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Personal profile


“I dream of a better world; of a society that is healthy, social, sustainable, safe and in optimal balance with its environment; Creating a smart city by making use of modern technology”

Research profile

Elphi Nelissen is a Full Professor and Chair of Building Sustainability at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Her areas of expertise include renewable energy and the built environment, circular building economy, sustainable building, building services, building physics, building acoustics and girls and technology.

Elphi initiated the development of a true Smart District in the Brainport region, to be established ultimately in 2021. It will be a unique living lab, in which all new and smart technologies are to be integrated in a renewable, social and attractive living district. The Brainport Smart District gives the university the opportunity to research, develop and experiment with new building methods, circular building, energy generation and storage, mobility concepts and to perform research on safety and health related topics, in close cooperation with industry.

Academic background

Elphi obtained her MSc in Building Physics from TU/e, where she became a Fellow in 2009 and has been Full Professor Building Sustainability since 2011. Since 2019, she is Scientific Director of the post-master (PDEng) program Sustainable Buildings and Cities. From 2011 to 2019 she was the Dean of the Department of the Built Environment. In this capacity, she held final responsibility for the educational and research programs of the Department as well as for its management. In addition to her position at the university, Professor Nelissen is chairwoman of the Socio-Economic Council of the Province of Brabant (SER-B) and is chairwoman of the Advisory College of the Province (BrabantAdvies). She influences policy making in the field of circular and sustainable building on a national level, in her role as chairwoman of the Transition Team Circulair Building Economy and member of the national Taskforce Building Agenda (Bouwagenda). In 1991, Elphi established independent engineering agency Nelissen BV, which offers expertise in the field of building physics, building acoustics and building services. She holds several additional functions, such as chairwoman of the TU/e Smart Cities Program and member of the Board of SPARK Campus. In 2016, she was elected most influential woman in the Eindhoven/Brainport region.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Elphi Nelissen is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

heat pump Social Sciences
chamber Social Sciences
experimental design Earth & Environmental Sciences
Design of experiments Engineering & Materials Science
climate Social Sciences
evaluation Social Sciences
Sustainable development Engineering & Materials Science
Physics Engineering & Materials Science

Research Output 2010 2014

  • 43 Citations
  • 5 Article
  • 3 Pd Eng Thesis
  • 1 Inaugural speech
  • 1 Conference contribution

Hospitality lighting solutions communication framework

Blanch, A., 2014, Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven.

Research output: ThesisPd Eng ThesisAcademic

Open Access

Investigation of a novel sorption heat pump system for heating, cooling and heat storage

Mirmohammadi, S. A., 2014, Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven.

Research output: ThesisPd Eng ThesisAcademic

Open Access

Smart façade concept for the renovation of the TU/e main building

Hombrink, K. & Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TUE). Stan Ackermans Instituut. Smart Energy Buildings & Cities (SEBC), 2014, Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven.

Research output: ThesisPd Eng ThesisAcademic

Open Access
9 Citations (Scopus)

Downdraught assessment during design : experimental and numerical evaluation of a rule of thumb

Schellen, L., Timmers, S., Loomans, M. G. L. C., Nelissen, E. S. M., Hensen, J. L. M. & Marken Lichtenbelt, van, W. D., 2012, In : Building and Environment. 57, p. 290-301

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
heat pump
experimental design
Design of experiments

Leren Integraal te ontwerpen

Zeiler, W., Harkness, D. R., Nelissen, E. S. M., Houten, van, M. A., Veeger, T. T., Blok, R. & Timmermans, A. W. C., 2012, In : TVVL Magazine. 41, 1, p. 10-12 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

Activities 2014 2018

  • 6 Invited talk
  • 3 Membership of board
  • 2 Membership of committee
  • 2 Keynote talk

Slimme Wijk

Masi Mohammadi (Speaker), E.S.M. Nelissen (Speaker), Paula Nelissen (Chair)
2 Dec 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkProfessional

Slimme Wijk: Brainport Smart District

Elphi Nelissen (Speaker)
22 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkProfessional


Circulair Bouwen

Elphi Nelissen (Speaker)
10 Oct 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkProfessional


Circulaire Bouweconomie. Update van het Transitieteam Circulaire Bouw.

Elphi Nelissen (Speaker)
20 Mar 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkProfessional


Renovatiedag NRP Circulaire Bouw Ambities

Elphi Nelissen (Speaker)
8 Feb 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkProfessional

Press / Media

De Kringloopklus. Interview by De Ingenieur

Elphi Nelissen


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Op naar de top; leren circulair bouwen. Bijdrage NVBV Vakblad Bouwfysica.

Elphi Nelissen


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Student theses

An energy network of local energy suppliers in rural India: improving the Rural Spark energy kit on technical and social-economic aspects

Author: Randjiet-Singh, C., 31 Aug 2015

Supervisor: Nelissen, E. (Supervisor 1), Boxem, G. (Supervisor 2), Höffken, J. (Supervisor 2) & Mertens, E. (External person) (External coach)

Student thesis: Master


Der Stadtcampus: een denkplek in de stad

Author: Vossen, F., 2014

Supervisor: Rapp, C. (Supervisor 1), Apelt, H. (Supervisor 2) & Nelissen, E. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Design guidelines to prevent downdraught: effective measures to assure thermal comfort near glass façades

Author: Timmers, S., 31 May 2011

Supervisor: Hensen, J. (Supervisor 1), Loomans, M. (Supervisor 2), Nelissen, E. (Supervisor 2) & Schellen, L. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


De weg naar Cradle to Cradle: Nederlandse vrijstaande woningen volgens de Cradle to Cradle filosofie

Author: van Veldhuizen, D., 31 Dec 2010

Supervisor: Post, J. (Supervisor 1), Erkelens, P. (Supervisor 2), van de Berg, M. (External person) (External coach) & Nelissen, E. (External coach)

Student thesis: Master


Het thermisch en hygrisch gedrag van de ISB-woning : een innovatief systeem van bouwen

Author: Voets, A., 31 Jan 1996

Supervisor: Rutten, P. (Supervisor 1), Schellen, H. (Supervisor 2), Janssen, J. (External person) (Supervisor 2) & Nelissen, E. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master