The connection between sensors, devices and humans is at the heart of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) in commercial buildings, and represents intriguing research opportunities for Jovan Pantelic, who joined CBE as a research specialist in the fall of 2016. As sensors become more advanced and lower in cost, it may enable the type of “ubiquitous” sensing that has been anticipated already for many years.
Jovan thinks that the IoT is poised to provide value to building operators and occupants alike; however, the benefits will depend on advancements still needed in data analytics and visualization. He notes that, “we could soon have the ability to monitor the conditions at every workstation. But sensing itself has little value — the value comes from analytics and communicating information. If we are not able to communicate something effectively to occupants, these systems just become another complicated system that some people will like, and some people will hate.”
Jovan brings considerable expertise to CBE’s team, as he has dedicated many years of his postgraduate professional career studying the indoor environment, including various aspects of air quality, fluid mechanics applied to the indoor environment, liquid desiccants and hydronic radiant systems. His work has been recognized with the ASHRAE 2016 Ralph G. Nevins Physiology and Human Environment Award, awarded once yearly to young researchers on human responses to the environment. In doing so, he joins several CBE staff and alumni who have received this prestigious award.
His professional endeavors have taken him around the globe, including stints at the University of Maryland, Harvard, the University of Cambridge, ETH Zurich and Princeton University. He earned his doctorate in Architectural Engineering from the National University of Singapore, and his Master’s degree in Thermal and Fluid Engineering at the University of Belgrade. Since joining CBE, Jovan has contributed to CBE’s Optimizing Radiant Systems project, leading laboratory studies of thermal performance of radiant floor systems, including integration with ceiling fans, and the cooling performance with direct solar radiation, using the advanced facilities at Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s FLEXLAB testbed. He is also leading a field investigation, at the Delta Products Headquarters in Fremont, Calif., a ZNE building with in-slab radiant conditioning, where he is deploying several new field measurement tools and devices, including CBE’s Building Evaluation Toolkit, and commercial products.
In addition to these core CBE projects, Jovan is pursuing several promising new research topics. He recently co-authored, with Research Specialist Lindsay Graham, a successful proposal to the Siebel Energy Institute, to study the relationship between energy use, indoor air quality and occupant behavior (details on this work will be forthcoming soon). Also, in collaboration with a former Princeton colleague, he is currently pursuing funding to prototype and evaluate a liquid desiccant humidifier that could be incorporated into a façade, enabling low energy, compressor-free cooling in many humid climates such as Florida. The faculty and research team at CBE are excited about these new directions, and the technical expertise and inquisitive style that Jovan has brought to bear on our work.