Nourhan is an Egyptian architect and Research Assistant at the Urban Metabolism Group at MIT. She received her BSc. from Cairo University in 2008 and her MSc. in Environmental studies in 2012. After her graduation, she worked as a teaching assistant at the Department of Architecture at Cairo University and a research assistant at the British University in Egypt. She is passionate about the developing world urbanism and how cities evolve and function from one place to the other. Aside from her academic work, Nourhan co-founded her own practice (Plus Architecture Cairo in 2010 and Riyadh in 2014), where she worked as a licensed architect on several projects within the Gulf area and Egypt.
Nourhan is interested in climate change and possible impacts in developing regions. Her work is focused on Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She is focused on exploring prospects for climate change mitigation through sustainable development of energy systems. Especially addressing main obstacles and challenges facing the region with respect to decarbonization of energy systems, low carbon energy supply and renewable energy technologies. Thus, to assist policy maker in individual countries to reach regional climate targets. Currently, Nourhan is developing an online web-tool dedicated to the MENA region (MENA-CC). This tool seeks to contribute to the enrichments of climate change mitigation potentials in the region alongside with developing more rigorous INDCs (Intended National Determined Contribution) for both country level and regional level. Her hope is to add depth and momentum to the climate change dialogue and improve the understanding of the region’s energy future.
John E. Fernández, class of 1985, has been on the faculty of MIT since 1999. He is a full Professor and Director of the Building Technology Program in the Department of Architecture and is Director of the Urban Metabolism Group, a highly multidisciplinary research group focused on the resource intensity of cities and design and technology pathways for future urbanization. He is also co-Director of the International Design Center at MIT, a large internationally funded center for design studies across engineering and architecture.
He is author of two books, numerous articles in scientific and design journals including Science, the Journal of Industrial Ecology, Building and Environment, Energy Policy and others, author of nine book chapters and a frequently invited speaker at conferences and symposia worldwide. He has organized, chaired or co-chaired 7 international conferences. He is Chair of Sustainable Urban Systems for the International Society of Industrial Ecology and Associate Editor of the journal Sustainable Cities and Society.
Fernández has served on several National Science Foundation Review Panels, as a member of the Department of Energy Roadmap 2020 Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Building Envelope Technology and Environmental Council of the National Institute of Building Science. He also served as a member of the Research Committee of the United States Green Building Council leading to the publication of A National Green Building Research Agenda in 2007. He is a Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge having been a Visiting Research Fellow in 2003. He was MIT Class of 1957 Career Development Professor from 2002 to 2005 and previously served as the Director of Research for Sustainable Energy Systems of the MIT Portugal Program.
Fernández is currently a Board member of New Ecology, Inc. in Boston, and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Center for Sustainable Energy of the Fraunhofer Institute, also in Boston. Fernández has participated in the launch of two startup companies in the past 5 years. Fernández has also served many years on a number of MIT committees including the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, the Committee on the Undergraduate Program, the ROTC Oversight committee, and currently the Committee on the Innovation Initiative, the Faculty Policy Committee, and the Institute Planning Committee. He has also served on various special groups and task force including the subcommittee on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons, the Working Group on the Future of Teaching and Learning Spaces at MIT, the School of Architecture and Planning Dean’s Diversity Committee, the Dean’s Energy and Environment Council, and currently, the Campus Sustainability Task Force, the MIT Materials and Waste Management Working Group, and the Metropolitan Warehouse Advisory Group.