Koen van Balen
Heritage Awards Jury
Jury Member

Koenraad Van Balen graduated as Engineer-Architect at the KU Leuven (Belgium) in 1979; post-graduate degree in architectural conservation in 1984 and a Ph.D in Engineering in 1991 at the KU Leuven.
Since October 2022 he is an emeritus professor at the KU Leuven, the Civil Engineering department and he is the former acting director of the Raymond Lemaire International Center for Conservation (RLICC) at the University of Leuven, holder of the PRECOM3OS UNESCO chair since 2008-2024. He was member of the research Council of KU Leuven from 2016-2020. He is one of the initiators of HERKUL: the KU Leuven Institute for Cultural heritage.
Through HERKUL and the collaboration within the Una Europa alliance – of which KU Leuven is part – he is strongly involved in the activities of the European Institute of Technology (EIT) Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) Culture and Creativity and in the European Heritage Hub.
Koen Van Balen was recently be appointed as member of the panel for the European Heritage Label by the European Commission. He is also a member of the Council of Europa Nostra.
He has many publications and managed different research projects dealing with heritage preservation, ancient and new sustainable construction materials. He was member of the Scientific Committee of the European-wide research coordination initiative “Joint Program Initiative: Cultural Heritage (JPI-CH)”. Relevant projects and publications are
• the ILUCIDARE project dealing with Cultural Heritage Led innovation and international relations (2018-2022) providing a wealth of educational material on Cultural Heritage led innovation and cultural heritage led international relations:;
• Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe project and report (2015) introducing the “upstream approach”.


Yonca Kösebay Erkan
1) Conservation & Adaptive Reuse
Member of the Selection Committee

Yonca ERKAN is a professor of Built Heritage at University of Antwerp since 2022. She is the UNESCO Chair on the Management and Promotion of World Heritage Sites: New Media and Community Involvement (since 2015) at the Kadir Has University, Istanbul. In 2018, she worked as senior consultant at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, as the HUL/World Heritage Cities Programme Coordinator. Currently, she is coordinating the EU research project within the Horizon2020 Marie-Sklodowska Curie – RISE Program titled “Sustainable Management of Industrial Heritage as a Resource for Urban Development” (2021-2025). Yonca Erkan also coordinates a funded project titled “In the context of urban-rural continuity, Web-GIS based Integrated Site Management Model for historic cities: The Case of İznik” (2021-2024). She received her PhD Degree in Architectural Conservation from Istanbul Technical University (2007), Master of Science Degree in Architecture Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1998), Master in Architectural Conservation, Yıldız Technical University (1996) where she also got her Bachelors Degree (1993).