Dr Gloria Pignatta
Scientia Fellow (Level B)

Dr Gloria Pignatta

  • PhD in Energy Engineering (University of Perugia, Italy), P.Eng., M.Eng. (University of Perugia, Italy), B.Eng. (University of Perugia, Italy)
  • AGSM Certificate in Executive Management and Development (CEMD) (UNSW Business School, Australia) 
  • AGSM Leading for High Performance (UNSW Business School, Australia) 
Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Built Environment

I am Scientia Lecturer and City Futures Research Centre (CFRC) Fellow (2021-2024) in the School of Built Environment (BE) - Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture (ADA) at UNSW Sydney, focusing on building energy efficiency and sustainability in the built environment. I am one of the members of High Performance Architecture Research Cluster and History and Theory of the Built Environment Research Cluster in the School of BE and Investigator at the Material and Manufacturing Institute (MMFI) at UNSW. I am a Civil Engineer with a Ph.D. in Energy Engineering from the University of Perugia, Italy. In 2017, I was Postdoctoral Associate and Building and Construction expert at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), in Singapore. In 2016, I was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Inter-University Research Center on Pollution and Environment “Mauro Felli" (CIRIAF), University of Perugia, Italy. My research collaboration network touches different countries: Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Denmark, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Sweden, USA, Canada, India, and Australia.

+61 (0) 424282106
UNSW Built Environment, Level 2, Room 2045, West Wing Red Centre Building, Kensington Campus, NSW 2052, Sydney, Australia
  • Edited Books | 2022
    He B-J; Prasad D; Pignatta G; Jupestra J, (eds.), 2022, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-12015-2
  • Journal articles | 2022
    Owolabi AB; Suh D; Pignatta G, 2022, 'Investigating the energy use in an Australian building: a case study of a west-facing apartment in Sydney', Ain Shams Engineering Journal, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asej.2022.102040
  • Theses / Dissertations | 2021
    Tang R, 2021, Life cycle assessment of Fly ash and Cenospheres based Geopolymer concrete

  • 2022: Digital Grid Future Institute (DGFI), "Development of a free open-source online tool to estimate solar pre-cooling potential in Australian housing stock" ($28,000)
  • 2021-2022: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), "Sustainable apartment housing: new build and retrofit" ($105,436) 
  • 2020-2022: Australian Research Council Discovery Project,"Scalable daytime radiative cooling for buildings and the built environment" ($235,000)
  • 2020-2022: Materials and Manufacturing Future Institute (MMFI), "Development of novel and sustainable geopolymer materials for Building Elements" ($30,000)
  • 2019-2022: EUROPEAN COMMISSION, ERASMUS+ International Credit Mobility
  • 2019-2021: Blacktown City Council, "Evidence Based Interventions for Urban Cooling Grant Funding" ($32,940)
  • 2019-2021: NT Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, "Darwin – Supervision, Experiment and Evaluation of the Cooling Performance of the Shading and Greenery Mitigation Structure and Energy Saving Potential" ($72,727)
  • 2019-2019: Orosi, "Optimised Zero Energy Residences in Sydney" ($15,000)
  • 2019-2019: CRC For Low Carbon Living, "Rapid review - best practice techniques for urban cooling in Australian climate zones" ($10,000)
  • 2019-2019: HCL Consultants Ltd, "Technical assistance for minimum energy performance standards for buildings in the Indian ocean commission (ioc) member states" 
  • 2019-2019: Australian Research Council Development and Support Grant
  • 2018-2019: CRC For Low Carbon Living, "Preliminary Design of a Smart Climatic Road in Phillip St Parramatta" ($35,000)  
  • 2018-2020: The City of Parramatta Council, "Preliminary Design of a Smart Climatic Road in Phillip St Parramatta" ($35,000)  
  • 2018-2019: CRC For Low Carbon Living, "CPD-Managing Urban Heat" ($18,000)
  • 2017-2018: CRC For Low Carbon Living, "Energy Efficiency Decision Making in the NSW Social Housing Sector" ($68,441)   


  • 2021: ECAN ADA Award for the best research outcome.
  • 2020: FULT Good Practice Award 2020: Good Practice Case Study Award for education excellence focusing on postgraduate learning and teaching remotely.
  • 2020: "Learning and Teaching Award 2020 for COVID-19 Learning Design through Technology" awarded by UNSW Built Environment, 2020. 
  • 2016: IC2UHI2016 Award: Award to Italy at the 4th International Conference on Countermeasures to Urban Heat Island in Singapore. In recognition of continuously conducting research and outreach in urban heat island related topics, “Outstanding UHI Group of Researchers Award”.
  • 2014: IC2UHI2014 Award: Best paper award at the 3rd International Conference on Countermeasures to Urban Heat Island in Venice, Italy, for the paper “Experimental analysis and optimization of polyurethane waterproof liquid membrane for cool roof application” by A.L. Pisello, V.L. Castaldo, G. Pignatta, F. Cotana. Prize for the “Unique experimental approach for the UHI countermeasures”.

