Introducing Texas A&M’s Architectural Engineering Major
From integrating innovative technologies in structures to designing more resilient and environmentally friendly buildings, architectural engineers tackle challenges and technological innovations in the planning, designing, constructing and operation of buildings.
To help cultivate leaders of tomorrow in this vital area, the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University now offers undergraduate students a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering (BS AREN).
Dr. Morad Atif, professor of practice and current program director, brings decades of research and industry experience in architectural engineering to his role.
“A primary objective of the architectural engineering degree is to prepare students for a successful career in the building and architectural, engineering and construction industries or to pursue graduate studies,” said Atif.
The new BS AREN will prepare students to effectively design building systems (e.g., mechanical, electrical and lighting, fire protection, acoustics) and seamlessly integrate them with one another, provide creative solutions to modern and emerging challenges, as well as leave a lasting impact on society. As one of only four architectural engineering programs in Texas, it will offer students two concentrations: mechanical systems in buildings and structural systems in buildings. This approach will make it one of the few architectural engineering programs in the United States that offers a concentration track on mechanical systems in buildings.
“Architectural engineering is a multidisciplinary field, which in turn significantly increases the edge that its graduates have over others in the marketplace,” said Atif.
Due to the diversity in study and adaptability in practice, architectural engineers are found in a wide variety of careers. In the private and government sector of the industry, their careers include architectural, structural building systems, mechanical building systems, HVAC systems, fire protection systems, electrical and lighting systems and building automation systems, as well as several managerial roles.
And now, with the increasing push for sustainability, the need for architectural engineers is more important than ever before.
As Atif explained, people on average spend about 90% of their time indoors. Additionally, buildings alone consume an estimated 40% of all energy in the U.S. – including about 74% of all electricity in the nation. Texas A&M’s BS AREN graduates will be empowered to develop cutting-edge, energy-efficient and sustainable technologies in buildings, and innovate new methods to increase the structural resiliency and durability of the buildings in which people work and live.
“Today more than ever, architectural engineers can make a lasting impact on people’s lives and the environment in so many ways,” said Atif. “You can design an intelligent and energy-efficient HVAC system, which reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while providing high indoor air quality to building occupants. You can design a structural system of a building that has a long service life, uses sustainable materials and is able to withstand natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes.”