Presented by the Designers Lighting Forum of New York

March 17-18, 2020

New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019

2020 PANEL DISCUSSION: Designers Befriend a Researcher

PANEL DISCUSSION: Designers Befriend a Researcher

Tuesday, March 17
2:30pm – 4:00pm
Room: Murray East


Credits: 1.5 AIA LU

Our industry is ever evolving; from current technologies and luminaire advances to stricter energy codes. Yet most of the metrics we use as lighting designers haven’t evolved much over recent decades. Why is that? A team of lighting designers and a researcher will engage in a point/counter-point discussion about the gaps that inevitably occur between current research and the reality of applying it in design applications. They will explore several research topics with detailed case studies, evaluating what research data tell us and discussing why and what type of metrics are most needed for designers.


  1. Better understand qualitative and quantitative metrics such as illuminance and flicker
  2. Be better equip to evaluate design outcomes in the field and access design performance
  3. Learn about emerging metrics, tools and meters utilized in evaluating design performance
  4. Understand why research struggles to answer design questions and be reminded about older design issues that still plague our industry


Andrea Wilkerson, Ph.D., LC
Senior Lighting Research Engineer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Andrea Wilkerson is a Senior Lighting Research Engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, focusing on the evaluation of emerging lighting technology, supporting the U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting program. She earned her doctorate from Penn State and her BS and MAE from the University of Nebraska in the respective architectural engineering programs. Andrea serves on the IALD Education Trust Board of Directors, multiple IES committees, and on the NCQLP Exam committee.

Katherine Stekr, CLD, IALD, MIES, EDAC, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, HLB Lighting Design

Katherine Stekr is an Associate with HLB Lighting Design. Katherine’s role is to ensure that the client receives a lighting scheme that suits their programmatic requirements, budget, and aesthetic considerations. She is inspired by the stories that set the tone for the building design and strives to capture what is unique about the architecture and the client when developing the lighting design. Katherine was drawn to lighting design because it represented a hybrid of creativity, problem solving and biological sciences. She has fostered an ever-evolving appreciation for the impact that light can have on a space, and the emotional connection it can strike with occupants. Katherine has built her experience by working on design projects in the corporate, healthcare and higher education market sectors. She brings a fresh and up-to-date perspective in the “light and health” debate and is skilled in being able to craft a narrative of lighting design that weaves into the architectural design goals.

Rachel Fitzgerald, CLD, IALD, LC, LEED AP BD+C
Senior Lighting Designer / Associate, Stantec

Rachel Fitzgerald is a Senior Lighting Designer and Discipline Leader with the global design firm Stantec. A graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder’s lighting program, she has more than 15 years of experience providing exterior and interior lighting designs for hospitality, mixed-use, retail, corporate interiors, civic, multi-family and recreation projects. Rachel is an industry leader who drives health and well-being through lighting and daylighting, providing significant expertise to her building and master plan work globally. Over the past decade, Rachel’s talent and commitment to design highly sustainable and human-centric spaces has resulted in more than two dozen industry design awards. Her desire to create a world where lighting plays a more impactful role is also manifested through her industry involvement. She is actively involved in regional and national organizations such as the IALD and is passionate about educating others on the power of quality lighting.