College doctoral students
earn dissertation fellowships


Francisco Farias and Paula Lorente, Ph.D. students at Texas A&M’s College of Architecture, are completing the final phases of their scholarly research-oriented work as inaugural Office of Graduate Studies dissertation fellows.

“The fellowship provides students with the opportunity to focus solely on the completion of their writing, which then allows our best and brightest graduate students to graduate from Texas A&M in a timely manner to begin the important work of positively impacting their communities,” said Karen Butler-Purry, associate provost for graduate studies.

It provides an opportunity for doctoral students not supported on graduate research assistantships to focus solely on completing their dissertation and includes a $15,000 stipend with up to $2,112 in health insurance reimbursements.

“The fellowship is an initiative to address one of the time-to-degree-completion barriers for doctoral students,” said Butler-Purry.

Farias, pursuing a Ph.D. in Architecture degree, is examining the roles of building information modeling, simulation and integrated project delivery in the creation of sustainable buildings.

In addition to documenting how four United States and three United Kingdom firms employ BIM, IPD and simulation, Farias will explore metrics the firms use to evaluate building performance goals, issues the firms face related to hardware, data storage and exchange, their quality control of the overall design process, and other facets of design and project delivery.

“The results of the research will benefit the academic and design communities by providing a comprehensive picture of different ‘state of the art’ strategies and methods to improve the efficiency and efficacy of building designs,” he said.

Lorente, pursuing a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Science degree, is researching whether the creation of compact, mixed-use urban forms within cities will lead to flood losses less than or equal to lower-density urban areas.

“Professionals working with local governments on the planning and design of neighborhoods could use the results to formulate innovative planning policies and mechanisms to help create safe, secure and sustainable communities,” she said.

A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Lorente earned a Master of Urban Planning degree and a Certificate in Sustainable Urbanism at Texas A&M in 2005.

A registered architect in Colombia, Lorente also earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá in 2005.


- Posted: August 9, 2011 -
- Updated: October 28, 2011 -

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Contact:   Phillip Rollfing, or 979.458.0442.


Francisco Farias

Paula Lorente

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