Zealand, Heat Smart programme. This programme has delivered over $1 Billion in saving for New Zealand. Nevil’s other work includes the HRC funded Home Injury Prevention Intervention, which showed that simple home repairs and modification reduced the number of falls in homes by 27%. He was part of the group awarded the 2014 NZ Prime Ministers prize for Science. He is currently working on the SHELTHER study which looks at home interventions to prevent rehospitalisation of children with respiratory disease.

Click here for Nevil’s presentation.


Yinping Zhang Photo Yinping Zhang, Ph.D, is professor of Dept. of Building Science, Dean of Beijing Key Laboratory of Indoor Air Quality, Head of Building Environment Test Center, Tsinghua University.

Zhang got his Bachelor degree (1985), Master degree (1988) and Ph.D degree (1991) in University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). He was a visiting scholar or professor in Stuttgart University, Germany (1994.5-95.5), Tokyo University, Japan (1996.10-12), and Technique University of Denmark (DTU) (2004.10-12) and the Otto Mønsted visiting professor of DTU, Denmark (2007/2008, 3 months).

His research interests are indoor air quality and building energy efficiency. He has published over 160 inter. journal papers (H index=36 on Web of Science Core Collection). He is member of editorial boards of over 10 Chinese IAQ related standards. He has given 15 keynote speeches in Inter. Conf. including the 11th and 13th Inter. Conf. of Indoor Air (Copenhagen, 2008; Hong Kong, 2014).

He is a deputy-chairman and the secretary-in-chief of Chinese Association of Indoor Environment and Health, fellow of Inter. Academy of Indoor Air Science, Chair of Scientific and Technological Committee (STC) 22-Air Cleaning of Inter. Society of Indoor Air Quality (ISIAQ). Zhang is serving as associate editor of Energy and Buildings, member on editorial boards of other 6 inter. journals including Indoor Air, Building and Environment and PLoS ONE. He has received a series of awards such as Outstanding Young Researcher Award of NSFC (2007), the 1st Prize of Natural Science of Ministry of Education of China (2010) and the 2nd Prize of Ministry of Education of China (2005).

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Dr Iain MacGill is an Associate Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications at UNSW Australia, and Joint Director (Engineering) for the University’s Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM).

Iain’s teaching and research interests at UNSW include electricity industry restructuring and the Australian National Electricity Market, sustainable energy generation technologies, distributed energy resources, energy efficiency options, and energy and climate regulation, market design and policy. CEEM itself undertakes interdisciplinary research in the monitoring, analysis and design of energy and environmental markets and their associated policy frameworks. It brings together UNSW researchers from the Faculties of Engineering, Business, Science, Law and Arts and Social Sciences, with project funding from partners including the Australian Federal Government, CSIRO, State Governments and industry. Iain leads work in two of CEEM’s three research areas, Sustainable Energy Transformation, including energy technology assessment and renewable energy integration; and Distributed Energy Systems including distributed generation and demand-side participation. To learn more about CEEM visit the Centre website –  www.ceem.unsw.edu.au.

Click here for Iain’s presentation.




Sherry Ahrentzen, PhD, is Shimberg Professor of Housing Studies at the University of Florida. Her research focusing on housing and community design that fosters the physical, social and economic health of households has been published extensively in journals and books, and presented at national and international conferences. She has over 75 published articles, chapters, and reports, and has received more than 30 research and instructional grants from various agencies and organizations.

Her recently completed research involved leading a multidisciplinary team to examine the impacts of a green building retrofit on resident health and indoor environmental quality in the housing of low-income seniors in Phoenix, Arizona. She has also co-authored a book with Kim Steele on designing and developing housing for adults with autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions, At Home with Autism: Designing for the Spectrum. She currently co-leads a multidisciplinary team of faculty and graduate students examining building/infrastructure performance for occupant health, focusing on older adults in residential settings. This team is one of the initial cohorts of the AIA Consortium of Health and Design Research.

In 2003 she received the Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture; in 2009 she received the Career Award from the Environmental Design Research Association; and in 2014, she was the recipient of the ARCC James Haecker Award for Distinguished Leadership in Architectural Research.