Robert Koester
Robert Koester
Director of Center for Energy Research, Education and Service and Professor of Architecture


Room:AB 18

Ball State Sustainability website


  • M ARCH, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1974
  • B ARCH, University of Kentucky, 1969

Robert Koester, AIA NCARB, LEED AP, Professor of Architecture, Director of the Academy for Sustainability and the Center for Energy Research/Education/Service, and Chair of the Council on the Environment; University Liaison for ACUPCC, CLC, IGCN, ISCN, USGBC.

Koester has taught Design-for-Sustainability Studios, Sustainability Seminars, and Vital Signs Courses and co-taught the Daylectric™ Studio – focused on integrating daylighting and electrical lighting strategies in architectural design. He was honored in 2011 by the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning Alumni Association with the Charles M. Sappenfield Award of Excellence for “outstanding dedication, contribution and commitment to the education of the students of the Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning.

He is the Founding Director of the Center for Energy Research/Education/Service (CERES) providing interdisciplinary academic support focused on issues related to energy and resource use, alternatives and conservation. He serves as Founding Chair of the university-level Council on the Environment (COTE) a clearinghouse for campus-wide sustainability. He also serves as Founding Co-Chair of the Greening of the Campus Conference Series, the 9th of which was held in March of 2012 and featured the dedication of the university’s campus-wide geothermal district heating and cooling system. He is the university liaison to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS).

For the last four years he has been involved in the piloting of a new methodology by which universities can qualify their carbon reductions for transaction in the voluntary carbon market. This work was funded by the Chevrolet Climate Reduction Initiative. This includes building design and campus-wide energy conservation and alternative energy technology implementation.

In addition he is a Founding Member of the Board of Directors of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and the Formal Education Committee of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

He has presented at international conferences in Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, and Japan, and at domestic conferences including the national meetings of AASHE, AIA, APPA, ACSA, ASES, SBIC, SCUP and USGBC.

For some five years he collaborated in offering FEMP workshops on “Design Strategies for Low-Energy, Sustainable, and Secure Buildings” throughout the country based on a curriculum model which he structured and more recently, and has provided consultation to the sustainability planning of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology program.


Students working under his direction have won or placed in numerous competitions:

In the 2022 TEG Thesis Year Design Prize

Honor Award
Allison Loth

Merit Award
Collin Beresford

In the 2021 TEG Thesis Year Design Prize

Honorable Mention
Noah Smith

Josh March

In the 2020 TEG Thesis Year Design Prize

Honor Award
Zach McGill

In the 2019 MKM Design Competition (BSU/CAP)

First Place (Individual)
Chris Hamlin

Second Place (Teams)
Chase Holloway and Josh March

In the 2018 MKM Design Competition (BSU/CAP)

First Place (Individual)
Ethan Talbot

First Place (Teams)
Hau Xu and Anthony Medina

In the 2017 MKM Design Competition (BSU/CAP)

First Place (Teams)
Jessica Franke
Nick Marchio

In the 2016 ACSA Steel Design Competition (National)

Third Place (Individual)
Megan Stenftenagel

In the 2016 MKM Design Competition (BSU/CAP)

Second Place (Individual)
Megan Stenftenagel

Third Place (Individual)
Ellie Flaherty

In the 2015 MKM ACSA Steel Design Competition

Honor Award (Teams)
Paul Kitchen and Craig Zehr
Bryce Derhammer and Reva Ogle

Honorable Mention (Teams)
Eric Lawler and Clint Johnson
Alex Minor and Josh Edwards

In the 2014 MKM ACSA Steel Design Competition

First Place (Teams)
Zach Herbst and Sam Pfeifer

Third Place (Teams)
Mike Culler and Lauren McWhorter

Third Place (Individuals)
Bailey Stultz

In the 2010 Leading Edge Design Competition

First Place
Erin Chapman
Jason Klinker
Andrew Hesterman

Honorable Mention
Ben McHugh
Kate Lengacher
Xiorelis Ferrer

In the 2010 ASLA Student Awards Program for NativeSpec™

Communications Honor Award: for developing a custom seed specification tool for landscape architects to create seed mixes adapted to specific project criteria.
Nicholas Serrano
Brittany Harvey

In the 2011 U.S. Green Building Council Multifamily Mid-rise Design Competition

First Place
Wes Stabs
Michela Cupello