Doctoral Seminars on Sustainability Research in the Built Environment

P O S I T I V E  I M P A C T

DS2BE2020 goes virtual!

Pre-event  1 - 6 September 2020

Event 7 & 8 September 2020, Hasselt

Call for posters and papers
Closed - Submission of draft posters and paper abstracts

DS²BE is a joint initiative of research groups working on sustainability issues at eight Belgian universities: Université libre de Bruxelles, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, KU Leuven, UCLouvain, Université de Liège, UHasselt, UAntwerpen and UGent.


Conceived as a platform for PhD researchers whose work engages the built environment at different scales in the framework of sustainability, the DS²BE seminars provide an excellent opportunity for the doctoral students of the partner institutions to present their ongoing research. They will get feedback from a broad panel of sustainability experts, including invited specialists and peers, for furthering their research.

The call is also open to PhD researchers from Aachen, Eindhoven and Maastricht.

During the next DS²BE, which will be a two-day event on 7-8 September 2020 in Hasselt, we invite two types of presentations differentiated along the stage of the PhD research:

  • Short Presentation / Poster session - PhD researchers at the beginning of their research (1st -2nd year of PhD) are invited to make a presentation and exhibition of their work in the form of a poster (A0 size). Candidates for this session are required to submit a draft poster before the deadline and the consent of their Supervisor(s). Each presentation will be given 10 minutes; 5’ for a concise presentation followed by 5’ of feedback.

  • Long Presentation / Paper Session - PhD researchers at an advanced stage (3rd – 4th year of PhD) are invited to present a substantial part (case study, draft article or thesis chapter) of their research in the form of a full paper. Candidates for this session must submit an abstract of 300 words in English. Upon acceptance, they will be required to submit a full paper of 4000 words. The paper will be reviewed while providing written feedback to the PhD researcher via email. The paper will not be published to keep the paper confidential. This allows further development of the manuscript by the author after the seminar in order to be submitted as a journal paper or thesis chapter or even international conference paper. The added value of submitting a full paper is mainly related to the constructive feedback provided in a written format and the interactive feedback after presentation.


All posters and papers will be reviewed by the scientific committee, consisting of senior researchers from the partner institutions. A book of proceedings will be published containing the extended abstracts. To presenters, Certificates of Participation will be issued, which can be used to gain credits for PhD course work.


During the DS2BE 2020, we will have keynote speakers presentations to provide insights about “Positive impact creation for/in sustainable buildings and cities”. 

PhD candidates can provide submissions that concern topics, such as:

  • Sustainable Architecture - Resource Use and Sustainable Design, Energy efficiency and Sufficiency, Materials, Re-cycling / re-use, Building elements and envelope, History and Theory, Vernacular architecture, Bioclimatic design, Biomimetic and integrated design, Building Physics and thermal comfort, IEQ...

  • Sustainability Theory - Sustainability science, the 3 Pillars, Climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, Resilience, Transition, Circularity, Systems and Complexity theories…

  • Sustainable Urbanism - Urban design, urban form, urban futures, Landscape and ecology, green infrastructure and ecosystem services, nature-based solutions, Land-use, Public space, Density, Housing, Infrastructure and transportation, Retrofitting and regeneration, and Research by Design….

  • Sustainability Analysis and Assessment - Sustainability / Environmental Assessment at building and neighborhood scales, and at the scale of city and regions; Methodologically oriented PhDs focusing on issues related to LCA (Life Cycle Analysis), I-O (Input-Output Analysis), MFA (Material Flow Analysis), simulation techniques, to exploring urban metabolism, industrial ecology, to environmental modeling, Scenario building (fore-casting and back-casting, etc.), and GIS-based land-use change modeling…

 Poster and Abstract Submission

In your draft poster submission, please make sure not to exceed 5 MB size, and to provide your and your supervisor(s) names and institutional affiliation, including the title of your PhD. Paper abstracts should be no more than 300 words. Please include the author[s] full name, affiliation, and e-mail address on a separate page.

Please name your submission as ‘poster DS2BE-2020 (your surname and university affiliation) or ‘abstract DS2BE-2020 (your surname and university affiliation)’ and send it before the respective deadline to

For further inquiries, please contact

Time Line: updated dates in bold

15/11/2019       - Launch of the Call for Papers

13/01/2020       - Submission of paper abstracts and draft posters

20/01/2020       - Notification of acceptance

01/03/2020       - Submission of full papers and posters*

27/05/2020       - Notification of peer review feedback

27/06/2020       - Submission of revised posters and paper abstracts

01/07/2020       - Registration open

27/08/2020       - Deadline for DS2BE registration

01-06/09/2020 - Virtual pre-event DS2BE

07/09/2020      - Virtual DS2BE day ONE

08/09/2020      - Virtual DS2BE day TWO

 * Note that it is possible to submit full papers and posters even if no abstract or draft was submitted before. The organisation cannot guarantee these submission will be reviewed and accepted for presentation however.

Scientific and Organising Committees
Scientific Committee

Prof. Ahmed Z. Khan (ULB),

Prof. Philippe Bouillard (ULB),

Prof. Karen Allacker (KUL),

Prof. Frank De Troyer (KUL),

Dr. Damien Trigaux (KUL),

Prof. Niels De Temmerman (VUB),

Prof. Griet Verbeeck (UH),

Prof. Elke Knapen (UH),

Dr. Bart Janssens (UH),

Prof. Bernard Declève (UCLouvain),

Prof. Luisa Moretto (ULB),

Prof. Geoffrey Grulois (ULB),

Prof. Wouter Achten (ULB),

Prof. Frank Canters (VUB),

Prof. Jan Bogaert (ULg),

Prof. Shady Attia (ULg),

Prof. Gregory Mahy (ULg),

Prof. Jacques Teller (ULg),

Prof. Philippe André (ULg),

Prof. Jean-Marie Halleux (ULg),

Prof. Geoffrey van Moeseke (UCLouvain),

Dr. Sophie Trachte (UCLouvain),

Prof. Sergio Altomonte (UCLouvain),

Prof. Filip Descamps (VUB),

Prof. Arnold Janssens (UG),

Prof. Nathan Van Den Bossche (UG),

Prof. Marijke Steeman (UG)

Prof. Bernard Deprez (ULB),

Prof. Sigrid Reiter (ULg),

Prof. Tim De Kock (UA),

Prof. Geert Van der Snickt (UA).


2020 Organising Committee

Prof. Griet Verbeeck (UH), Prof. Elke Knapen (UH), Dr. Bart Janssens (UH), Prof. Karen Allacker (KUL), Dr. Damien Trigaux (KUL), Prof. Tim De Kock (UA), Prof. Geert Van der Snickt (UA)