The Turner Prize: What Does Academic Collaboration Mean?

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford

That powerful quote was used by Karen Sweeney (’80 AE) to close out the 2014 Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction event on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Sweeney, Senior Vice President: Diversity, Inclusion and Community at Turner Construction, served as moderator of the panel discussion after the Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering was recognized for bringing together students, educators, researchers, government entities, and industry to build efficiencies in the building industry and encourage energy-efficient building solutions.

The award committee specifically cited architectural engineering’s GridSTAR Center efforts at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia as one of the reasons for honoring Penn State with this year’s prize.

“We were missing a real practical practice in engineering so the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation went to Penn State to collaborate on the Navy Yard development,” explained John Grady, Turner Prize panelist and president, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. “Penn State warmed to the challenge quickly, especially the College of Engineering and especially the Department of Architectural Engineering. They knew how to be a difference maker. They were entrepreneurial and recognized that coming into Philadelphia meant bringing something new to the relationship.”

Panelist Ted Lynch (’92 AE, ’96 PhD), president, Southland Industries, agreed that Penn State is willing to adapt to the needs of its partners. “Penn State architectural engineering is responsive to the needs of the design/build industry,” he said.

One area of opportunity, Lynch said, is for industry and higher education to collaborate in the research areas that would help address the many issues and challenges facing the industry.

“The traditional university system isn’t set up to encourage collaboration, or at least not without too much bureaucracy,” Grady said.

“We have the freedom to establish programs like GridSTAR and engage students who are interested in these programs,” said Chimay Anumba, department head, Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering.

Another panelist and former under-secretary at the United States Department of Education, Martha Kanter, said that other universities should look at Penn State architectural engineering’s track record of preparing students for success and scale it to help solve the nationwide issue of students being underprepared for the work force.

“The nation needs graduates with imagination; students with cross- and multi-disciplinary approaches to problem solving,” Grady said. “Universities have the opportunity to bring all this together in order to train future leaders.”


Turner 1

The presentation of the Turner Prize (l. to r.): Chase Rynd, executive director, National Building Museum; Chimay Anumba, department head, Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering; David Riley, professor of architectural engineering and director of the GridSTAR Center; Anthony Atchley, senior associate dean, Penn State College of Engineering; Peter J. Davoren, president and chief executive officer, Turner Construction.

Turner 2

Karen Sweeney, left, moderates a conversation on innovation, education, and collaboration as driving forces in economic development and a 21st-century workforce. Panelists (L-R): Chimay Anumba, John Grady, Martha Kanter, and Ted Lynch.



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Celebrating a chemical engineer’s success

Lisa Callender, a 2003 chemical engineering alumna, was named the winner of the 2013 Early Career Recognition Award by the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Lisa Callender, a 2003 chemical engineering alumna, was honored with the department's Early Career Recognition Award.

Lisa Callender, a 2003 chemical engineering alumna, was honored with the department’s Early Career Recognition Award.

Callender is operations leader of Dow Chemical Company’s Midland herbicide formulation and packaging facility, one of the largest herbicide facilities in the world. She began her career at Dow as a process engineer.

She remains active at Penn State, assisting with the Women in Engineering Program Orientation, guest lecturing in chemical engineering classes and serving on Dow’s recruiting team.

Established in 2012, the department’s award is designed to honor an outstanding Penn State chemical engineer at the outset of his or her career. The award is based on the recipient’s professional accomplishments, leadership activities and potential for continued success.

Callendar received her award at the department’s 50th anniversary banquet in July.

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Perez Memorial Awards Due Friday

The deadline to nominate faculty members for the Lawrence J. Perez Memorial Student Advocate Award is Friday, March 1.

The award recognizes a College of Engineering faculty member who contributes to the welfare of students and enriches the College by his or her willingness to devote significant time and effort to assist students academically and/or personally as they pursue their engineering degrees.

Award recipients get $3,000 and a plaque.

Individual students, the Engineering Student Council, student engineering honor societies or student engineering professional societies may make nominations for this award through an essay between 500 and 1,500 words.

All full-time faculty in the College may receive this award no more than once every four years. Previous recipients can be found on this website:

Submissions can be delivered to Stefanie Tomlinson in 101 Hammond Building or emailed to:

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