Public Science Lecture Series

Public Science Lecture Series

Public Science Lecture Series

Hosted by Physics and Space Sciences, the Public Lecture Series is an evening lecture on a topic of general interest in science. After the lecture, attendees are invited to visit the Olin Physical Sciences Building rooftop to view the stars from the Ortega telescope, weather permitting. 



Lectures are typically held 4th Friday of each month during the academic year.

Fall 2018

October 26th, Dr. Jorge Sousa, Stanford University.

“The role of fluid dynamics in the design of sustainable cities”

Cities accommodate more than 50% of the world population, and buildings are responsible for a major portion of the worldwide energy consumption. With the expected future growth of urbanized areas, the years ahead present a window of opportunity for developing sustainable and comfortable urban environments. In this talk, we will see how natural ventilation can be used to significantly reduce the energy consumption of buildings under certain climate conditions. Instead of using energy-intensive mechanical cooling systems, natural ventilation leverages the freely available resources such as wind and outdoor air to cool down the building and provide comfort to building occupants. The talk will focus on Stanford University’s Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environmental and Energy (Y2E2) building, which uses natural ventilation during the night to reduce its energy consumption during the day. We will additionally see how computational urban wind predictions and smart control methodologies can be used to develop more sustainable and comfortable environments.

Jorge Sousa is a post-doctoral research fellow at Stanford University in the Civil and Environmental department. His current research focuses on the experimental and numerical analysis of urban wind flows and natural ventilation systems. Before joining Stanford he was a post-doctoral researcher at Purdue University where he worked on the analysis of advanced gas turbine engines and turbine design. He received a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal, a Research Master in fluid dynamics from the von Karman Institute in Belgium, and a Ph.D. from the Université d’Orleans in France.


Spring 2019

January 25th, Dr. Erin Kara, University of Maryland.

February 22nd, Dr. Misty Bentz, Georgia State University.

March 22nd, TBA

April 26, 2019, Dr. Tabetha Boyajian, Louisiana State University. 


8:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m. - Lecture.
9:00 p.m - 10:30 p.m. - Public observatory open house, weather permitting.

Locations and Parking

F. W. Olin Engineering Complex, auditorium room 118 (lecture).

F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Building, 4th floor accessed via elevator (public observatory open house, weather permitting).

Once on campus, the nearest parking is on "Engineering Street" and in the "Panther Place".

View campus map