Claudia R. Binder
Fields of expertise
- Transition research
- Urban metabolism
- Sustainability assessment
- Regulatory mechanisms in human-environment systems
- Systems science
- Inter- and transdisciplinarity
BiographyClaudia R. Binder, a Swiss, Canadian and Colombian citizen, was born in Montreal and spent most of her childhood in Switzerland and Colombia. She studied at ETH Zurich from 1985 to 1996, earning a degree in biochemistry and then a PhD in environmental sciences. After conducting her post-doctoral research at the University of Maryland in the US from 1996 to 1998, she returned to Switzerland and took a position as a senior research scientist at ETH Zurich, studying the interaction between human and environmental systems at the Institute for Natural and Social Science Interface.
In 2006, Binder joined the University of Zurich as an assistant professor in the Department of Geography, and in 2009 moved to the University of Graz in Austria where she served as a full professor of systems science. In 2011, she took a position at the University of Munich’s Department of Geography as a full professor of human-environment relations. Binder joined EPFL in March 2016 and set up the Laboratory for Human-Environment Relations in Urban Systems (HERUS) at ENAC. Her research involves analyzing, modelling and assessing the transition of urban systems towards sustainability. She looks in particular at how we can better understand the dynamics of urban metabolism, what characterizes a sustainable city, and what drives and hinders transformation processes. She does so by combining knowledge from social, natural and data science. Her research focuses on food, energy, and sustainable living and transport in urban systems.
In Switzerland, Binder served at the Research Council, Programs Division of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) from 2016 - 2021 and served on the Steering Committee of the SNSF’s National Research Program 71, “Managing Energy Consumption” and the Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCER). She was member of the Steering Board on Sustainability Research for the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences from 2019-2023. From 2017 to 2020 she was the academic director of Design Together, a cross-disciplinary teaching initiative. She was member of the management team of the Energy Center from 2018 - 2020. In 2019, she was elected as a member of the University Council of the University of Munich (LMU).
Binder was the Dean of the ENAC School at EPFL, from January 2000 to December 2023.
Teaching & PhD
Environmental Sciences and Engineering
PhD StudentsBarsanti Matteo, Bösch Anne Frédérique Cécile Noémi, Campfens Jaïr Kees Evert Karel, Frigo Giulia, Huynh Trung Tin, Ladino Cano Simon, Serra Coch Gloria, Singhvi Ankita,
Past EPFL PhD StudentsFritz Livia Bianca , Halla Pekka Jaakko , Meinherz Franziska , Mühlemeier Susan Marie , Pagani Anna , Pang Melissa , Schilling Thorsten , Superti Valeria ,
- Current and future CO2 and CO2 equivalent emissions, impact on climate
- Available resources and their properties (finite resources like fossil, nuclear fuel, vs hydro, non-hydro, renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal biomass)
- Energy statistics, direct cost of various energy sou