Catherine De Wolf

Prof. Dr. Catherine De Wolf


Deputy head of Inst. Construction&Infrastructure Manag.


Assistant Professor (Tenure Track)

Contact Data

Tel.: +41 44 633 80 14
Tel. (Sec.): +41 44 633 41 69


ETH Zürich
Catherine De Wolf
Inst. Bau-&Infrastrukturmanagement
HIL  F 23.2
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5
8093 Zürich

Organisations Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
Curriculum Vitae (CV)

As Assistant Professor of Circular Engineering for Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), Prof. Catherine De Wolf is conducting research on digital innovation towards a circular built environment. She is the director of the Chair of Circular Engineering for Architecture (CEA). The CEA lab is an interdisciplinary team of civil engineers, architects, urbanists, and computer scientists who collaborate towards automating the reuse of building materials. A key element in Catherine's work is ensuring a continuous link between academia and industry. Therefore, she works with real-world examples such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Catherine also co-founded several companies and labs, such as Anku and the DiCE lab. She is a member of the board of Switzerland Innovation Park Central and the reuse association Cirkla. Next to this, she is a faculty member of the AI Center at ETH Zurich. With an affiliation at EMPA, Catherine also collaborates with the Urban Energy Systems Lab. Moreover, she is on the Steering Committee of the Centre for Augmented Computational Design in Architecture, Engineering and Construction, also known as Design++. Finally, she is also a PI in the National Centre of Competence in Research on Digital Fabrication (DFAB). Combining digital innovation with circular, regenerative construction drives all aspects of her academic, designer, entrepreneurial, and filmmaking work.



After studying Civil Engineering and Architecture at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), she obtained a Masters of Science and PhD in Building Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her dissertation was about low carbon pathways for structural design and embodied life cycle impacts of building structures. During her PhD, she also worked in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, as well as in the Center for Natural Resources and the Environment in Kuwait and the African Urban Metabolism Network in South Africa. She also has an education in documentary filmmaking.


Previous work

Previously, Catherine lectured and conducted research in Design and Construction Management at the University of Technology Delft (TU Delft), after completing a postdoc in the Structural Xploration Lab (SXL) within the smart living lab at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), co-funded by Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships from the European Commission and the Swiss Excellence schollarship. Other professional experiences include working for Arup, Ney & Partners and other leading architectural and structural design firms. She was one of the initiators of the Structural Engineers 2050 Commitment Initiative with the Carbon Leadership Forum and companies such as Arup and Thornton Tomasetti.

Course Catalogue
101-0531-00L Digital Transformation for Circular Construction
Publications inResearch Collection – Publication platform of ETH Zurich
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