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Virginia Tech

September 7, 2017


Virginia Tech – Architecture Program:

Following architecture faculty has been appointed to administrative positions:

Dr. Richard Blythe, Ph.D., has been appointed Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies to the rank of Professor of Architecture. Blythe, former professor and dean of RMIT University School of Architecture and Design in Melbourne, Australia, will join Virginia Tech on Oct. 10, when the college’s sixth dean, Jack Davis, F.A.I.A. will step down to teach after 11 years at the helm of the college. Prior to his role as dean, Blythe served for five years as head of the RMIT School of Architecture and Design. He lectured at the University of Tasmania for 14 years, where he served as deputy head of the School of Architecture and was the vice chancellor’s representative on the Tasmanian government’s Building and Construction Industries Council. Blythe earned a Ph.D. in design/practice-based research from RMIT University; a master of architecture from the University of Melbourne; and bachelor’s degrees in architecture and environment design from the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology.

Associate Professor Hunter Pittman, R.A., has been appointed as Director of the School of Architecture + Design. Pittman served as Interim Director during the previous year. Pittman is the former chair of the Graduate Architecture Program and the chair of the Advanced Professional Bachelor of Architecture Program of the School of Architecture + Design.

Associate Professor Dr. Hilary Bryon, Ph.D., has been appointed as Assistant Director of Special Projects of the School of Architecture + Design.

Associate Professor Mario Cortes has been appointed as chair of the Core Professional Bachelor of Architecture Program.


Following faculty member has been granted promotion by the University:

Professor Michael Ermann has been promoted from the rank of Associate Professor with tenure to the rank of Professor.

Following new faculty have been hired to the architecture program:

Assistant Professor Katie MacDonald has been appointed to a teaching position at the rank of Collegiate Assistant Professor. MacDonald is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard University. She is co-founder and co-principle of After Architecture. MacDonald has held teaching appointments at Temple University, Philadelphia University, and Boston Architectural College.

Faculty Publications, Exhibition, Invited Lectures, etc.:

Associate Professor Dr. Elizabeth Grant, Ph.D., R.A., has published the book “Integrated Building Performance with Design: An Architecture Student’s Guidebook” (Routledge, 2017, 220 pages, 199 Color Illustrations).

Associate Professor Dr. Hilary Bryon, Ph.D., has published a chapter titled “Contra-Construction: Theo van Doesburg’s Obliques View of Modern Architecture” in Companions to the History of Architecture (Wiley-Blackwell, London, 2017).

Professor Dr. Mehdi Setareh, Ph.D, P.E., and his students designed and developed the Portable Tuned Mass Damper, which is a device that can be used to reduce structural vibrations. The work has been debuted in several national and international publications. The research was sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Several graduate and undergraduate architecture and engineering students contributed to the research and development of the devices.

Professor Dr. Markus Breitschmid, Ph.D., S.I.A., published an article titled “Alpine Architecture” to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the production of the legendary treatise “Alpine Architecture” by famed German architect Bruno Taut in the British journal Disegno. Quarterly Journal of Design. No. 14, London: Spring 2017. Breitschmid also published a chapter titled “Glass House at Cologne,” discussing the landmark Glass Pavilion of 1914 by Bruno Taut in “Companions to the History of Architecture” (Wiley-Blackwell, London, 2017). Breitschmid was invited to present a lecture on “Ludwig Mies van der Rohe” as part of presentation cycle focused on the city of Berlin at the Accademia di Architettura of the Universita della Svizzera Italiana in Mendrisio on March 9, 2017.

Picture Credit: Richard Blythe, the New Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

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