My research touches on different fields of research, from engineering to architecture, material science, urban climate, among others, and addresses all of them from the same perspective of sustainable urban development. My practical and theoretical research in the field of built environment touches on the global problem of climate adaptation and mitigation, but also social challenges, such as energy inequality. My research aims to improve the thermal-energy, environmental, and acoustic performance of buildings and cities to enhance their liveability through the development and the implementation of advanced passive solutions. I led the design and construction of the 1st cost-effective Net-Zero Energy Settlement in Europe (2015-2021). This work led to commercial exploitation and an essential change in the Italian energy regulation, where it was introduced the Renewable Energy Communities concept in residential settlements for the 1st time in 2020. This achievement is gaining international impact and recognition at the academic and industry level.  

Editorial Responsibilities

  • Editorial Board member of Energy Nexus Journal (Elsevier)
  • Guest Editor of Sustainability journal
  • Guest Editor of Energies journal
  • Guest Editor of Urban Science journal
  • Topic Editor of Climate journal

International Research Networks

  • 2021-2024 Member of the IEA EBC Annex 83 “Positive Energy Districts”
  • 2021-2024 Management Committee member of the EU COST Action "Positive Energy Districts European Network"
  • 2021 Chair of the Guidance and Outreach workgroup of Cool Building Solution (CBS) collaborative led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
  • 2021-2022 Management Committee member of the EU COST Action "European Energy Poverty: Agenda Co-Creation and Knowledge Innovation"


  • 2021 Associate member of AIA (Acoustic Italian Association) 
  • 2020 Member of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) 

University/Faculty service roles

  • 2021-2022 Chair of the Early Career Academic Network Executive Committee (ECAN-EXEC) @UNSW
  • 2021-2022 Representative member of the FADA ECAN subcommittee @UNSW Arts, Design and Architecture 
  • 2020 Member of the Early Career Academic Network Executive Committee (ECAN-EXEC) @UNSW
  • 2019 Representative member of the FBE ECAN subcommittee @UNSW Built Environment 
  • 2019-2020 International Development Coordinator (IDC) from the ADI Unit @UNSW Built Environment

My Research Supervision

  • Mehrangiz Mastoori UNIPG Joint PhD student 
  • Mohammad Abousaeidi PhD student: "Adapting climate solutions to heat vulnerable neighborhoods"
  • Jilong Li, PhD student: "Geopolymer technology for high-performance building envelope"
  • Muhammad Shubhi Yuda Wibawa, PhD student: "Biomimetic design - An approach to mitigation techniques of UHI phenomenon in tropical urban area"
  • Shayan Naderi, PhD student: "Value proposition of solar pre-cooling in Australia"
  • Khan Rahmat Ullah, PhD student: "Energy Poverty in NSW. Characteristics, Impact, and Solutions"
  • Afifa Mohammed, PhD student: "Technologies Impact on Sustainable Buildings"
  • Otto Newhouse, PhD student: "Precinct Information Modelling for Integrative Energy Planning", PhD completion in 2022.


Please include the following documents when contacting me for a supervision request:

  • CV
  • Research proposal
  • List of Publications
  • Transcripts
  • English test results for international applicants


I suggest PhD applicants complete the self-assessment through https://selfassessment.research.unsw.edu.au/ and send me the result at g.pignatta@unsw.edu.au.  I will then contact you if I believe it is feasible. 


Available PhD scholarships: https://www.unsw.edu.au/arts-design-architecture/study-with-us/scholarships-and-prizes

If you are interested in the "Anita B. Lawrence PhD Scholarship in Acoustics" and you are looking for a supervisor, don't hesitate to get in touch with me via email at g.pignatta@unsw.edu.au (please write "Anita B. Lawrence PhD Scholarship in Acoustics" in the subject line when sending the email).

My Teaching

My teaching interests combine the areas of landscape architecture, sustainability, advanced materials and technologies, and climate responsive design to create a more livable built environment. I have completed the FULT Programm in 2019. Currenlty, I am:

  • Course Convenor and Lecturer for LAND7321 - Landscape Technology 2
  • Guest Lecturer for ARCH1361 - Architectural Science and Building Environment 2
  • Master students supervisor for BENV7020 - Research Seminar