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Esther Obonyo

Esther ObonyoBio

Esther Obonyo joined the Rinker Faculty at the University of Florida as an Assistant Professor in August 2005. Obonyo received her bachelor’s degree in Building Economics (Quantity Surveying) from the University of Nairobi and a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Nottingham in the UK. She received a doctor of engineering degree from Loughborough University in the UK.

Obonyo’s professional experience includes in various projects in Kenya, the UK and US doing quantity surveying, cost engineering and project management. Prior to coming to Florida, she worked with the Balfour Beatty Group (RCS) as a Business Improvement Analyst. In summer 2007, she completed Faculty Internship with United Forming Inc in their Orlando, Florida operations.

Her research interests are in the area of Construction Informatics, business/ productivity improvement and sustainable design and construction. She currently teaches the Temporary Structures and Construction Methods improvement courses. Her most recent accomplishment is being appointed as a 2007 Environment Leadership Fellow in their inaugural class for the South and Eastern Region of the USA.

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Areas of Specialization

Construction Informatics, Building Technology, Quantity Surveying, Business Improvement, Innovation and Low Cost Housing Technology

Recent Activities

Dr Esther Obonyo and her collaborators have created international research experiences opportunities for 16 graduate and undergraduate students from several US institutions. The activities have been supported by NSF funding (Dr Robert Ries) and matching funds from University of Florida's (UF) Rinker School, The UF International Center and the Center for African Studies. Three cohorts of students spent 10 weeks of Summer executing international research in Kenya and Tanzania between 2008, 2009 and 2010 summer. The program was directed at supporting the students to develop skills that are necessary for successful professional practice within a global context. Recruited students why high caliber students with very limited (if any) international exposure. Following the successful completion of the program, all students have continued to excel.

Notable examples include:

  • 1) Iris Zielske who graduated from UF with a Bachelor's degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a minor in African Studies, and has recently returned from a year of development work in Tanzania;
  • 2) Derrick Winning, currently a doctoral student at UF who played a lead role in the College's excellent performance during 2010 Solar Decathlon;
  • 3) Kathryn Frederick who graduated from UF with an MSc is currently the Florida Department of Education's coordinator for Architecture and Engineering;
  • 4) Ashley Thode who secured a National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship for her MSC in Engineering;
  • 5) Scott Remer who is now pursuing a doctoral degree in Engineering at the University of Virginia; and
  • 6) Ryan Clark, now an Exxon Mobile Engineer with assignments in their global operations.