Rojas to lead UNL's Durham School

Rojas to lead UNL's Durham School

Calendar Icon Dec 03, 2009      Person Bust Icon By Carole Wilbeck | Engineering     RSS Feed RSS

Eddy M. Rojas, professor of construction management and director of the Pacific Northwest Center for Construction Research and Education at the University of Washington in Seattle, has been named the new director of the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering. The selection was announced Dec. 2 by Dean David Allen.

Rojas will succeed James O'Hanlon, who has been interim director of the school since February. The school is based in Omaha with programs in both Lincoln and Omaha. Rojas is expected to begin his appointment April 1.

Rojas earned both his Ph.D. and M.S. in civil engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he also gained an M.A. in economics. He completed undergraduate studies in civil engineering at the University of Costa Rica in San Jose.

"Dr. Rojas is an energetic and experienced leader with a strong background in building information technology," Allen said. "His expertise will help position the Durham School to gain an even stronger reputation nationally and internationally."

Rojas has "played a major role in developing strong industry ties and generating programs that are cutting edge in research and outreach," O'Hanlon said. "The search committee valued Rojas' strong record for students, focusing on curriculum that is up-to-date for their fields."

"I am excited to come to Nebraska," Rojas said. "I see a great opportunity with the Durham School for collaboration and for furthering industry initiatives with a profound impact on the construction and architectural engineering communities."

Rojas' most recent role, as director of UW's Pacific Northwest Center for Construction Research and Education, focused on virtual construction (modeling, simulation and visualization), methods and materials, and construction education with the establishment of an industry-integrated research and education facility. He was an associate professor of construction management at UW from 2004 to 2009, and was assistant professor with UW's Department of Construction Management from 2001 to 2004.

The Durham School has about 700 students and offers quality programs to address the high demand for qualified professionals in the building design and construction industries. It is the only program in the nation that combines architectural engineering, construction engineering and construction management under one school, giving students a comprehensive building system education.

The Durham School is named for Charles "Chuck" Durham, retired chairman and CEO of HDR Inc., who died in 2008. Durham and his late wife, Margre, established the Durham Foundation, which made the initial major gift to the school in 2005.