Architectural Engineering Department receives 2014 Henry C. Turner Prize

Students perform an install at GridSTAR’s Solar Training Center as part of the Architectural Engineering Department’s Solar PV Design and Construction course. Credit: Liz ResenicAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering has been named the recipient of the National Building Museum's 2014 Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction Technology.

The prize, which includes an honorarium of $25,000, recognizes an invention, an innovative methodology and/or exceptional leadership by an individual or team of individuals in construction technology.

The department was cited for "fostering a broad range of collaborative research efforts that will lead to efficiencies in the construction process and encourage energy-efficient building solutions."

Chase W. Rynd, executive director of the National Building Museum, wrote, "Of particular note is the innovative research underway at the GridSTAR Center in Philadelphia's Navy Yard."

Chimay Anumba, professor and head of architectural engineering, said, "We are delighted with this wonderful recognition of our research efforts on high performance, energy-efficient buildings. Many colleagues have worked hard on this strategic research thrust, and I am really pleased that David Riley's work on GridSTAR has earned a special mention."

Riley, principal investigator and director of the GridSTAR Smart Grid Experience Center, said, "One of the unique features of the center is the integrative approach to design and develop the facilities and the inclusion of the Navy Yard leadership, manufacturers and energy technology integration firms. Each was offered an opportunity to contribute their unique expertise and perspectives, resulting in a project that no one entity could have conceived or created."

He added that a key goal of the GridSTAR Center is to enable the demonstration and research of advanced energy strategies at multiple scales including single family homes, commercial buildings and campus/utility-sized systems.

Anumba and Riley will receive the award on behalf of the Department of Architectural Engineering during a formal program at the National Building Museum on Dec. 3.

Turner Construction Company established the prize and an endowment to support it in honor of Henry C. Turner, who founded the company in 1902.

Penn State's Department of Architectural Engineering is the 12th recipient of the award. Previous award winners include: Gehry Partners and Gehry Technologies, Engineers Without Borders USA, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Society of Women Engineers, architect I. M. Pei, ACE Mentor Program founder Charles Thornton, Stanford University professor Paul Teicholz, Caterpillar Inc., engineer Leslie Robertson, construction manager Charles DeBenedittis of Tishman Speyer and the Lean Construction Institute.

Riley noted, "This award places the AE program and GridSTAR in excellent company of past recipients, and will be a valuable asset in helping attract broader audiences to see the unique demonstrations and research initiatives that are being carried out at GridSTAR."

The GridSTAR Center was established as the result of a three-year $5 million contractual award by the Department of Energy. It offers a variety of for-credit and noncredit programs in Philadelphia, University Park, Pittsburgh and online. For more information, visit

The Department of Architectural Engineering is the oldest, continuously accredited AE program in the country. Widely acknowledged as the premier AE program in the world, the AE Department is focused on educating students and conducting research in the design, engineering, construction and management of the built environment. For more information, visit:

About the National Building MuseumThe National Building Museum is America's leading cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, Web content and publications, the museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the world we build for ourselves. For more information, call 202-272-2448 or visit Connect with us on Twitter: @BuildingMuseum and Facebook.

Last Updated September 24, 2014