Nov 17, 2016

IES Research Symposia are organized by the IES Research Symposium Committee and have been held since 2012. These Symposia bring together lighting professionals, designers, and academics.

2022 IES Research Symposium

A lighting research symposium organized by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) to explore how intelligence and new technology has impacted all aspects of the lighting industry.

Orlando, Florida
Hilton Orlando Buena Vista – Disney Springs
April 10-12, 2022


Membership Type
Early Bird
(March 9th)
Regualar Rate
(After March 9th)
IES Member $550 $650
Non-Member $699 $799

With technology developing at an accelerating pace and overtaking all aspects of our lives, the IES Research Symposium offers a unique opportunity to delve into the latest research to understand the complexity of change, opportunities, and risks for the lighting industry. This symposium presents research, trends, and case studies on topics such as adaptive lighting, Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics and machine learning, Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR), smart buildings and smart cities. Current findings related to the usage of intelligence in lighting informs future design and research directions with the goals of achieving high-quality spaces for people, protecting the environment, driving additional energy savings, and how the lighting community can evolve to meet these new opportunities. The IES Research Symposium offers a platform for exchanging ideas and connecting individuals and organizations involved in or impacted by this type of research.


DAY 1 – APRIL 10th

In day one, we will focus on design considerations. The morning session will present opportunities to leverage parametric design and automation to improve workflows and efficiency, while also freeing up designers to focus on creativity and optimization of the design itself.

Justin Brown

Principal – Lam Partners/Lam Labs Justin Brown

Session Description: Heliotropic shading: Daylighting a Rare Books Reading Room with Electrochromic Glass, Parametric Analysis and Design Intervention. A Case Study of the design process for a dynamic, environment-adapting facade, where simulation data becomes the control data. This project presented an opportunity to execute a fundamentally new and unique method for solar control that is perfectly tuned to its locale and adapted to the architecture. The patterns created are a constantly evolving expression of the exact daylight control needed at each moment.

Janelle Drouet

Senior Lighting Designer, Mazzetti Janelle Drouet

Session Description: A passionate perspective on design workflow, human-centric considerations, and communicating ideas supported by technology to free oneself for solving new problems. Delving into the relationship between human and machine learning, she will explore what it means to be a designer, and what the evolution could look like for industry practice as we move into the future of design.  Design evolution brings to light key differentiators, our assets as humans in the decision-making process, how machines can support the analysis of datasets to inform design, and how to determine what is best enhanced by the tools available to improve communications in design.

Taking a detailed look at workflow, Janelle will discuss leveraging tools such as automations, AI and Machine Learning, how can we increase our design creativity and capabilities.  This symbiotic relationship allows for inspiration to be sparked and efforts to be supported by machine efficiencies, allowing for broadening of design framework and additional time for higher levels of human focus and development of design. In the design process, with this additional time for assessing values and cultivating knowledge we will look at answering, “How are we creating values for our future?”  We will discuss and reflect on how new workflows can improve our outcomes, showcasing the importance of our human perspectives, which improves relationships and fulfillment, while allowing time for critical and innovative thinking.  To deliver impact with design action, people need space. To drive the design, and accelerate ideas that matter, a well thought out strategy with supportive technology can help us get there.

Nelson Lerma

Senior Solutions Engineer, Unity Technologies Nelson Lerma

Session Description: The use of digital twins is gaining increasing attention in multiple fields such as product design, construction and engineering, marketing, and city planning. For the longest time, digital twins were a tool used solely on complex engineering problems due to the difficulty of modeling in 3D and the availability of compute power to run 3D simulations. In recent times, there has been tremendous advancements and accessibility to GPU technology and cloud services that have enabled a larger user base to leverage the power of digital twins to derive insights from their application. In addition, game engines, such as Unity, have further empowered users to render real-time 3D models that allow them to visualize texture, lighting, and environments that are indistinguishable from real life. This capability has opened new opportunities towards the implementation of digital twin to application that require realistic representation of the environment.

Thomas Paterson

Director/Designer, Lux PopuliThomas Paterson

Session Description: Our current understanding of Artificial Intelligence, both as a design tool and an operational processing environment is deeply flawed. The tools functioning as heuristics without insight. An understanding of the effect of light in the built environment first demands an understanding of the human in the operating world.

Jason Read

Principal Designer, Disney ImagineeringJason Read

Session Description: Walt Disney Imagineering is the combination of creative imagination with technical know-how. Get a peek behind the curtain on how the lighting team at Imagineering uses technology to create beautiful guest experiences.

