Students from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies’ School of Architecture + Design recently competed for $4,000 in total scholarships sponsored by the RCI Mid Atlantic Chapter, an affiliated chapter of RCI, Incorporated, which is an international association of professional consultants, architects, and engineers who specialize in the specification and design of roofing, waterproofing, and exterior wall systems. 

The scholarships were awarded through two competitions developed and juried by School of Architecture + Design faculty members Elizabeth Grant, Mario Cortes, and James Jones, along with Matthew Innocenzi, president of the Mid Atlantic Chapter of RCI. One competition involved Grant and Cortes’ third-year design lab and the second was a research competition open to all students in the school.

The undergraduate design competition was a 10-week-long exercise assigned to students enrolled in Grant and Cortes’ design lab. Their challenge was to design a building envelope museum for one of three urban sites in Roanoke, Va. The proposed museums were to celebrate the design of building enclosures from traditional practices to new technological developments in the building sciences. On Nov. 8, 2012, the students presented boards and models of their designs at the RCI Mid Atlantic Chapter’s Educational Seminar in Squires Student Center.

The research competition involved a presentation and display of proposed research related to the design of the building envelope. The competition represented work by graduate and undergraduate students in the School of Architecture + Design seeking new inquiry targeted at improving the built environment. The posters from the research competition were also displayed at the meeting.  

In the design competition, Alise Willis, of Raleigh, N.C., was awarded first place; Oluwafemi Ibitoye of Middletown, N.Y., won second place; and Thomas Doorn of Cary, N.C., took third. All three students are third year architecture majors.  

Daeung Kim of Bucheon, South Korea, a Ph.D. student in architecture and design research, was awarded the top prize in the research competition for his winning entry dealing with computational fluid dynamics at roof parapet conditions. 

The winning students each presented their work to a group of architects, engineers, roof consultants, and material suppliers during the RCI Mid Atlantic Chapter’s Educational Seminar. Earlier in the year, the chapter decided to award scholarships to aspiring students studying architecture or engineering who are pursuing a career related to the building envelope. The scholarship program was initiated and chaired by Michael Violette, chairman of the RCI Mid Atlantic Chapter scholarship committee.

Both the Mid Atlantic Chapter of RCI and the RCI Foundation, a national philanthropic organization committed to education and research, are partners with the School of Architecture + Design’s Center for High Performance Environments. The chapter and the foundation have collectively contributed $15,000 to date to the advancement of student research and scholarship. Through its student scholarship program, the RCI Foundation also fully sponsored three Virginia Tech students to attend the RCI 27th International Convention and Trade Show held in Dallas, Texas in March 2012.