Thomas Knittel is a vice president of HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. Mr. Knittel joined HOK in 2007 in New York, relocated to the Seattle office in 2010, and joined the Los Angeles office in 2013 as senior principal of design. His notable projects at HOK include the new LEED Platinum King Abdulla University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, the Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a mixed-use center in Wuhan, China, the Meixi Lake R4 mixed-use district for 50,000 residents near Changsha, China, and a commercial center in São Paulo, Brazil. His work in biomimicry—taking inspiration from natural systems in order to solve human problems—focuses on integrating models from nature into the design of buildings, communities and cities. He has received over 29 design excellence awards, including a GSA Design Excellence Award and AIA Top Ten Green award for KAUST. Mr. Knittel holds a Bachelor’s of Architecture from Kansas State University, a Biomimicry Specialty certificate from Biomimicry 3.8, and a Master of Design Studies from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He was coauthor for the Genius of Biome report, a biomimicry resource created by HOK and Biomimicry 3.8. Thomas donates his time as HOK’s design leader for the William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center, a new family learning center and orphanage funded by the USGBC. His current projects include a 4.5 million SF mixed-use project in Beijing, two net-zero energy projects in California, a conversion of a big-box facility to a reference laboratory in Chino Hills, and the new Ventura County replacement hospital.