Georgia Tech to Offer First PhD Degree in Building Construction

Oct 19, 2011 | Atlanta, GA

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Teri Nagel, Georgia Tech College of Architecture

The University System of Georgia has approved a new PhD degree with a major in Building Construction at Georgia Tech, the first such offering in the nation. Housed within the College of Architecture and the School of Building Construction, the program is now accepting applications for fall 2012 admission.

The program will emphasize original interdisciplinary scholarship in key and emerging areas, such as sustainability, integrated delivery, technology and energy—topics that faculty and researchers in the School of Building Construction already are actively pursuing through more than $1 million in sponsored-research projects.

“Complex building systems, innovative construction technologies and new materials, coupled with great expectations among owners and users for quality sustainability and value, have led to rising demand for highly educated construction professionals,” said Daniel Castro, chair of the School of Building Construction. “Graduates of the PhD in Building Construction will not only have the potential to positively impact the industry, but also our society as a whole through innovations in renewable energy, enhanced efficiency, improved quality of life for building occupants, reduced costs and safer workplaces.”

Graduates will be prepared for careers as scholars and professionals in the military, universities, private laboratories, industry and government agencies.

“The Georgia Tech advantage is clear linkages and complementary knowledge with researchers across the Institute,” said Alan Balfour, Dean of the College of Architecture. “As world cities resume growth after the global recession and as new whole new cities are formed in emerging regions, leaders must be just as fluent in sustainable construction management as they are knowledgeable in architecture, structural engineering, mechanical engineering and environmental control systems.”

Doctoral studies in building construction are typically offered as a concentration or “track” within architecture or civil engineering departments. With Georgia Tech’s robust research agenda and active faculty in building construction, the formalized PhD in Building Construction will bolster research strengths in this area and support ambitious goals laid out in the Institute’s strategic plan.

“Indeed, this initiative is emblematic of the Institute’s culture of multidisciplinarity, creative problem-solving, and global citizenship,” Balfour continued.

Twelve alumni of Georgia Tech’s PhD in Architecture program concentrated their research and subsequently their careers in building construction. Currently, there are 17 advanced students enrolled in the School who are expected to graduate with the new PhD in Building Construction.

Inquiries regarding the application process should be directed to Jacquelyn Strickland at jstrickland@coa.gatech.edu or 404-385-7089.

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