Philippe Block is Associate Professor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, where he directs the Block Research Group (BRG) together with Dr. Tom Van Mele. The BRG focuses on equilibrium analysis, computational form finding, optimisation and fabrication of curved surface structures, specialising in unreinforced masonry vaults and thin concrete shells. Within the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication, the BRG develops innovative structural design strategies using bespoke prefabrication, pushing construction innovation.
Block studied architecture and structural engineering at the VUB in Belgium, and at MIT in the USA, where he earned his PhD in 2009. With the BRG and as partner of Ochsendorf DeJong & Block (ODB Engineering), he applies his research into practice on the structural assessment of historic monuments and the design and engineering of novel compression structures. He has won numerous awards for his research, has lectured at top universities and leading engineering and architecture offices worldwide, and is regularly invited as an expert consultant.