Two Texas A&M University deans have been elected to the National Academy of Construction for championing construction science education and enhancing the strength and well-being of the construction industry. Jorge Vanegas, dean of the College of Architecture, and Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of engineering, are among 38 new members of this elite group.
The NAC is one of the nation’s most esteemed professional construction industry institutions with 292 Academy members and tens of thousands of participants in all sectors of the industry.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to not only join an esteemed and prestigious body of leaders, but more importantly, to contribute to the mission of the NAC to serve our nation's largest industry in a positive and impactful manner,” said Vanegas.
Vanegas, who has headed the College of Architecture since 2008, is also a research professor at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.
In his scholarly activities, Vanegas focuses on applying creativity, innovation, design and entrepreneurship in multidisciplinary environments, implementing built environment sustainability, and advancing asset delivery and management in architecture, engineering and construction through integrated strategies, tools and methods.
He has received national and international awards for his education, research, and professional scholarly accomplishments, including being inducted in 2010 in the Pan American Academy of Engineering.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in Construction Engineering and Management from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University.
Banks oversees coordination and collaboration among the engineering, academic, and research programs at seven universities throughout The Texas A&M University System, as well as three state agencies: the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
Banks was previously the Bowen Engineering Head for the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University and the Jack and Kay Hockema Professor at Purdue. She received her B.S.E. from the University of Florida, M.S.E. from the University of North Carolina, and Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Duke University.
She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. She has received numerous awards including the ASCE Petersen Outstanding Woman of the Year Award, ASCE Rudolph Hering Medal, Purdue Faculty Scholar Award, Sloan Foundation Mentoring Fellowship, and the American Association of University Women Fellowship.
Vanegas and Banks were formally inducted at ceremonies in San Diego on Oct. 11, 2018.