Alberto Martilli receives 2020 Luke Howard Award

2020-09-25 in Awards, IAUC Statements, Members

The International Association for Urban Climate is delighted to announce Dr Alberto Martilli, at the Center for Research in Energy, Environment, and Technology (CIEMAT), Madrid, as the winner of the 2020 Luke Howard Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Urban Climatology.

Alberto Martilli from CIEMAT receives the 2020 Luke Howard Award

Combining a systematic and thorough approach with a deep knowledge of urban turbulence, Alberto has made significant, long-lasting and high-impact contributions to urban climatology. His work not only advances our fundamental understanding of interactions between the urban canopy and the atmosphere, but also has great relevance to a number of more applied topics including weather forecasting, air quality, thermal comfort and urban planning.

Over the last two decades, Alberto has pioneered the development of complex urban canopy models, starting with his seminal work on Development of an urban turbulent parameterization for mesoscale atmospheric models undertaken during his PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL). This internationally renowned and highly successful Building Effect Parameterisation (BEP) uses a multi-layer approach to represent the impact of the urban canopy structure on turbulent kinetic energy, momentum and temperature. BEP is implemented in many mesoscale models and is thus used by groups all over the world to address a variety of topics. Alberto and his collaborators continue to develop and further improve BEP’s capabilities, adding vegetation and, most notably, the Building Energy Model (BEM), which simulates the anthropogenic energy input resulting from energy use in buildings. Capturing feedbacks between the outside weather and energy needed to maintain thermal comfort indoors is critical for sustainable urban development and urban planning applications.

Since being awarded his PhD in 2001, he has worked at the University of British Columbia, visited the University of Strasbourg and the National Center for Atmospheric Research and joined CIEMAT in 2005 where he now leads urban climate research. Despite the fact that CIEMAT does not award degrees, Alberto has taken opportunities to advise and mentor many students, several of whom have made substantial contributions to the field themselves. Since 2012 he has applied his high standards and expertise as Associate Editor of Urban Climate, playing an important role in shaping the journal into one of the key outlets for urban climate research. From 2010-2014 he served on both the IAUC Board and the AMS Board for the Urban Environment, helping to ensure the IAUC and AMS work together.

In summary, Alberto’s innovative approaches to challenging problems, outstanding publications of great impact and valuable contributions to the urban climate community make him a highly deserving recipient of the 2020 Luke Howard Award.

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