news center

Third international workshop on sustainability guided by Lawrence Tech professor

Release Date: June 29, 2010

Southfield, Michigan, June 29 – A professional workshop in July on sustainable buildings in Israel is the third international workshop on sustainable construction funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) that has been organized by University Distinguished Professor Nabil Grace, dean of the College of Engineering at Lawrence Technological University.

Recurring themes of the workshops are the development of innovative materials, the efficient use of energy, and new construction approaches that will lead to more efficient and sustainable construction and reduced long-term costs.

The National Science Foundation awarded grants of about $50,000 for each for the workshops:

  • “Sustainable Buildings – Materials and Energy,” July 12-13, Haifa, Israel;
  • “Sustainable Green Building in Desert Environment,” March 22-24, 2010, Cairo, Egypt;
  • “Life Cycle Assessment for Sustainable Materials for Infrastructure,” Oct. 21-22, 2009, Sapporo, Japan.

“The workshops organized by Professor Grace and his colleagues play an important role in supporting research on sustainable building science across diverse disciplines in many different countries,” said Lawrence Bank, program director of the Structural Materials and Mechanics Division at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va. “Professor Grace is a master at bringing people together and focusing their energies on important infrastructure problems – his dedication to these workshop activities is phenomenal.” 

The workshops bring together leading scholars from the United States, many of whom have strong ties with other countries, with experts from the host countries. Lawrence Tech and the host institutions will submit proposals to NSF for joint research projects.

In organizing the Israel workshop in July, Grace has been joined by two professors from Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, and professors for the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the University of California, Davis.

“The workshop is intended as a meeting place where invited American and Israeli scientists working on building sustainability can meet with experts from various other disciplines to discuss energy and materials for buildings,” Grace said. “Reducing energy consumption of our buildings is a top priority around the globe, and it is extremely helpful to get the best ideas from other countries facing the same challenge.”

The first conference held last October in Japan focused on life cycle assessment for materials used in the construction of bridges and other infrastructure projects. Grace is an internationally recognized expert on the use of innovative materials to increase the lifespan of bridges and greatly reduce maintenance costs.

The second workshop held in Egypt focused on sustainable building materials and water management needed for housing in a desert environment.

In addition, Grace will be a speaker at another NSF-funded workshop, “Green Architecture,” to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 3-8.

Lawrence Technological University,, offers more than 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, and programs are also offered in Detroit, Lansing, Petoskey and Traverse City. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.