Siobhan Rockcastle

Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of OregonSiobhan Rockcastle

Session Description: Virtual reality has become a ubiquitous form of representation in architectural design, allowing architectural, interior, and lighting designers the ability to experience space in an immersive format throughout the design process. While this technology evolves and screen specifications allow for more perceptually accurate brightness and contrast ratios, existing research has resulted in mixed findings when comparing subjective feedback in real and virtual lighting environments. This presentation will discuss the opportunities and shortcomings of virtual reality to provide a perpetually accurate lighting environment for design and research applications. It will use both photographic and rendered inputs as well as a discussion on mapping and processing HDR images for display on LDR screens. Based on findings from recent experiments at the University of Oregon, this discussion will be grounded in current and ongoing research.

Azadeh Omidfar Sawyer

Assistant Professor of Building Technology – Carnegie Mellon University Azadeh Omidfar Sawyer

Session Description: Creating and evaluating the architectural spaces in which we spend more than 90% of our lives—an astonishing reality of contemporary lifestyle—is a mixture of art and engineering. We have a better understanding of the engineering aspects in the sense that we know, more or less, how to make spaces functional in terms of intended use, temperature, how much light is present, security, and evaluation of energy consumption and demand, among others. But our knowledge regarding the relations between the subjective reactions (sensory/perceptual experience) of people and physical stimuli is less complete, with a disconnect between environmental values measured through simulation and users’ sensory and perceptual experiences of the environment. This presentation proposes an integrative methodology using simulation and survey that goes beyond creating energy-efficient buildings to designing holistic sustainable environments that support occupants’ physiological and psychological wellbeing.

Dan Weissman

Senior Partner/Director – Lam Partners/Lam LabsDan Weissman

Session Description:  Architecture is reliant upon light to give it form, to allow us to understand its nuances, spatial qualities, and material conditions. However, lighting designers have historically relied on “calcs” to verify design decisions, which created a feedback loop wherein mathematical (and now digital) modeling tools consistently led practitioners to generic solutions that rely on the uniformity of light at the task plane, without a robust method of assessing the impacts of the luminous environment in three dimensions. Over the past three decades, tools for lighting visualization have become more robust and sophisticated, such that at this point we have arguably plateaued, working successfully with advanced physically-based, photometrically accurate, rendering software to visualize design solutions practically in real-time with a high degree of resolution. Where do we go from here? What does the design community need in the coming decade to ever-more faithfully anticipate how light operates in the real world? Through this session, we will touch on where we started with digital tools, where we’re at now, and where we’d like to be headed in the future.


DAY 2 – APRIL 11th

In day two, we will focus on experience and operation. The morning session will examine how advanced controls and intelligent lighting systems can be leveraged to improve and customize occupant experience. Can a lighting system anticipate needs, can it have situational awareness, can it evolve?
Joe Braithwaite

Controls Training Specialist, Sesco LightingJoe Braithwaite

Session Description: Data backed new digital tools make it easy to implement new workspace guidelines while prioritizing employee satisfaction. In this presentation, we will discuss new workspace trends and explore how data and digital tools can help accelerate and support office re-entry programs.

Arpan Guha

Senior Lecturer Civil and Architectural Engineering, Lawrence Technological UniversityArpan Guha

Session Description: This research proposes a novel Universal Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based occupant comfort control framework utilizing IR array sensors and Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) to predict occupancy and occupant thermal and visual comfort levels. The proposed framework is a plug-and-play technology in an ‘All-in-one’ data acquisition and processing system that does not require in-depth knowledge of operation.

Steve Lydecker

Senior Vice President Applied Technology – AcuitySteve Lydecker

Session Description: Lighting systems by virtue of being powered, always present and ideally located in the built environment is increasingly being used for Real Time Location Services. The ability to precisely locate people, points of interest and mobile assets creates transformational experiences indoor in the same way that outdoor GPS mapping has impacted our daily lives. Where am I? Where is it? and How do I get from here to there?

Ali Mehmani

Head, Core Research, Prescriptive DataAli Mehmani

Session Description: The rapid development of powerful building sensing platforms (lighting, occupancy, temperature, air quality, water flow, etc.) can provide a wealth of information about how a building operates. This information can be invaluable for the intelligent operation of a building management system when the sensing and building control platforms can be properly integrated and combined with increasingly sophisticated machine learning and artificial intelligence systems to provide improved building energy efficiency, tenant outcomes and security. This talk will provide examples of how sensing and intelligence can come together for better building system operations, and a vision for how these systems will continue to improve.

