Annie Pearce, an associate professor of building construction in the Department of Building Construction, part of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, helped to lead the National Academy of Engineering’s 17th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium.

The symposium was held Sept. 19-21, 2011, at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. It examined cutting-edge issues in engineering, including additive manufacturing, engineering sustainable buildings, neuroprosthetics, and semantic processing.  Alfred Z. Spector, vice president of research and special initiatives at Google, was a featured speaker.

Eighty-five of the nation’s engineers ages 30 to 45 who are performing exceptional engineering research and technical work in industry, academia, and government were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations and chosen from approximately 315 applicants to attend the symposium this year.

Pearce was one of nine individuals from academia and private industry selected to organize the panel and will lead a session on sustainable construction.  Pearce’s research focuses on sustainable facilities and infrastructure systems. Throughout her career, Pearce has worked with practitioners in both the public and private sectors to implement sustainability as part of building planning, design, construction, and operations. Her specific areas of interest include how to measure sustainability in built facilities, green building materials and systems, cost modeling to support sustainability implementation, and the performance of sustainable facility technologies once they are in use.

Several Virginia Tech faculty members have been selected to attend or co-lead the symposium in past years, including Ali Butt, an assistant professor in the computer science department within the College of Engineering who led a panel at last year’s symposium on cloud computing.

Prior to joining the Virginia Tech faculty in 2006, Pearce was a senior research engineer and director of research at the Center for Sustainable Urban Revitalization, a part of the Georgia Tech Research Institute. She received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and her master’s and doctorate in civil engineering from Georgia Tech.

The Myers-Lawson School of Construction is jointly housed in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the College of Engineering.  The school’s mission is to enhance Virginia Tech’s strong position of national leadership in construction outreach, research and education.  The school provides opportunities for faculty, alumni, students and ideas to flow across disciplines, departments and nations.



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