Yasemin Kologlu (facilitator)
Yasemin Kologlu is a design director in SOM’s New York office. Kologlu adopts a forward-thinking and holistic approach to design that integrates wellbeing, environmental design, and technology. She is a strong advocate for equality, diversity, and innovation in the design industry. Kologlu joined the firm in 2004 and has since worked in SOM’s New York and London offices. Her portfolio of completed projects is diverse—it includes innovative headquarters, near-zero-energy offices, and net zero-carbon residential and mixed-use developments. She has extensive experience working on projects in North America and Europe, including 400 Fifth Avenue in New York, the United States Census Bureau headquarters in Maryland, the JTI headquarters and United Nations campus in Geneva, and the Karlatornet in Gothenburg—the tallest residential tower in Scandinavia. Kologlu is an industry recognized leader and mentor in sustainable design and construction. She is a founder and firmwide leader of SOM’s Climate Action Group, which promotes stronger sustainable practices in our built environment. She is part of the Carbon Leadership Forum NY (CLFNY) Steering Committee, AIA New York’s Committee on the Environment (COTE), and the Building Energy Exchange (BE-Ex) Architect Advisory Council, and has contributed to multiple industry advisory groups to help shape New York City and State policies on carbon and energy. She continues to spearhead numerous environmental design research initiatives at SOM, and is committed to pluralism in design in practice.
Chris Neidl is the co-founder of OpenAir, a global volunteer collective launched in 2019 to advance carbon dioxide removal (CDR) through collaborative, member-driven R&D and advocacy missions. In this capacity Chris leads and contributes to multiple missions focused on realizing pro-CDR policies on the state and municipal level. He also serves as an advisor to Violet and Cyan, two open-source miniature direct air carbon capture development projects launcehed and supported by OpenAir community members. Chris brings to this latest role fifteen years of career experience in the renewable energy sector, spanning diverse research, activist and project management roles in both urban and “off-grid” contexts throughout North America, South Asia and East Africa. Neidl is an upstate New York native, and currently resides in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CarbonCure Technologies
Rob Niven is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CarbonCure Technologies, the global leader in carbon dioxide (CO₂) removal technologies for the concrete industry. Rob has the simple goal of making concrete sustainability both profitable and easy for industry. Under his direction, CarbonCure and its partners are achieving their mission to reduce 500 megatonnes of CO₂ emissions annually. Rob has received countless international awards recognizing his leadership in sustainability, innovation and technology development including the Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, the 2016 Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award, the Cleantech Group’s Top 100 Global Cleantech Companies and the BloombergNEF New Energy Pioneers Award. Rob holds an MSc in Environmental Engineering from McGill University and a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Victoria, British Columbia. In his spare time, Rob is an avid outdoors enthusiast and devotes his time to nature conservation and environmental community events.
Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder
Dr. Wil Srubar is an associate professor of civil and architectural engineering and materials science at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he leads the Living Materials Laboratory. Dr. Srubar holds a PhD from Stanford University, as well as BS and MS degrees from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin, respectively. To date, his laboratory has received >$8M in sponsored research funding to develop and commercialize low-carbon, carbon-storing, biomimetic, and living material technologies for the built environment. In addition, Dr. Srubar is co-founder of three start-up companies, Prometheus Materials, Minus Materials, and Aureus Earth. His work has been highlighted by The New York Times, NPR, and The Washington Post.
Senior Charging Policy Manager, Public Policy and Business Development, Tesla
As part of the business development and public policy team at Tesla, Francesca Wahl focuses on managing regulatory policy engagement on transportation and building electrification in the Western States region and electric vehicle charging infrastructure issues with key agencies, utilities, and cities across the country. Previously, she was the Senior Associate for Energy and Environmental Policy at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a public policy trade association representing more than 390 companies in Silicon Valley. Francesca has also worked on federal energy efficiency policy at the Alliance to Save Energy in DC, analyzed state recycling regulation and legislation, assisted governments and small businesses with implementing sustainability principles in their management plans, and served in the White House Liaison Office at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Francesca has a B.A. in Economics and Foreign Affairs with Distinction from the University of Virginia.