Joe Simon is an experienced project manager focusing on renewable energy, event management, competition management and optimizing the built environment through sustainable, energy-efficient design, development, and analysis. To enable market transformation and growth, he continuously supports several DOE-funded solar startups by coordinating validation activities, equipment testing, feasibility studies and other activities that leverage unique lab capabilities for the benefit of small businesses. In addition, he helps to manage student design competitions, policy development for disaster resiliency, and industry guidance for solar tools and datasets.
A licensed Architect in Colorado, Joe serves on the board of directors for Levitt Pavilion Denver, helping to build an open air amphitheater in Denver hosting 50 free concerts per year. He is passionate about creative solutions for energy use, conservation and production, from studying occupant behavior to reimagining building design and construction.
With a background in three-dimensional design, Professor Taylor has worked in the fields of interior design, construction management, architecture, and scenic construction for the film industry. His experiences have taken him across the US, Sri Lanka, and Haiti. He was the architectural faculty lead for the University of Illinois Solar Decathlon projects in 2009 and 2011 and is currently teaching design studios in the undergraduate and graduate programs. His popular graduate seminar offering aims to bring a sense of play back into the design process.
Professor Taylor was recognized as an Outstanding Educator by the Central Illinois’ Chapter of the AIA in 2011 and awarded the Nathan Clifford Ricker Award in 2014. His work in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake was recognized with an Award for Excellence in Public Engagement by the University of Illinois in 2015. In 2019 Professor Taylor became the chair of the Detail and Fabrication Program Area with a vision to strengthen collaborations with community and industry partners.
Senior Lecturer, Washington University in St. Louis
Principal, Passive Energy Designs LLC
Ryan Abendroth is the principal of Passive Energy Designs, LLC, a Missouri based consulting firm specializing in achieving built high-performance and low-energy buildings. He is a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) and an instructor for the Passive House Institute US’ CPHC Curriculum. Ryan is also a Senior Lecturer at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis where he teaches design studio courses and seminars around the topic of energy and the built environment. Since 2009, Ryan has worked exclusively on low and zero energy projects and feels strongly about the ever-increasing need for energy efficiency in buildings and has worked toward furthering the passive house movement as he believes in its ability to transform the conversation about the built environment in the United States.