Invited Talk

For this first Invited Talk of the year, Dr. Zoltan Nagy (University of Texas at Austin) has been invited by TEBEL laboratory to present his researches on "Reinforcement learning for the building energy control". The online talk will take place on 26 January 2021 from 13:00 to 14:00.

Reinforcement learning (RL) has gained popularity in the research community as a model-free and adaptive control paradigm for the built environment, especially for building energy control. RL has the potential to enable inexpensive plug-and-play building controllers that can be implemented without necessitating potentially expensive control models (unlike model predictive control), and to coordinate multiple buildings for demand response, load shaping, and load shifting. In this presentation, Dr. Nagy will give an overview of the research activities in the Intelligent Environments Lab at UT Austin, and discuss its developed RL controllers: LightLearn and HVACLearn, occupant-centric controllers to balance comfort and energy use at the zone level, and CityLearn, and OpenAI Gym environment to facilitate development of Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning controllers to study interacting buildings, and building-grid interaction.

Dr. Nagy is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, directing the Intelligent Environments Laboratory since 2016. A roboticist turned building engineer, his research interests are in smart buildings and cities, renewable energy systems, control systems for zero emission building operation, machine learning and artificial intelligence for the built environment, and the influence of building occupants on energy performance. Dr. Nagy has co-founded the award-winning high-tech spin-off Femtotools ( in 2007, and was member of its board of directors until 2011. He holds a Diploma (BSc/MSc) and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich.

Full video of the event:

Dr. Zoltan Nagy, assistant professor, The University of Texas at Austin