Jorge A. Vanegas

Dean of the College of Architecture

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  • Department of Architecture;Dean's Office
  • Dean's Office


Dr. Jorge A. Vanegas graduated in 1979 with a degree in Architecture from the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, South America, and is a registered Architect in Colombia. He subsequently graduated with a M.S. degree in 1985, and a Ph.D. degree in 1988, from the Construction Engineering and Management Program (CEM) of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Stanford University, Stanford, California. He is a tenured Professor in the Department of Architecture (ARCH) in the College of Architecture (COA) at Texas A&M University (TAMU), since January 2006, and has courtesy appointments as Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CVEN) in the College of Engineering (COE) at TAMU, since 2019, and previously, as Research Professor in the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) of the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) since 2011.

In 2009, Dr. Vanegas began an appointment as Dean of the COA, having served as Interim Dean from August 2008 to July 2009. In 2013, he was reappointed for a second term, and in 2017, he was reappointed for a third term. Prior to being appointed as Dean, he served as the Director of the Center for Housing and Urban Development (CHUD) from 2006 to 2012, and from 2008 to 2012, was appointed as the Sandy and Bryan Mitchell Master Builder Endowed Chair in COA. Before joining TAMU, Dr. Vanegas held academic appointments at Purdue University and at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). In 1988, he joined Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, and from 1988 to 1993, he held an appointment as an Assistant Professor in the School of CE and the Division of CEM. Subsequently, in 1993, he joined Georgia Tech with an appointment as an Associate Professor in CEM/CE, was granted tenure in 1996, held the Fred and Teresa Estrada Professorship in the College of Engineering (COE) 1999 – 2005, and was promoted to Professor in 2005.

As Dean of the COA at TAMU, Dr. Vanegas is the current steward of (1) 16 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral academic degree programs, within four departments (Architecture – ARCH; Construction Science – COSC; Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning – LAUP; and Visualization – VIZA); (2) five research centers (Center for Health Systems and Design – CHSD; Center for Heritage Conservation – CHC; Center for Housing and Urban Development – CHUD; CRS Center for Leadership and Management in the Design and Construction Industry – CRS; and Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center – HRRC); (3) three institutes (Institute for Applied Creativity – IAC; Institute for Sustainable Communities – ISC, which is now a campus-wide effort under the Environmental Grand Challenge; and Texas Institute for Technology Infused Learning – TITIL, which is a campus-wide multi-college effort); (4) two special programs (Colonias Program – COLP, a legislative mandate from the State of Texas, and Texas Target Communities Program – TTCP, which started in COA and now is a part of Public Partnership & Outreach in the Office of the Provost); (5) several laboratories and research groups/units addressing specific knowledge domains; (6) a hands-on research/education fabrication and demonstration facility on a 7-acre site and a 14,000 sq. ft. facility at the Texas A&M System RELLIS Campus at Riverside, complemented by woodshop and maker spaces at TAMU; and (7) several study abroad programs throughout the world, including programs in Italy, Spain, Germany, England, and special programs in various countries. With approximately 184 faculty members from a diverse range of disciplines, almost 3,200 undergraduate and graduate students, and almost 70 staff members, COA/TAMU is one of the largest and best colleges of its kind in the nation.

In addition, since his arrival to TAMU, Dr. Vanegas has had primary authority and responsibility for the COLP, initially as Director of CHUD, and subsequently as Dean of the COA. COLP was created in 1991 as a mandate from the Texas Legislature to address the needs of the “Colonias” along the Texas/Mexico Rio Grande border (i.e., low-income settlements with dirt roads, no water service, no sewer service, within which the community has very limited connection to the outside). COLP projects fall into six knowledge domains: (1) health and human services; (2) education and workforce development; (3) economic development; (4) urban planning and design; (5) basic civil infrastructure systems (for water, energy, transportation, waste, and communications); and (6) housing and critical community facilities. Dr. Vanegas has been responsible for all the programmatic, financial, and personnel aspects related to COLP programs, projects, activities, and events targeted at children, young men and women, adults, and the elderly, and for the communities in which they live. He has provided leadership and management oversight to over $7.7 Million in legislative funding from the State of Texas, combined with university funding, in support of the infrastructure and administrative operations of COLP; and to over $21.4 million in funding secured from a wide range of other sources in the public and private sectors, in support of over 60 projects benefitting Colonia residents.

