Liam O’Brien


Background information

Liam (William) O’Brien, PhD, PEng is an associate professor and program advisor for Carleton University’s Architectural Conservation and Sustainability Engineering program and the principal investigator of the Human Building Interaction Lab. The HBI Lab is a team of about 10 researchers with diverse backgrounds in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering, architecture, and psychology. Prof. O’Brien is researching design processes and energy simulation for high-performance solar buildings, with a specialization in understanding, modelling, and designing for occupant behaviour. He has brought in over $2.5M in research funding for the HBI Lab through various granting agencies and public/private sector research contracts. He was a subtask co-leader for IEA EBC Annex 66 on Definition and Simulation of Occupant Behavior in Buildings; among other key activities, he co-edited book titled “Exploring Occupant Behavior in Buildings”. Now, he is Co-Operating Agent for a newly formed IEA EBC Annex titled Occupant-Centric Building Design and Operation.

Since starting at Carleton University in 2011, he has taught four courses including Green Building Design and Indoor Environmental Quality. Dr. O’Brien has authored or co-authored over 110 refereed conference and journal publications. In 2015, he also co-edited a book titled “Design, Modeling, and Optimization of Net-zero Energy Buildings”. He is heavily involved in the building design and research community, including being a Faculty Advisor the Carleton ASHRAE student chapter, Past President of the Canadian Chapter of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA-Canada). He has organized multiple academic conferences, including chairing SimAUD 2013 and eSim 2014, and numerous educational workshops aimed at graduate students and professionals. He has given many presentations to local and international researchers, architects, and engineers and presented “Occupant-Conscious Buildings” at TEDxRideau Canal in 2012. He has won several prestigious awards including the Carleton Research Achievement Award, IBPSA Outstanding Young Achiever Award, Ontario Building Envelope Council Rising Star Award, and the Early Researcher Award.