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Dr. Shichao Liu

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

Human-environment interaction for occupants’ wellbeing


Buildings are important components in the chain of environmental sustainability and consumption systems. Building sectors account for approximately 400/o of primary energy consumption in the United States. We spend 900/o our lifetime indoors and have tremendous opportunities of interacting with our built environment (e.g., houses, offices, schools, laboratories) to enhance environmental quality & sustainability, and occupants’ well-being. Despite the broad interests in smart and healthy buildings, the research on the interaction between occupants and buildings is still in its early stages. This seminar focuses on the interaction between occupants and the indoor environment for wellbeing. It will first discuss predicting personal thermal comfort using wearable sensors ad possibilities to incorporate personal comfort systems in smart buildings. Then the talk will introduce a robotic platform to assess indoor environment quality and identify possible pollution sources. Recent research progress will be shared on how classroom physical environment influences students’ emotions and learning performance.

Biographical Profile

Shichao Liu, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). His research focuses on the built and urban environment, occupant-building-environment interaction, and integrated design for sustainable and healthy buildings. Dr. Liu envisions his research promoting built sustainability and occupant well-being through the interface among building science, information science, public health, and social science. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of Technical Committee 2.1: Physiology and Human Environment in the Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

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