Furthermore, both as Dean of the COA, and as Research Professor in TEES/TAMUS, Dr. Vanegas has been involved with the Rebuild Texas Commission (which was established by the Governor of the State of Texas under the leadership of the Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, to respond to the effects of Hurricane Harvey), focusing on a collaborative initiative between COA and Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG), to “Build Capacity for Community Resilience and Sustainability through Research, Participatory Planning and Design, and Engagement.” Concurrently, Dr. Vanegas has been leading efforts in seeking funding for multi- and interdisciplinary activities across various Colleges at TAMU, and across various institutions within TAMUS, and has been involved as a Principal or Co-Principal Investigator in 11 research and education projects (approximately $1.96 million in total funding from various internal and external sources). For example, he has been engaged, among others, in (1) a Research Coordination Network for Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (RCN-SEES) Program for the project on “Climate, Energy, Environment and Engagement in Semi-Arid Regions (CE3SAR),” funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF); (2) StartUp AggieLand – A TAMU Entrepreneurship Laboratory, initially funded by the Office of the Dean of Faculties, which provides access to students at TAMU to an experiential high impact learning experience that engages student entrepreneurs in exploring the creation of businesses, from creative and innovative business ideas, to launch, commercialization, and growth; (3) two projects on built environment sustainability with a focus on energy codes and energy management, funded by the Texas Workforce Commission – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Training Program, and the Texas State Energy Conservation Office (SECO); and (4) two projects to enhance student learning outcomes through the use of technology, funded by the Office of the Vice President and Associate Provost of Information Technology. Previously at Georgia Tech, he led and managed active research and education programs, for which he secured over $3.7 million in external funding for 51 research and education-related projects, from various funding sources in the public and private sectors.

From the spring semester of 2007 to the spring semester of 2018, as a Professor in ARCH (and even after his appointment as Dean), Dr. Vanegas taught over 90 sections of a unique multidisciplinary undergraduate course, ENDS101 – The Design Process, almost 6,350 students, maintaining an overall 4.0 average for teaching effectiveness. This course introduces students from multiple disciplines across several college: (1) transitions, change, harsh realities, complex challenges, serious impacts, and accelerating technological developments, which our Nation and the World are facing today; (2) new approaches to fundamental concepts of problem solving based on creativity, innovation, and design thinking, fueled by curiosity and imagination, and pulled by a spirit of entrepreneurship; and (3) processes, tools, and principles to dream and create new products, processes, services, business models, and unique experiences, both individually and within teams/organizations. Previously at Georgia Tech, he taught 95 courses and sections of different construction engineering and management to over 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students from May 1993 to December 2005, maintaining an overall 4.1 teaching effectiveness average.

Overall, since 1984, Dr. Vanegas’ primary areas of scholarly and professional activities in research, education, and service have been, among others: (1) creativity, innovation, design, and entrepreneurship; (2) sustainability of the built environment – urban, infrastructure, facilities, and housing; and (3) advanced strategies, technologies, methods, and tools for integrated delivery and management of capital projects in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. He has documented and disseminated results and findings from his scholarly activities in over 49 peer-reviewed publications in technical refereed journals, technical conference proceedings, industry reports, and book chapters; 96 non-refereed publications in conference proceedings, technical reports, and magazine articles; 62 invited keynote addresses, plenary lectures, and special lectures; 183 invited lectures and presentations at various academic and industry events and venues; 8 poster sessions; and 5 webinars. To date, he has graduated 7 Ph.D. students as primary advisor, and served in doctoral advisory committees for 16 other students. Dr. Vanegas also has been active in professional continuing education, developing and delivering courses to 51 academic and professional/industry organizations in the U.S., and from other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Spain.

