ASCE has greatly influenced my professional and personal journey in life. I came to the United States as a young immigrant with minimal economic means, not knowing my new home’s language nor culture. Thanks to various community organizations, I mastered the language, which allowed me to pursue my graduate studies at MIT, enabling me to launch my career in academia and government. Similar to those community organizations, the ASCE has provided me with the support I needed and the intellectual home base where I could exchange and build on ideas with my colleagues. It also offered lifelong friends, making each of my professional moves less daunting because of my ASCE family. Most importantly, it was integral to opening the door to the American Dream. It provided me with a ladder for upward social and intellectual mobility and has helped me pay it forward by springboarding others.
The opportunities I have been afforded in my career allow me to better understand and connect with all ASCE members: private-sector practitioners, public-sector engineers, educators, researchers, and entrepreneurs. These experiences inform my vision for the future as “One ASCE: Together, We Build a Better World for All.”
Private-Sector Practitioners: As an advisor to the Director of the Big Dig in Boston, I learned the power of civil engineering to do good and enhance public value. With more than three decades of professional experience managing capital programs and developing advanced information technology systems to visualize, manage, and control large-scale capital projects, I understand the frustrations and aspirations of those in practice and their day-to-day struggle to achieve their goals. As chair of the ASCE’s Industry Leaders Council, I also know the value of innovation in dealing with the complexities of our industry and the need to champion policies that lead to more
effective implementation of our ideas. I will work to broaden our profession’s base, encourage interdisciplinary teamwork, and position ASCE as an increasingly more vibrant and impactful organization.
Public-Sector Engineers: As Commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction, I worked alongside 1,400 municipal employees and 1,300 consultants from private firms. I grew the DDC portfolio by over 32%, delivering the most ambitious and complex projects in the department’s history. Together we pushed to create future-ready, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure, including the protection of the east side of Manhattan against storm surge and sea-level rise, all consistent with ASCE’s transformational vision and mission. As president, I will dedicate my energies to ensuring that all our colleagues in the ASCE family have the support they need to design, build, commission, operate, and maintain the infrastructure projects that support the future of our cities and towns.
Educators: As Dean of Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, I helped open the school to those who had not had the opportunity to attend. In developing a strategic outreach, creating a welcoming culture, and increasing our scholarship programs by almost 50% (approximately $60M annually), we fostered a more diverse student body and a more inclusive future for our profession, both intellectually and culturally. ASCE will need to continue to provide the same nurturing environment for those students entering our profession as it did for me on an intellectual, professional, and personal level. I am committed to working with all of you to ensure that ASCE is the home of those making civil engineering their career and passion.
Researchers: My academic research has centered on how technology impacts project delivery. I am a co-author of 230 scholarly publications, hold six patents, and am a proud recipient of several prestigious ASCE awards, including the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, the James R. Croes Medal, and the Peurifoy Construction Research Award. At Columbia, I created an organizational structure that enabled a 49% expansion of sponsored research grants, growing from $93M in 2009 to $139M in 2012. The incredible pace of technological development is transforming our industry in ways unimaginable a decade ago. We at ASCE must aggressively communicate the importance of investing in infrastructure and partner with private and public research funding organizations to define and fund better future-ready infrastructure. I will vigorously advocate for advancing the research eco-system to develop and implement innovative ideas and drive for the regulatory and financial environment which will support it.
Entrepreneurs: I know the economic pressures on private industry and the need to attract talented professionals. This is a consequence of creating a start-up company focused on technology for the A/E/C industry in the late 1990s and, more recently, a consulting firm focused on program management and community engagement. I also understand the impact of our entrepreneurial spirit. As a Board member of the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, this was evident to me as we built testing sites, immunization centers, and enhanced primary care facilities for those with COVID. More importantly than ever, we must tap into our creative energies as we enter a new normal, incorporating lessons learned from the pandemic and preparing for a looming climate crisis. I will strive to ensure that we support our members in seizing opportunities to innovate and make a lasting difference.
My vision for the ASCE’s future and our leadership in the A/E/C Industry starts with each of us. We are practitioners, educators, researchers, and entrepreneurs. We work in private sector firms and in public sector agencies. We think out of the box and bring to the table a combination of pragmatism and vision that allows us to envision a world that does not yet exist and the tools to create it and make it a reality. This new world combines the idealism of advocacy, the passion of innovation, the prowess of insight, the resolve of determination, and the responsibility of good stewardship. My vision for the future of the ASCE is about how, as “One ASCE: Together, Let’s Build a Better World for All.” I would be honored to serve ASCE and each of you by helping bring us closer together to benefit us all.