Erik Page

Founder/CEO, Blue IrisErik Page

Session Description: New discoveries related to light and health are having transformational effects on the over $100 billion global lighting industry. Scientists have recently discovered and characterized new retinal photoreceptors, mapped previously unknown neural pathways connecting the eye to circadian and neuroendocrine processes, and documented causal impacts between light exposure and many serious diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease

But critical knowledge gaps exist, including information on the light exposure humans typically experience and how these vary from optimal light exposure patterns. Also missing are tools to collect these data or tools for individuals, researchers, and caregivers to monitor and control light exposure.

This talk will describe some of the light exposure monitoring tools that Blue Iris Labs is developing and discuss the individual and population-level health benefits potential that these tools offer.

Shadab Rahman

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep MedicineShadab Rahman

Session Description: Indoor lighting impacts human health outcomes but can there be one lighting prescription for everyone? Evidence from laboratory- and field-based studies showing light-exposure induced changes in human health outcomes will be reviewed. Inter-individual differences in these responses will be highlighted, underscoring the importance of integrating “intelligent” user/response feedback. Current options and future directions for feedback assessment and response sensing will be briefly reviewed.

John Romano

Executive Vice President of Sales, AutaniJohn Romano

Session Description: The lighting and control industry is changing. There are new technologies being introduced every month that can be used by the lighting industry to replace typical occupancy/daylight sensors. I will explore some of these new ideas and how they can be used in both lighting control in addition to furthering the cause of smart buildings and IoT.

Paul Rudy

Co-founder, CMO, and SVP of Business Development, Kyocera SLD LaserPaul Rudy

Session Description: We describe the rapidly expanding capabilities of laser light technology including high luminance, eye-safe white light and infrared dual emission sources with applications in automotive illumination and sensing, roadway and outdoor lighting, and numerous specialty lighting applications. By delivering both white and IR from the same source and fusing together lighting, dynamic beam shaping, sensing, and communication functionalities, laser light technology holds promise for future intelligent illumination systems with a unique combination of precision white lighting, accurate sensing and ultra-high speed communication with unconstrained optical bandwidth, as well as secure and efficient data transmission without RF interference of the incumbent WiFi technology.

Lauri Tredinnick

Pivotal Lighting Design Studio Leader, Affiliated EngineersLauri Tredinnick

Session Description: Tunable Lighting Systems, often intended for circadian support, are now common in the marketplace. While these systems appear straightforward, their implementation can be challenging. Review of past and present healthcare projects will provide brief insight into the complex steps between design intent and reality.

Alison Zimpfer

IoT Portfolio Manager – SiemensAlison Zimpfer

Session Description: The use of lighting fixture integrated sensing platforms are proving to be invaluable in the management of buildings. In addition to lighting control, data for effective space utilization, daylighting and even HVAC control strategies can become a critical part of improving building operational efficiency. This talk highlights how these sensing systems are deployed and provides some examples of how they can improve building operational efficiencies.

Wouter Soer

Illumination Product Development Director, LumiledsWouter Soer

Session Description: Digital light sources based on segmented LEDs with suitable projection optics and controls can generate dynamic light distributions for a wide variety of lighting applications. This presentation will review recent progress in developing a full-function digital light source for general illumination.


DAY 3 – APRIL 12th

Day three will consider the entire lifecycle of intelligence in lighting, and ultimately, the feedback loop in the design -> implement -> operate -> inform lifecycle. How does this wave of data enable us to make more informed decisions on our next designs, and how do we consider operational outcomes in inform our new design concepts?
Farukh Aslam

CEO – Sinclair HoldingsFarukh Aslam

Session Description: This talk wil  describe how IoT, smart systems, and rapid innovation in the built environment are addressing energy sustainability and human health and wellbeing by transforming buildings. A vision of where these technological processes are moving will be presented, and examples of how this transformation is unfolding today will be presented.

Underwritten by

IES Vaccination Policy for In-Person Events

The IES has updated it’s vaccination policy for in-person events. Going forward, all IES events shall follow the regulations and requirements of the event host city’s health department, and/or ruling authority, in addition to requirements of the venue for COVID-19 mitigation. [Updated: 15Mar2022]

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