Texas A&M College of Architecture Dean Jorge Vanegas recently took on the mantle of president of the Pan American Academy of Engineering, an international organization that unites engineers from more than 18 countries in collaboration to design a better world.
Vanegas was elected as the academy’s fifth president on Dec. 2, 2020, after over a decade of membership and service in the organization.
As president, he will focus on elevating the value of engineering in advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals though transdisciplinary, transinstitutional, and transnational collaboration to ensure a livable, resilient, and sustainable future for communities across the Americas.
“I am elated and humbled to not only take the helm of such an esteemed and prestigious body of brilliant minds, but more importantly, to contribute to the mission of the Pan American Academy of Engineering to better our world in a positive and impactful manner and improve it for future generations,” said Vanegas.
Vanegas also serves as the new head of the Texas A&M Institute for Sustainable Communities, among many other appointments and positions within the university. While at times strenuous, he said his many hats are essential aids in his mission to unite campus entities with the outside world for more far-reaching sustainability endeavors and projects.
Vanegas, who has headed the College of Architecture since 2008, also holds courtesy positions with the Texas A&M University College of Engineering as a professor in the department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, and as a research professor with the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.
He also represents all faculty and students as the only academic dean on the search committee for the next Texas A&M president.
In his scholarly activities, Vanegas focuses on applying creativity, innovation, design and entrepreneurship in multidisciplinary environments, implementing built environment sustainability, and advancing asset delivery and management in architecture, engineering and construction through integrated strategies, tools and methods.
Vanegas is a member of numerous professional organizations, among them the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Civil Engineering, the Pan American Union of Organizations of Engineers, for which he is Chair of the Technical Council on Sustainability, and the National Academy of Construction, among others.
He has also worked as a consultant and advisor to a variety of businesses, governments and organizations throughout the world, including the International Center for Sustainable Development of the City of Knowledge in Panama, and has received national and international awards for his education, research, and professional scholarly accomplishments.
Before coming to Texas A&M, Vanegas held academic appointments at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in Construction Engineering and Management from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University.