In recognition of his research, teaching, and service accomplishments, Dr. Vanegas has received international, national, and institutional awards. Externally, he was: (1) inducted as a member of the Pan American Academy of Engineering (Academia Panamericana de Ingeniería – API) in October 2010; (2) inducted as a member of the National Academy of Construction (NAC) in October 2018; and (3) selected as a recipient of (a) the 2010 Achievement Award of the Engineering and Construction Contractors – ECC; (b) a 2007 STAR Award for Superior Technical Achievements from the Fully Integrated and Automated Technologies Consortium – FIATECH; (c) the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers – SHPE 2001 Educator of the Year Award; (d) the first Construction Industry Institute – CII Outstanding Instructor Award, in 1995; and (e) a National Science Foundation National Young Investigator Award – NSF/NYI, in 1992. Additionally, internally at TAMU, he was (1) inducted as an Honorary Member of Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health in 2016, in the School of Public Health at TAMU; and (2) selected as a recipient of (a) a 2017 Dr. Kenneth L. “Rock” Clinton International Study Abroad Education Programs Award from Texas A&M University-Commerce; (b) a 2014 College of Architecture J. Thomas Regan Award for Interdisciplinary Research; (c) a 2012 TAMU Association of Former Students Distinguished College Level Achievement Award in Teaching; and (d) as one of the Center for Teaching Excellence – “Faculty for Tomorrow”. Previously, at the Georgia Institute of Technology, he received the 2004 Outstanding Faculty Service Award and of the 1998 Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activity Award.

Furthermore, for over 30 years, Dr. Vanegas has held numerous service appointments within TAMU, Georgia Tech, and Purdue, and also, he has served in leadership roles and as a technical advisor and regular contributor in various capacities to the activities of different academic institutions, organizations, and companies within the U.S. and abroad. For example, he currently: (1) serves as the President of API for the 2020 – 2022 term, and previously, as a past member of the Executive Board of API, serving as President Elect from 2018 to 2020, First Vice President from 2016 to 2018, and Technical Director from 2012 to 2016; (2) participates and contributes to the activities of NAC; (3) serves as the Chair of the Technical Committee on Sustainability of the Pan American Union of Organizations of Engineers (Unión Panamericana de Asociaciones de Ingenieros – UPADI); (3) serves as the Academic Co-Advisor to the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) of the CII, and previously, as a regular past contributor to its research and educational deployment efforts in constructability, in the use of prefabrication, pre-assembly, modularization, and off-site construction, and in innovative practices for cost-effective capital projects, since 1984; and (4) participates and contributes to the activities of various professional organizations as (a) associate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA); (b) member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); and (c) member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

Finally, he also has been (1) a member of the Board of the Texas Society of Architects – TSA, serving as the At-Large Education Director from December 2018 to December 2020 (and previously, from 2012 to 2014); (2) an invited Member of the Higher Council for NEOM in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), providing guidance on NEOM’s Sector Strategies, Strategic Projects, and Strategic Partnerships, from 2019 to 2020; (3) the academic advisor to the ECC, in support of their annual thought leadership conference, from 2007 to 2017; (4) a former member, from 2010 to 2015, of the Board of Trustees for the former College Station Medical Center – The Med, currently the CHI St. Joseph Health College Station Hospital, (5) a former member, from 2005 to 2014, of the Board of Advisors of FIATECH, which merged in 2018 with CII, for the development and implementation of a technology roadmap for the capital projects industry; and (6) an active contributor and participant in programs of Local User Councils of the Business Roundtable ‚Äì BRT, and of the Construction Users Round Table – CURT.



Universidad de Los Andes


(Construction Engineering & Management Program)
Stanford University

Ph. D.

(Construction Engineering & Management Program)
Stanford University

Scholarly Interests

Dr. Vanegas’ primary interests are: (1) sustainability of the built environment – urban, infrastructure, facilities, and housing, with an emphasis on livable, resilient, and sustainable communities; (2) problem solving based on creativity, innovation, and design thinking, fueled by curiosity and imagination, and pulled by a spirit of entrepreneurship, with an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship for social change; (3) advanced strategies, technologies, methods, and tools for integrated capital asset delivery and management in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry, with an emphasis on innovative, best, and value improvement practices for capital projects; (4) design/construction integration in the development and rehabilitation of facilities and civil infrastructure systems; (5) constructability programs and advanced use of prefabrication, pre-assembly, modularization, off-site construction; (6) undergraduate and graduate curricula development; and (7) continuing education and technology transfer program development.