Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet (NTNU)


NTNU is the largest university in Norway, with 14 faculties and 70 departments and divisions. NTNU has more than 39 000 students and more than 4 600 person-years in academic or scientific positions (41% women). The university uses its main scientific profile in technology and the natural sciences and its cross-disciplinary competency to meet global challenges, summarized by its vision: Knowledge for a better world. Three out of four Strategic Research Areas at NTNU – Sustainability, Energy and Health – contribute directly to sustainable urbanization, delivering creative innovations with far-reaching social and economic impact in close collaboration with cities, industry, authorities and civil society. NTNU has a strong focus on international mobility and research training. 11% of its students and 41% of PhD graduates are foreign nationals, as well as about 1/3 of the academic staff. NTNU currently participates in 126 signed H2020 projects, 30% are coordinated by NTNU. In FP7, NTNU participated in 139 projects.

More about NTNU



Niki Gatani

syn.ikia Project Coordinator: scientific, administrative & financial Coordination. Leading WP1-Project Management & Coordination, and contributing to all WPs/tasks

Associate Professor at the Dept. of Architecture and Technology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU. With more than 15 years of experience in energy efficiency and sustainable design strategies from building to neighbourhood and city scale.

Project Leader of syn.ikia H2020 project (IA) – Sustainable Plus Energy Neighbourhoods. Co-Leader of the ARV project (Green Deal) on Climate Positive Circular Communities and responsible for the International Strategy of FME ZEN – Research Centre of Zero Emission Neighbourhoods

Active role in more than twenty EU funded research projects. Niki Gaitani teaches within the International MSc Program of Sustainable Architecture at NTNU.




Inger Andresen

Professor II in Integrated Energy Design

Inger Andresen is focusing on developing concepts and solutions for zero emission buildings and plus energy houses. Her main research interest is to develop effective energy solutions that are integral parts of the building design and that supports the realisation of sustainable buildings and good architecture. Her focus is not only on energy efficiency and low carbon footprint, but also on solutions that perform well with respect to indoor and outdoor environment, economics and social aspects.

Andresen was a leader of the research on pilot and demonstration buildings within the Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings (www.zeb.no). She has also been heavily involved in the research centre on Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities (www.fmezen.no), where she has been leading the work on pilot projects and living labs. She also has experience from the building industry, and is currently a senior advisor in energy and environment at Asplan Viak (www.asplanviak.no).

She is leader of Work Package 2 in syn.ikia on the development and demonstration of plus energy multi-storey apartment buildings.


Ruth Woods

Senior research scientist at the department of interdisciplinary studies of culture (NTNU)

Dr Ruth Woods is a social anthropologist with a particular interest in buildings and architecture. Her research interests include building “users”, living labs, zero emission neighbourhoods, and urban and rural development. Her most recent research has involved living labs in three communities in Norway who are, in collaboration with the Research Centre for Zero Emission neighbourhoods in Smart Cities, planning zero emission neighbourhoods. She is interested in how people’s ordinary everyday practices interact with, are affected by or engage with design and planning processes, and with the zero emission buildings and technology. Other interests include energy justice and implications of the sustainable transition for low-income groups. Ruth has a background from the arts and public art and has worked at SINTEF community for 7 years within the fields of user engagement, low-energy architecture and universal design. Within Syn.ikia Ruth will be working primarily with Work package 7, community engagement and user involvement.

Pedro Crespo del Granado

Senior Researcher

Dr. Pedro Crespo del Granado is a senior researcher at NTNU with a multi-disciplinary experience in H2020 projects: OpenENTRANCE (WP lead), INVADE (task contributor), +CityxChange (tasks lead), SET-Nav (WP lead), SENDER (task contributor) and others. He currently leads and coordinates the BEYOND project (2019-2022). He also works as an advisor and research scientist in the Smart Grids group at SINTEF-Energy (Norway). Prior to this, he was working at ETH Zurich (Switzerland). There, he supported the research work and management of two multi-disciplinary flagship projects focused on electricity market design and combining energy-economic models. He holds a PhD in Operations Research from Lancaster University (UK) and a M.Sc. in Systems Engineering  from The George Washington University (USA). His main research topics include flexibility in smart grids and distributed generation, and energy system modelling for the energy transition.

