Interdisciplinary emphasis yields Regan Prize for Fernández-Solís

J. Thomas Regan

J. Thomas Regan

An emphasis on interdisciplinary education, including a graduate capstone class last fall that included students in civil engineering, construction management, property and land development and architecture, has netted José Fernández-Solís, Texas A&M associate professor of construction science, the 2012 J. Thomas Regan Interdisciplinary Faculty Prize.

The prize was established by members of the College of Architecture’s Dean’s Advisory Council to honor former dean J. Thomas Regan, a champion of interdisciplinary education in the built environment disciplines. The prize is awarded annually to a faculty member selected by a faculty committee from a pool of nominees.

Last fall, students led by Fernández-Solis formed “virtual” environmental consultant and construction companies to modify a “real life” proposal provided by Linbeck, a Houston-based builder.

In their role as environmental consultants, students adjusted the design and specifications of the proposal to create a “net zero” building, defined as a building with zero net energy consumption and zero annual carbon emissions.

Students then put on their builders’ hats, modifying the proposed building’s site logistics, utilization plans, construction schedule, cost estimates, quality assurance and quality control plans.

At the end of the semester, students presented their proposal to a panel of industry professionals, construction science faculty and Texas A&M University System representatives.

A faculty member since 2006, Fernández-Solís’ teaching, research and engagement interests are in the areas of sustainability, environment, theory, capstone materials and methods and advanced project management.

In 2008, he was selected as an Outstanding Corps Academic Mentor of the Year by the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets.

He mentored company A-2, which consists of students enrolled in College of Architecture degree programs.

He earned a Ph.D at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2006, a Master of Theology in 1979 and a Master of Divinity in 1978 at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1972.

posted March 6, 2013