SmithGroup design director wins Lawrence Tech alumni award

Release Date: September 14, 2011

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Paul Urbanek, design director and vice president at the Detroit office of SmithGroup, one of the largest architecture and engineering firms in the country, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Architecture Alumni Award at Lawrence Technological University.

Urbanek will deliver a presentation of his work on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Architecture Building auditorium (A200) on the university’s campus at 21000 West Ten Mile Road in Southfield. The lecture is open to the public and free of charge.

The reception will start at 6 p.m. in the Architecture Building gallery (A210), and the award program will start at 7 p.m.

Urbanek earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Lawrence Tech in 1981 and a fifth-year professional degree the following year. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, a licensed architect, and an accredited professional in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED AP). Previously he served as a design principal at Straub Associates and Harley Ellis Devereaux.

His design portfolio includes civic, commercial, academic and cultural commissions for national and international clients. His work has been widely published and has received numerous awards at the local, state and national levels. Recent design accomplishments include the state-of-the-art Clinical & Translational Research Building at the University of Louisville and the James Clarkston Environmental Discovery Center at Indian Springs Metropark.

Currently Urbanek is the lead designer for FAW Group Corporation’s new 4.7-million-square-foot research and development center located in Changchun, China.

The selection committee noted that Urbanek is a true design leader whose passion for architecture is reflected in his creative problem-solving process that has provided fresh viewpoints and new concepts for functionally appropriate and aesthetically exciting design solutions.

Lawrence Technological University,, offers more than 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in the Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, and programs are also offered in Detroit, Lansing, Petoskey, Traverse City and Toronto. Lawrence Tech also partners with universities in Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.