In Syn.ikia, he will be coordinating task 4.6 (WP4). The task, based on a sensitivity analysis on other synthetic demos, outlines possible socio-economic pathways towards the next level of energy plus neighbourhoods. He will also lead Task 6.5 (Business models), where challenges and opportunities for different business models will be analysed to outline market uptake measures for Syn.ikia Energy Plus Neighbourhoods.


Arild Gustavsen
  • Director of The Research Centre on Zero Emission Neighbourhoods (ZEN) in Smart Cities.
  • Professor in building physics at Department of Architectural Design, History and Technology at NTNU.

Arild Gustavsen is director of The Research Centre on Zero Emission Neighbourhoods (ZEN) in Smart Cities and professor in building physics at Department of Architectural Design, History and Technology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Arild Gustavsen holds a MSc degree in environmental physics (1996) and a PhD degree in building physics (2001). Research interests include zero emission buildings and neighborhoods, heat, air and moisture transfer in building envelope systems, and application of new materials in building assemblies. Arild´s role in the syn.ikia project is to contribute to the coordination of the project and the environmental evaluation of the buildings and neighbourhoods.

In syn.ikia Arild Gustavsen contributes to the coordination of the project and the environmental evaluation of the buildings and neighbourhoods.


Luca Finocchiaro

Associate Professor

After a Master degree in Building Engineering at the University of Catania (Italy), Luca Finocchiaro moved to Scotland where he earned a Master of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art. He worked in Barcelona as a visiting researcher at the ETSAB in UPC (developing his PhD thesis in environmental control and bioclimatic design) and practicing architecture. Luca is today Associate Professor in “Climate and built forms” and Head of the MSc program in Sustainable Architecture at NTNU. His main interest and research focus is the analysis and understanding of climate and its implementation into the architectural design of buildings able to passively address their environmental performance towards comfort. In 2009 Luca was initiator of the NTNU proposal for the Solar Decathlon 2012 and later architect of the LivingLab and Test Cell projects at the Zero Emission Buildings research centre in NTNU.

Vegard Hanssen Ekra

Financial Officer for EU projects

I work with budgetary and financial project support for projects within the EU framework Programme for Research and Innovation, hereunder the Horizon 2020 (H2020) programme and syn.ikia specifically. My responsibilities include budgeting of EU projects in the proposal and start up stage, financial reporting and monitoring of EU projects, and ad hoc problem solving with regards to arising financial challenges and reporting.

Andreas Vatne Ellefsen

Financial Advisor EU Projects

Andreas is providing advice to the project management team on issues concerning the financial management of the syn.ikia project. These issues include planning of financial processes, assessment of eligible costs, the payment schedule and third-party involvement. He is experienced handling financial issues in projects financed under the Framework Programme, working as a financial officer for EU projects at NTNU since 2008 and a financial advisor since 2015.


Tommy Kleiven


Tommy Kleiven is a professor in architecture and teaches within the international master programme of Sustainable Architecture at NTNU Faulty of Architecture and Design. His main teaching and research interest is within sustainable architecture and neighbourhoods (zero emission buildings and neighbourhoods). He has a special interest in passive energy design where the architecture itself responds to the climate and utilise passive strategies to achieve zero emission and plus energy buildings and neighbourhoods. Kleiven has a background from research within the field of low energy architecture (8 years at SINTEF) where he led and participated in several national and international research projects, amongst them the EU projects RetroKit (FP7) and Cohereno (IEE). He has also worked as a consultant in the private industry (8 years) and led a large architectural office (3 years) were he was responsible for several low energy and plus energy buildings within the fields of education, health and housing. Kleiven’s main contribution in synikia will be in WP2 and the four demo projects.


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