How did you come across the subject of sustainability?
I first heard about the concept of sustainability during my architectural studies at the University of Sydney. Afterwards I addressed the topic in my diploma thesis which I wrote at the Graz University of Technology and later chose the postgraduate program “Sustainable Construction” to deepen my knowledge.
Why did you decide to participate in the postgraduate program “Sustainable Construction”?
When I started working as an architect I quickly realized the importance of a holistic planning process that integrates aspects beyond architecture. So I set myself the goal to implement the principles of sustainability in my projects. This initial motivation was strengthened in the course of my further studies when I learned to appreciate the value of sustainability for the whole construction industry.
How did the program influence your professional life?
The interdisciplinary approach of the program quickly broadened my professional horizon.
As luck would have it the acquaintance with one of the lecturers led me to a new professional career which I still pursue ambitiously. Now I counsel developers and planning teams on implementing the principles of sustainability in their projects and carry out certifications according to international recognized systems like LEED, BREEAM and DGNB.
Can you apply your knowledge on an international level?
Sustainability is a subject that not only calls for an interdisciplinary mindset but needs to be set into a global context. The masterprogram MEng Sustainable Construction is a very good stepping stone to start an international career.
How about sustainability in your private life?
Once I had started concerning myself with the topic, sustainability also became an issue in my private life. And pretty soon I parted with my Jeep Wrangler. Now I am using public transports and am a proud member of the car2go Community
You can spend your lunch break with a well-known public character. Whom would you choose?
For a business lunch I would definitely choose Gro Harlem Brundtland, initiator of the sustainability charter “Our Common Future" from 1987 (also known as Brundtland report). For a more private setting I would probably rather prefer Gisele Bündchen.
Your workday typically starts with…
…a big jug of fresh spring water from the tap (in Vienna that is really possible!). Then I open the window; take a few deep breaths and relish to be working in Vienna. Afterwards I get my first coffee of the day…
Your personal motto?
Just KISS (with a big grin) - Keep it smart and simple!
(interview date July 22, 2013)