Susan Schaefer Kliman, PhD, FAIA

Leader.  Educator. Innovator.

Copyright 2019. Susan Schaefer Kliman. All rights reserved.

High-Performance Architecture Through Science and Design.  For over 30 years I have dedicated my professional life to improving the world around me through research, design, and education.  My career has blended academia, the practice of architecture, and research.

A native of Tucson, Arizona, I developed a deep appreciation for the fragile desert environment as a child and learned to recognize the profound impact of climate and development.  My early experiences with nature have been a driving force in my life as I have pursued my academic career and the practice architecture.

I earned my Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University. After gaining professional experience at firms in both Washington, DC. and Las Vegas, Nevada, I returned to Tucson, where I concurrently worked for a local firm managing several projects and embarked upon graduate studies at the University of Arizona. These studies allowed me to pursue my long-term interest in energy-efficient design – particularly in a desert environment -  and to gain expertise in that area.  I received a Master of Architecture with a concentration in desert architecture, followed by a Ph.D. in Arid Lands Resource Sciences, with an emphasis on energy-efficient architecture. My research provided me with a strong background in climatic processes, such as the urban heat island effect and the oasis effect, as well as structural factors impacting the energy consumption of buildings in a desert environment.  I have lectured on energy-efficient and sustainable design in an arid region.   I have been a contributor to and author of several articles and publications on this topic. I currently have a grant through the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) looking at food-producing roofs as a mechanism for urban heat island mitigation and food security in an urban area.

Throughout my graduate studies, I remained engaged in the profession. I launched my own firm, now known as Klimatic Architecture, not long after receiving my license to practice. I am currently a registered architect in six jurisdictions.  My project experience is broad, including educational facilities, military facilities, recreational facilities, institutional buildings, municipal structures, historic preservation projects, commercial tenant improvements, churches, and custom homes.

I also care deeply about the education and training of the next generation of architects.  Since 2020 I have served as a Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture at North Dakota State University, following 6-1/2 years at the University of the District of Columbia. I have volunteered for the National Council Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) since 2007, served on several accrediting teams and committees for the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), and served as a supervisor, mentor, and AXP Licensing Advisor.

Contact Information:

Phone: 701.231.8227


Address:  NDSU Dept. 2352,  PO Box 6050,  Fargo, ND  58108-6050