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Double Expertise in Architecture and Research

Dr. Lorenza Bianco is an Italian Enhanced Eurotalents fellow, wearing two hats: architecture and research.

Published on 3 February 2017
  • What did you study at the Politecnico of Torino? What is your professional background? 

Unlike other postdoctoral researchers, my primary core area of expertise is architecture. I had my master's in architecture with a double degree program at Politecnico of Torino and Politecnico of Milano. I studied architecture and energy technology research.

I had been working for one year as an energy consultant in design firm in Torino. Indeed, after one year spent behind a desk in an office, I was quite bored by the repetitiveness of my work. I wanted to feel the excitement of research, where there is always something new and interesting to find. So I applied and I got a PhD position in building physics, in a multidisciplinary research group (TEBE group, Politecnico of Torino). I worked on innovative transparent façade on the challenging topic of the building envelope, which I studied with the perception of an architect and the technique of a building physician aiming at the integration in building of technologies for energy saving and production.

Afterwards, I chose to apply for a postdoctoral position at CEA. I arrived at CEA in January 2016.

  • Could you tell us about your research project at CEA?

I follow the construction of a new facility (named FACT, FACade Tool) designed for the evaluation of innovative façades for zero energy building. In parallel I work on the design of new building façades using renewable sources of energy. In the framework of this project, I am part of quite a big team, which gives me the opportunity to work with different people. Even though my group is quite international, we mostly work in French. I would say the project is going really well, I am happy with the progress we have made so far. 

  • What do you enjoy about your research field?

When talking about what I do here, I like to make the following comparison: at CEA, I feel like I am at Disneyland. I am like a child, getting excited at the sight of the number of experimental equipment and facilities. There are plenty of possibilities in terms of research. Everything is exponential and it makes it very stimulating.

  • How do you feel about the international dimension of your stay at CEA?

First of all, I enjoy France a lot. Chambery is a really a nice place where to live and it's close to my home town in Italy so I can come back very easily.

I think the fact that I come from Italy does not impact my work in the laboratory and all my colleagues are extremely friendly, welcoming and hard-working. My work contribution is linked to my expertise in architecture thanks to which I can bridge the gap between engineers, research and real building application.

  • Would you recommend the Enhanced Eurotalents programme?

Yes, absolutely. It gave me the amazing opportunity to focus on applied research for an extensive period of time in a very innovative CEA laboratory.