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Dalian University of Technology - Cardiff University Forum on Digitalization and Intelligentization of Sustainable Buildings Held at Our School

April 2, 2024  

The "Work Plan for Accelerating Energy-saving and Carbon Reduction in the Construction Field" issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in March 2024 clearly points out the importance of constructing digital and intelligent operation and management platforms for buildings and accelerating the research and development and promotion of advanced energy-saving and carbon reduction technologies. These measures are considered as crucial tasks for achieving energy conservation and carbon reduction in the construction sector.

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Dalian University of Technology (DUT), the School of Infrastructure Engineering at DUT has recently successfully held an academic forum on the digitalization and Intelligentization of sustainable buildings. Professor Yacine Rezgui, the Director of the Urban Intelligence Center at Cardiff University in the UK, are invited by the Associate Professor Tianyi Zhao from the Institute of Building energy to deliver a series of cutting-edge academic lectures on smart cities, net-zero carbon buildings, and digital twins.

During the forum, Professor Yacine Rezgui presented academic reports titled "Challenges and Vision for a Smart, Sustainable, and Resilient Built Environment" and "Delivering Net-Zero Built Environment Interventions Through Semantic-Based Dynamic Life Cycle Assessment". He comprehensively introduced the application scenarios of digital twins and big data technology in the field of construction and emphasized the importance of combining data science with building physics. In addition, Professor Yacine Rezgui was invited to the 136th academic lecture of the National Key Laboratory of Coastal and Offshore Engineering, where he delivered an academic report titled "Delivering Smart Cities through Semantic Digital Twins: A Socio-Technical Perspective", systematically discussing the role of digital twin technology in the operation and maintenance management of smart cities.

Fig. 1 Students actively participate in a series of academic lectures

Fig. 2 Group photo of teachers and students at the academic lecture of the National Key Laboratory of Coastal and Offshore Engineering

At the theme forum held on March 29, 2024, Associate Professor Wang Peng from DUT, Associate Professor Li Yu from Donghua University, and Professor Yacine Rezgui respectively gave academic reports titled "A Fault Detection and In-situ Calibration Method of Abnormal Sensor Data in Building Energy Systems", "Digitalization from Building to District-Level", and "Digital Twin Based Approach for Managing Energy in Buildings and Districts: A Semantic-Based Approach Augmented with Artificial Intelligence". Subsequently, Assistant Researcher Wang Jiaming, Dr. Zhang Chengyu, Dr. Zhang Boyan, and Dr. Jiang Ben from the Institute of Building Energy introduced their research directions and achievements, and presented related reports. The academic forum, with nearly 200 participants both offline and online, comprehensively discussed the application of new quality productive forces in the field of building energy conservation and smart buildings, especially in the exploration and practice of digitalization and intelligentization, which is of great significance to help China achieve the dual carbon target in the construction field.

Fig. 3 Professor Rezgui delivers the keynote report at the theme forum

Fig. 4 Group photo of reporters at the thematic forum

This academic forum was greatly supported by the International Exchange Foundation Project of “Co-Creation of Excellence Program" from DUT, Dalian University of Technology-Cardiff University Cooperation and Exchange Foundation Project, and the Internationalization Fund of the School of Infrastructure Engineering. Dalian University of Technology and Cardiff University have a profound friendship and cooperation foundation. The two universities signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement in 2022, opening a new chapter in international cooperation.

The School of Infrastructure Engineering at Dalian University of Technology and the School of Engineering at Cardiff University have held multiple cooperation seminars to actively plan the direction of cooperation between the two schools, carried out several administrative or academic exchanges, and will sign a school-level cooperation agreement in the near future. The successful holding of this academic forum has further consolidated the cooperation vision between the two parties, providing a high-quality international exchange and learning platform for young teachers and postgraduates at our school, and laying a solid foundation for the joint cultivation of international high-level top talents in the field of smart buildings between Dalian University of Technology and Cardiff University.

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Professor Yacine Rezgui is the Director of the Centre of Urban Intelligence in Cardiff University. He holds a degree in Architecture.  He is also the recipient of a DEA (Diplôme d'études approfondies) in Building Physics (MSc) and a PhD in Construction Informatics from ENPC (Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées) in France. His prior appointement includes the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB) in France. He has also been a Senior visiting scientist for Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology.  He has published over 300 refereed publications in leading journals, such as the Proceedings of the Royal Society and a wide range of IEEE Transaction journals. He is the co-author of several books. He has graduated 45+ PhD students to date and completed 40+ national (UK) and European funded research projects in areas related to computing in the built environment (including in the fields of the Internet of Things, Semantics, and Artificial Intelligence applied to the field of energy).

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