DFC 2017 Emerging Leaders at the DFC 2017 Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design

The Design Futures Council (DFC) has named eight professionals as its Emerging Leaders at the organization’s 16th annual Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design. The event took place in Toronto on September 18-19, 2017.

The Design Futures Council’s annual Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design brings together 100 business and sustainability leaders from the world’s most influential architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) firms, real estate companies, educators, and building product manufacturers to identify drivers of change, analyze emerging data, and explore innovation in sustainable design.

One of the Design Futures Council’s missions is to identify and recognize future leaders who are having—and will increasingly have—an impact on design practices, design professions, and the community. The DFC Emerging Leaders scholarship program addresses this goal by selecting individuals who represent the future of design practice in terms of its broadening scope, service to society, sustainable design, and technological innovation. DFC Emerging Leaders are nominated by members and senior fellows of the Design Futures Council and selected by editors and managers at DesignIntelligence, the Design Futures Council’s parent organization.

Each of the eight emerging leaders received a scholarship to attend the summit. Scholarships were provided by DuPont Protection Solutions. DuPont has been the exclusive sponsor of the DFC Emerging Leaders program since 2010.

The 2017 Emerging Leaders:

Shannon Bunsen is sustainability project manager at Mazzetti+GBA. She was an ASHE Energy to Care Award winner in 2016. She created the sustainability position she held at University of Wisconsin Health and grew a system-wide program from the ground up. In her first few months at Mazzetti+GBA, she has written six abstracts, two papers, and one grant that promote thought leadership and advance the sustainability agenda. She is developing new services that will help the healthcare industry remain resilient in the face of climate change. She has an unwavering commitment to making the world a better place. Shannon was unable to attend the summit, but her scholarship was received on her behalf by Seth Francis.


Ruby Heard is an electrical engineer at Arup. She has a passion for shaping a better world through clean, renewable energy and for helping the people who need it most. Ruby has been involved in many projects on the forefront of microgrid design for resilient, efficient, and sustainable buildings. She is currently leading a study on microgrids for airports, helping to realize San Francisco’s resiliency strategies through solar and storage for disaster relief buildings, and offering her own time to assist with electrical design for the Homeless Advocacy Project office. She also runs Arup San Francisco’s green team.


Heather Jauregui joined Perkins Eastman in 2015 as a sustainability specialist and began working with its sustainability team to educate the staff. Since she joined the team, Perkins Eastman’s energy reduction targets have risen to meet industry averages, the number of LEED certified projects has doubled, and the percentage of staff with LEED accreditation has increased almost 50 percent. Heather is most passionate about using performance analysis to inform smart design decisions. She led an extensive pre- and post-occupancy evaluation for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School in Cambridge, MA, which was named USGBC Massachusetts Green Building of the Year 2017. Heather earned an M.Arch. from the University of Oregon.


Jon Loewen is a designer at Perkins + Will with a keen interest in promoting sustainability. His focus is in creating a new generation of institutional and public buildings that are radically energy efficient and that promote occupant well-being. Some of his recent design and project documentation experience includes the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex, a LEED Gold targeted vertical campus that integrates living and learning themes of wellness and sustainability; and the Meadowvale Community Centre and Library, a LEED Gold targeted community facility that focuses on wetland remediation, occupant health and reduced energy consumption.


Shona O’Dea is a senior associate with DLR Group in the Chicago office. She earned an honors degree in Building Services Engineering from the Dublin Institute of Technology and pursued a dual master’s program in Sustainability, Technology and Innovation at Purdue University. Her focus on efficiency and indoor environmental quality is an important component of DLR Group’s Building Performance team, which supports the firm’s pursuit of sustainable building design and operation. Shona is a recognized expert in high performance building simulation and regularly presents at regional and national conferences.


Kelly Roberts is a principal and senior engineer at Walter P Moore in the Atlanta office. Kelly leads the firm’s Sustainable Design Community of Practice and specializes in life cycle assessment, embodied carbon studies, and the use of sustainable and salvaged materials. She is currently an active member of the Structural Engineering Institute’s Sustainability Committee and the Carbon Leadership Forum. As the leader of Walter P Moore’s internal Sustainable Design Community of Practice, Kelly mentors young designers and supports their passion for sustainable design.


Amanda Snelson is an architect with ZGF, and is a member of ZGF’s Project Performance team—an internal program that provides support in all aspects of sustainable design to project teams firm-wide. Her extracurricular commitments have included serving on AIACC’s Professional Practice Advisory Committee, Abundant Housing Los Angeles’s Policy Committee, and the 2015-2016 AIA|LA’s Design Award Committee.


Joel Yow is HDR’s Principal of Applied Design Research and Computational Design. Joel is responsible for implementing data-driven design processes on firm-wide projects, focusing on parametrics, sustainable performance, wellness, data visualization and efficient project delivery. As part of HDR’s global consulting practice, he has developed new computational tools and design workflows for various clients.


About the Design Futures Council 

The Design Futures Council is an independent and interdisciplinary network of design, product, construction and real estate leaders who explore trends, challenges, and opportunities to advance innovation and shape the future of the A/E/C industry and environment. The DFC integrates the latest research to benefit the built environment, improve the way we design and build, and strengthen member organizations. The organization challenges conventions and limiting beliefs, offering fresh intelligence, innovation, and strategic optimism to enable the design, product, construction and real estate industry to improve the human condition. The DFC was co-founded in 1994 by Dr. Jonas Salk and James P. Cramer.

About DuPont Protection Solutions 

DuPont Protection Solutions brings dynamic science to the discovery and development of innovative products and services for commercial construction together. DuPont™ Weatherization Systems offers the best balance of properties to help effectively seal the building envelope. Products such as DuPont™ Tyvek® CommercialWrap®, CommercialWrap® D and Tyvek® Fluid Applied provide a wide range of air, water and thermal management options for protecting commercial and Multifamily structures. DuPont has been the industry leader since inventing the building wrap category more than 30 years ago. Today, we share our building science and application knowledge with architects, builders, engineers and installers on innovative solutions to meet the dynamic building challenges of today and the future.

Photo by Hal Ozart on Unsplash.