Columbia Engineering Announces New Center for Buildings, Infrastructure, and Public Space

Oct 16 2018 | By Joanne Hvala

Columbia Engineering (Fu Foundation School for Engineering and Applied Science) has announced the Center for Buildings, Infrastructure, and Space, under the leadership of Feniosky A. Pena-Mora, ScD, the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and the former commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction.

The Center’s mission is to identify how best to design, construct, and manage buildings, infrastructure, and civic spaces, with a focus on sustainability, resilience, and social impact as well as cost, quality, safety, and schedule. The Center will promote ongoing dialogue among industry, government, and academia by means of an Advisory Board led by Richard T. Anderson, president emeritus of the New York Building Congress, and Marcos Diaz Gonzalez, senior vice president of AECOM, a multinational engineering firm.  Gonzalez is vice-chair of the Advisory Board.

Feniosky Pena-Mora

“We need to seek ways to create and connect legacy buildings, needed infrastructure, and planned development to improve the quality of life,” said Pena-Mora. “In doing so, we aim to catalyze urban innovation and economic success to help define the cities of the future.”

Housed in the School’s department of civil engineering and engineering mechanics, the cross-disciplinary Center will bring together civil engineering, architecture, urban design, construction technology, real estate, finance, city planning, historic preservation, and the allied sciences and arts.

“Our location in New York City provides Columbia Engineering with a living laboratory for research into all aspects of the built environment, and our civil engineering department has long been in the forefront of research and teaching generations of civil engineers,” said Mary Boyce, dean of Columbia Engineering. “The Center for Buildings, Infrastructure, and Public Space will bring another dimension of real-world experience to our faculty and students by fostering conversations among practicing engineers and government officials.”

The Center’s Board Chair Richard T. Anderson added, “Speaking on behalf of the thirty other members of the Industry Advisory Board, I would like to reaffirm the commitment of the Center for Buildings, Infrastructure, and Public Space to forge a common agenda for New York City’s civic infrastructure, defined broadly by the talented professionals in the engineering, design, and construction communities. Working together, the ideas, events, and initiatives of the Center will help galvanize the economic success of our City by facilitating critical infrastructure improvements that will increase New York City’s competitiveness and attractiveness.”


Columbia Engineering
Columbia Engineering, based in New York City, is one of the top engineering schools in the U.S. and one of the oldest in the nation. Also known as The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School expands knowledge and advances technology through the pioneering research of its more than 220 faculty, while educating undergraduate and graduate students in a collaborative environment to become leaders informed by a firm foundation in engineering. The School’s faculty are at the center of the University’s cross-disciplinary research, contributing to the Data Science Institute, Earth Institute, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Precision Medicine Initiative, and the Columbia Nano Initiative. Guided by its strategic vision, “Columbia Engineering for Humanity,” the School aims to translate ideas into innovations that foster a sustainable, healthy, secure, connected, and creative humanity.

Media Contact

Joanne Hvala, Senior Director of Communications
212-854-7622, [email protected]