ae - innovation mag article

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These students in the inaugural class began the five-year
program in architectural engineering at Lawrence
Tech in the fall of 2009.

As energy conservation and sustainability grow in importance, dramatic changes are needed in the buildings where we live and work. In response to those challenges, Lawrence Technological University has introduced a five-year program that combines a bachelor's and master's degree in architectural engineering.

In the rapidly expanding field of sustainable building design, architects must adapt their designs to a new generation of mechanical and electrical systems, while building engineers must be aware of the design challenges and opportunities those new systems create. Graduates of this program will be prepared to take leadership roles in the emerging field of sustainable building design.

By combining an architectural design core with an engineering curriculum, Lawrence Tech's dual-degree program equips students with the artistic perspective to understand what an architect is trying to accomplish as they use their specialized engineering skills to design and engineer structures. Graduates will be qualified to seek licensure in engineering.

"Lawrence Tech's architectural engineering program meets a great need in the construction industry, which suffers from a lack of building-oriented design engineers," said Gordon Holness, president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and chairman emeritus of Albert Kahn Associates Inc.

Architectural engineers analyze sites, building orientation and exposure; design the heating, cooling, lighting and power distribution systems; ensure fire protection systems; and determine how water usage and waste will be managed and minimized. They are highly sought after by architecture and engineering firms, construction companies, and building owners because they have the specialized skills needed to compete in an increasingly technical, green and energy-conscious marketplace.

"People in the field are suddenly realizing that engineers and architects are going to have to work closely together to figure out new solutions," said Filza Walters, director of the new degree program that was introduced in fall 2009. "Our architectural engineering graduates will be able to bridge the gap that has traditionally existed between the two disciplines."

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