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Philippe Block: Strength Through Geometry
Meyerson Hall, 210 South 34th Street, B1
Philippe Block is Professor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, where he directs the Block Research Group (BRG) together with Dr. Tom Van Mele. The BRG focuses on equilibrium analysis, computational form finding, optimization and fabrication of curved surface structures, specializing in unreinforced masonry vaults and thin concrete shells. Prof. Block is also the director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication. Within the NCCR, the BRG develops innovative structural design strategies using bespoke prefabrication, pushing construction innovation.
Block studied architecture and structural engineering at the VUB in Belgium, and at MIT in the USA, where he earned his PhD in 2009. With the BRG and as partner of Ochsendorf DeJong & Block (ODB Engineering), he applies his research into practice on the structural assessment of historic monuments and the design and engineering of novel compression structures. He has won numerous awards for his research, has lectured at top universities and leading engineering and architecture offices worldwide, and is regularly invited as an expert consultant.