Pilar Garcia-Almirall, director of the UPC’s Virtual Innovation in Modelling the Architecture and the City Lab (VIMAC), was one of the ten people distinguished with the Narcís Monturiol Medal this year for contributions made during their professional careers.
The presentation of the Narcís Monturiol medals and plaque took place on 4 November in the auditorium of the Palau de la Generalitat. The award distinguishes people and entities who have contributed notably to the development of science and technology in Catalonia.
With a PhD in Architecture received in 1998 and the special doctoral award of the UPC at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB), Pilar Garcia-Almirall is director of the university’s Department of Architectural Technology. She has been a full professor in Architectural Technology since 2009 and has spent almost 20 years at the head of the Virtual City Modelling Lab, now called the Virtual Innovation in Modelling the Architecture and the City Lab (VIMAC), associated with the ETSAB. From this laboratory, she has promoted the integration of new technologies into architecture teaching and research.
An expert in real estate, Pilar Garcia Almirall has led innovative research on the assessment of architectural, urban and architectural spaces; dwellings and the improvement of neighbourhoods. She has been a pioneer in the incorporation of information technologies such as the geographic information system (GIS) in the study, assessment and management of the city. With her cross-disciplinary research, she has contributed new methods and procedures to systematize descriptors in building, the assessment of building quality, and the housing, social and urban development conditions of dwellings; and associated problems in vulnerable neighbourhoods.
As a researcher, she is assistant director of the Centre for Land Valuation Policy, as well as member of the research group Quality of Urban Life: Sustainability, Rehabilitation and Innovation (IQURB), recognized by the Catalan Government.
During her career, she has directed a large number of research projects (over 50), including 5 competitive projects on topics of immigration, housing and the city; other international projects; and 3 cooperation projects on geospatial information technologies (IDE/SIG).
As a teacher, she is professor at the ETSAB and has been a director for over 20 years of the professional master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems taught at the UPC School. In the period 2006-2011 she was deputy director of the ETSAB. Institutionally, she also participates in various advisory bodies and is the UPC Board of Trustees’ representative on the Barcelona Social Housing Council.
She has received various awards, such as the ‘La Caixa’ Social Award for supervision of doctoral theses.