For orchestrating transformational educational experiences through
innovative design studios and research initiatives that facilitate
student collaboration with peers and professionals from other
disciplines, Ahmed K. Ali, assistant professor of architecture, was
chosen to receive the 2016 J. Thomas Regan Interdisciplinary Prize.
Established by the College of Architecture’s Dean’s Advisory Council
to honor Regan, former dean of the college and 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. Regan died in 2015.
In a spring 2016 studio, Ali’s students collaborated with
construction science students, Gessner Engineering, the Coulter and Lily
Rush Hoppess Foundation and the city of Bryan to design and build a prototype structure for vendors at the Brazos Valley Farmers Market.
The studio immersed students “in an in-depth and hands-on learning
experience in the design, engineering, fabrication, and construction of
the structure,” said Weiling He, associate professor of architecture, in
a letter supporting Ali’s nomination.
That same studio also engaged graduate landscape architecture students, who created master plans
for an historic city block in Bryan that incorporated the farmers
market structures, spaces for a new visitor center building, courtyards
for outdoor activities and a community garden.
“His students appreciate his direction, enthusiasm and skills in
leading such complex projects," said George Mann, professor of
architecture, in a letter supporting Ali’s nomination. "His enthusiasm
for teaching by doing is inspiring and I believe he is becoming one of
the emerging leaders of the college.”
In fall 2016 studio, Ali's students collaborated with Zahner Metals,
General Motors and the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development
to design building envelopes skins, and roofing systems from auto
“Ali is an internationally recognized academic advocating resource
reuse in the construction industry," said He. "His design innovations
that employ reused materials have been published and presented in
journals and conferences worldwide,” said He.
Ali, who joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2015, earned three
graduate degrees at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University — a Ph.D. in 2012, a Master of Science in Architecture in
2012 and a Master of Architecture in 2004 — as well as a Bachelor of
Fine Arts in Architecture degree at Alexandria University in Egypt in
--- Check out Texas A&M's program on StudyArchitecture's website!