Dr Sergio Altomonte is Professor of Architectural Physics (Professeur en Physique appliquée au domaine de l'Architecture) at the Faculty of Architecture, Architectural Engineering, Urbanism (LOCI), Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-neuve, Belgium), where he develops his research activities in the context of the group Architecture et Climat. He has been a fully-registered Architect since 1999. He fluently speaks Italian, English, French, and Spanish (and studying Mandarin).
Dr Altomonte obtained cum laude his BArch/MArch in Architecture in 1998 (1st class honours degree) at the University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy. In 2001, he was awarded the Master in Architecture and Sustainable Development (MAS) by the associate institutions EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland), UCL (Universite’ Catholique de Louvain, Belgium), and EAT (School of Architecture of Toulouse, France), with a final dissertation (in French) on Innovating materials and sustainable architecture, supervised by Prof. J.-B. Gay (EPFL) and A. De Herde (UCL). In 2004, he was awarded his PhD in Environmental Design and Engineering at the University of Rome La Sapienza with a thesis on Advanced building envelopes and switchable glazing technology. The thesis was published as a technical monograph, L'involucro architettonico come interfaccia dinamica, Alinea, Firenze, 2005.
Between 2004 and 2007, Dr Altomonte divided his life and academic activity between Italy and Australia. In Italy (six months each year), he worked as principal of his design firm "Altomonte Associati" and lectured (part-time) at the School of Architecture "L. Quaroni", University of Rome La Sapienza, and at the School of Architecture of the University of Camerino. In Australia (six months each year), he was an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture and Building, Deakin University (Melbourne), being a member of MABEL (Mobile Architecture and Built Environment Laboratory).
Before joining the Université catholique de Louvain in 2017, Dr Altomonte was Assistant (2007-2010) and Associate (2010-2017) Professor in Architecture and Environmental Design at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Nottingham (UK). During this period, Dr Altomonte has held various roles in academic, teaching, and research management. He served from 2010 to 2013 as the Course Director of the Diploma in Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2), playing a key role in the accreditation and validation of the programme by the relevant professional bodies in the UK, and contributing to the redesign of the curriculum towards its conversion to a recognized 2-year MArch in Architecture. Between 2013 and 2015, he held the role of Director of Teaching and was a member of the Faculty of Engineering Learning and Teaching Board, with direct responsibilities in coordinating the Department's teaching and learning activities, including curriculum development, internationalization (e.g., the international RIBA validation of the Architecture programme offered by the Department at its campus in Ningbo, China), research-informed teaching, and liaison with accrediting bodies. Since 2012, Dr Altomonte is Director of the Environmental Science, Modelling and Psychophysics research cluster within Environment, People and Design (ePad), a research group that he co-directs. Since 2014, he is a member of the University of Nottingham Quality and Standard Committee (QSC).
In 2013/15, Dr Altomonte was granted by the Villum Foundation (Velux Group) a Visiting Professorship of the duration of two years to engage in research and teaching activities in collaboration with the Institute of Building Technology, Royal Danish Academy, Copenhagen (Denmark). Supported by research funding, this Visiting Professorship focused on areas of study related to daylighting and human physio-psychological response to environmental stimuli, occupant comfort and behaviour, and the use of building performance simulation tools in the education and practice of architectural design.
In 2012/13 and in 2016, Dr Altomonte spent periods of sabbatical research leave at the Center for the Built Environment (CBE), College for Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley (USA). These periods of study focused on investigation of the relationship between occupant satisfaction with indoor environmental quality in office buildings and green rating certification systems (e.g., LEED). This collaboration has resulted in paper publications in peer-reviewed international journals (e.g., Building and Environment) and conferences, other than ongoing research partnership with CBE at Berkeley.
He is author of some 70 research outputs, including a single-authored book, essays and chapters in edited books, edited research publications, and several refereed papers in peer-reviewed international journals and conference proceedings. In 2002, he was awarded the PLEA Award for his Poster Paper Switchable Façade Technology in Environmental Design, and in 2004 he received the ies: the Lighting Society Award. Dr Altomonte has attracted, or contributed to, a research portfolio totalling in excess of € 5 Million, collaborating with world-leading experts, academic institutions, and industrial groups across the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA. He has tracked several thousand downloads and solidly growing citations to his scholarly work. He is regularly invited to address conferences and lead scientific events worldwide, and to contribute to special issues of journals and to scientific publications. Dr Altomonte is a board Member of the PLEA (Passive Low Energy Architecture) network, an international organisation engaged in a worldwide discourse on sustainable architecture and urban design through international annual conferences, workshops, and related activities. In 2014, Dr Altomonte was granted the title of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He is an active Member of the CIBSE Society of Light and Lighting (MSLL) and of the CIBSE Daylight Group.