ISU architecture lecturer Rob Whitehead honored by international educators’ association|
AMES, Iowa — Rob Whitehead, a lecturer in architecture at Iowa State University, will receive the Building Technology Teaching Award for Emerging Faculty from the Building Technology Educators' Society (BTES) Aug. 6 at its annual conference in Toronto.
The biennial award recognizes excellence in teaching performance, innovation and commitment by an emerging faculty member in building technology education. Faculty who have received tenure or hold the rank of full professor are not eligible.
Whitehead received a Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State in 1993 and Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. He joined the ISU architecture faculty in 2007 after nine years as a senior architect with Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture in Des Moines. Since 2007 he also has run his own architectural practice, Whitehead Design Workshop, in Des Moines.
At Iowa State, Whitehead teaches design studio, undergraduate structural technology courses and graduate-level building technology seminars, including SCI-TECH, a sequence of architectural technology courses that incorporates sustainable design principles.
The BTES awards jury was particularly impressed by the demonstration of teaching skill in Whitehead’s portfolio submission and "the obvious passion [his] technology courses engender in [his] students' work," said juror Gil Snyder, an associate professor of architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and member of the BTES board of directors. Other jurors included Edward Allen, FAIA—coauthor of Fundamentals of Building Construction, Materials and Methods and winner of the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education presented by the American Institute of Architects—and Michelle Addington, Hines Professor of Sustainable Architectural Design at Yale University.
This is the third national honor for Whitehead. With Associate Professors Jason Alread and Thomas Leslie, he received an honorable mention for SCI-TECH in the higher education category of the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2009 Excellence in Green Building Education Recognition Awards. Whitehead and Leslie also received a 2009 NCARB Grant for the Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards for development of beginning and intermediate structure courses to teach students how to better integrate basic structural principles into their design work.
"It has been largely Rob's effort and application that has produced what I believe is among the most innovative, effective structures sequences in the country," said Leslie, who nominated Whitehead for the BTES award. "He has expanded the scope of the introductory SCI-TECH class and increased students' fluency and comprehension in what we now regard as fundamental elements of building design throughout our curriculum."
Leslie also praised Whitehead's enthusiasm for teaching, his commitment to students, and his strong technical and design background.
"With good humor, patience and constant attention to whether students are 'getting it' or not, Rob has been able to present complex material in ways that are engaging, convincing and digestible to students in both architecture and interior design. He finds teaching opportunities in both successful and unsuccessful student projects, which creates a supportive and welcoming atmosphere," Leslie said.
The Building Technology Educators’ Society is an international
association of architectural educators who teach the technology of building
design and construction. Learn more about the BTES and the Building Technology
Teaching Award for Emerging Faculty online at www.btesonline.org.