Ece Erdogmus Appointed as New Chair of the Georgia Tech School of Building Construction

Ece Erdogmus headshot.
Photo: Amy Rowell Photography

The College of Design is proud to announce the appointment of Ece Erdogmus as the new chair of the School of Building Construction, effective July 1, 2021.

“Dr. Erdogmus is a highly respected architectural engineering scholar,” said Dean and John Portman Chair Steven P. French. “She is a leading researcher on structural analysis of masonry construction and in applying nondestructive testing techniques to ancient structures.”

Before joining Georgia Tech, Erdogmus was Associate Director of the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction and professor at the University of Nebraska. She holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. Her roles as the editor of the ASCE Journal of Architectural Engineering and chair of the 14th North American Masonry Conference (14NAMC) highlight her status in the research community.

“Atlanta is a hub of the construction industry and I really want to connect with them as soon as possible, so we can draw the future of building construction together,” Erdogmus said. “I want our curriculum to be relevant to the industry and, at times, for our research to lead it.”

“The technology component of our graduate programs already stand out, nationally,” she said, “and I think that’s very fitting for a school that’s in the Georgia Institute of Technology.” It’s also fitting for the construction industry in 2021, she said. “I am excited to work together with the School faculty and our Industry to achieve a similarly distinguished reputation for a technology-focused, industry-connected, and world-class Building Construction undergraduate program.”

“We are looking at a turning point in the construction industry. Because of Covid-19, healthy buildings and healthy environments are at the front of everybody’s minds. Recent natural disasters have also changed how we look at construction, resiliency, and design. These daily reminders relating our field to community impact will continue to change how the prospective students perceive Building Construction.”

“The old-fashioned look and feel of construction are changing. This is very exciting to me because I believe diversity and inclusive excellence elevates innovation in any occupation and improves the success of any institution,” she said. 

While at the University of Nebraska, Erdogmus served on the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women, and chaired the College of Engineering Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion.

“If our graduates want to wear a hard hat, they can, but there are many other ways to be in the construction field,” she said. “Through augmented reality you can still be on a construction site, even if you can’t commute there or if you have physical disabilities. I’m really excited about that and the thought of leveraging the latest technologies to achieve a more diverse group of students for our programs.”

Erdogmus has an outstanding record as a student mentor, said French. Aside from mentoring postdoctoral research fellows, Ph.D. students who go on to hold tenure-track faculty positions, and master’s students, Erdogmus dedicates herself to undergraduate students.

“She has mentored 31 students with undergraduate research grants and supported 41 undergraduate students on her own research projects,” French said. “I look forward to Dr. Erdogmus leading the development of the reactivated Bachelor of Science in Building Construction program.”

Erdogmus’ love of buildings and the built environment is a key component to mentoring students, she said. 

“Everyone needs shelter, and everything we do is done in the built environment. I love that every person is affected by how well a building is designed and constructed,” she said. 

Erdogmus finds that building construction connects her students’ right and left brains. It combines the aesthetics of buildings along with the mathematics and physics of how it’s put together and how it stands up, she said.

The Georgia Tech School of Building Construction offers five degree programs—a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction (BSBC), a Master of Science in Building Construction & Facility Management (MSBCFM), a Master of Real Estate Development (MRED), a professional master’s degree in occupational safety and health (PMOSH), and a Ph.D. in Building Construction

The School also offers an undergraduate certificate in construction management, which expands professional options for students and gives current Georgia Tech students priority when applying to the MSBCFM program. 

Georgia Tech’s approach to building construction applies new skillsets for technology-filled environments, designs new construction processes, and connects influential stakeholders in real estate development. The School works across multiple disciplines including architecture, engineering, finance, city planning, and public policy to study how building projects address the needs of society, the environment, and the economy, and how, in turn, the built environment shapes those areas. 

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