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Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

2020-21 Provost Lecture Series

Julia Keen

The Impact of the Built Environment on Teaching and Learning

Friday, April 2, 2021
10:30 a.m.
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Julia Keen, P.E., Ph.D, ASHRAE Fellow, HBDP
Professor of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science
2020-2021 Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars

Biographical Sketch

Julia Keen is a Professor of Undergraduate Teaching in Architectural Engineering and Construction Science at Kansas State University holding the Bob and Betty Tointon Engineering endowed chair.  Her specific areas of interest include HVAC design, energy codes, high performance building design, HVAC education, and the advancement of women in the building design and construction industry. Prior to Julia’s faculty position at K-State, she worked as a Mechanical/Electrical Project Engineer.  In this capacity she was responsible for the design of building systems from initial planning stages through final project inspection and completion.  She is a Licensed Mechanical Professional Engineer in Kansas and Iowa and holds the ASHRAE Certification - High-Performance Building Design Professional (HBDP).  Her contributions to the HVAC industry and education have been recognized.  She was promoted to the grade of ASHRAE Fellow and was identified as 2019 Engineered Systems Magazine’s 20 to Watch: Women in HVAC.  Her teaching awards include: Coonrod Family Construction Faculty, Multicultural Engineering Program Faculty Engagement (2019, 2017), ASHRAE Campbell Teaching, Hafling ARE/CNS Faculty Fellowship (2017, 2011, & 2005), College of Engineering Myers-Alford, Keenan Family ARE/CNS Faculty, KSU Athletics Professor of the Week, National Electrical Contractors’ Association Professorship (2010, 2006, & 2004), College of Engineering Scholer Faculty, ASEE Midwest Section Outstanding Teaching, and College of Engineering Hollis Award.


Research shows that individuals spend nearly 90% of their time indoors.  Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, we have altered how we think about the environment we occupy.  The built environment should not only be safe but it should also contribute favorably to the intended task of the occupant.  This presentation will share best practices in design of classrooms to enhance teaching and learning.  This content is not only relevant to those physically teaching on campus but also to those engaged in remote delivery because the recommendations may be transferred to one’s home workspace.