- Sc.D. - Civil Engineering Systems, MIT, 1994
- S.M. - Civil Engineering, MIT, 1991
- Post-Graduate - Civil Engineering, UNPHU, Magna Cum Laude, 1988
- B.S. - Civil Engineering, UNPHU, Magna Cum Laude, 1987
Certification and licenses
- Chartered Construction Manager, United Kingdom, 2014
- Registered Professional Civil Engineer, Dominican Republic, Exequatur 411, 1988
- Founder and President, Pena-Alcantara Consultants, Inc., 2017-present
- Commissioner, New York City Department of Design and Construction, 2014-2017
- Independent Consultant, 1995-2014
- Founder and Chief Scientist, in Meeting, Boston, MA, 2000-2002
- Advisor to Director, Central Artery and Third Harbor Tunnel, Boston, MA, 1994-1995
- Executive Director, Center for Buildings, Infrastructure and Public Space, Columbia University, 2018-present
- Visiting Professor, Nankai University, China, 2017-present
- Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University, China, 2013-present
- Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Columbia University, 2012-present
- Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, 2009-present
- Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University, 2009-present
- Visiting Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Cambridge University, Manchester University, and Salford University, United Kingdom, 2014
- Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering, Columbia University, 2009-2012Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University, 2009-2012
Associate Provost, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), 2008-2009
- Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Endowed Professor, UIUC, 2008-2009
- Faculty Affiliate, Beckman/UIUC, 2008-2009
- Senior Associate Dean, Graduate College, UIUC, 2007
- Center Affiliate, NCSA/UIUC, 2006-2009
- Visiting Professor, Loughborough University, United Kingdom, 2006-2007
- Visiting Professor, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, 2006
- W. E. O’Neil Faculty Scholar and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UIUC, 2003-2008
- Visiting Scholar, University of Sydney, Australia, 1999
- Co-Director, Intelligent Engineering System Laboratory, MIT, 1996-2003
- Gilbert W. Winslow Career Development Chair, Assistant, and Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT, 1995-2003
- Chair, Strategic Planning Committee, and Strategic Planning Implementation Committee, 2022-present
- At-Large Society Director, 2019-2022
- Chair, Industry Leaders Council, 2020-2022; Vice Chair, 2018-2020; Member, 2014-present
- Chair, Board Strategic Advisory Council/Committee, 2019-2022
- Member, Charles Pankow Award Selection Committee, 2020-2021
- Member, Committee on Technical Advancement, 2020-2021
- Member, Committee on Younger Members, 2019-2021
- Member, Committee on Education, 2019-2020
- ASCE member since 1990 (Student to a Fellow)
- Conference Chair, ASCE COS – International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure, 2017
- Corresponding Member, Committee on Sustainability Planning Committee, 2016-2020
- Member, ASCE Publications Committee, 2012-2016
- Member, ASCE CAP^3 Deans, 2012
- Chair, Construction Research Council, 2009-2011
- Associate Editor, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 1999-2010
- Member, Visualization, Information Modeling, And Simulation (VIMS) Committee, 2002-2012
- Member, Data Sensing and Analysis Committee, 1997-2012
- Involvement with Student Chapters at MIT, Illinois, and Columbia University, 1995-2012
Other volunteer activities
- Member of the Board; Chair of the Capital, Strategic Plan, Information Technology, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committees, Health and Hospitals Corporation, New York City, 2018-present
- Member of the Board; Chair of the Alumni Committee, ACE Mentor Program of Greater New York, New York City, 2014-present
- Co-Chair Council on Innovation and Best Practices Committee, New York Building Congress, 2016-2019
- Participant in several initiatives for Minority Recruitment for Science and Engineering, including NSF Civil & Mechanical Systems Workshop for Minority and Women Retention in Engineering, and ASEE Workshop on the Retention of Women and Minority in Engineering
- FIRST-LEGO Mentor, 2004-2009 (Team went to State every year 2005- 2009; Open European Championship in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 2006)
- Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2020
- ASCE Peurifoy Construction Research Award, 2018
- Member, US National Academy of Construction, 2016
- Member, Academy of Sciences of the Dominican Republic, 2016
- CIOB International Outstanding Achievement Awards: Business Management, 2016
- ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering Best Peer Reviewed Paper Award, 2015
- ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering Best Journal Paper Award, 2014
- ASCE Construction Management Award, 2014
- Fellow, Chartered Institute of Building, 2014
- ASCE James R. Croes Medal, 2013
- ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management Best Journal Paper Award, 2011
- ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Award, 2008
- Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research, 2007
- White House Presidential Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) Award, 2000
- NSF CAREER Award, 1999
- ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering Best Paper Award, 1995
- Author or co-author of more than 230 scholarly publications
- Song, X., Peña-Mora, F., Menassa, C., and Arboleda, C. (2013). "Determining the Optimal Premium for ADR Implementation Insurance in Construction Dispute Resolution." Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 04014012. 2015 Journal Best Paper Award.
- Han, S., Lee, S., and Peña-Mora, F. (2014). "Comparative Study of Motion Features for Similarity-Based Modeling and Classification of Unsafe Actions in Construction." Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, Vol. 28, No. 5. pp. A4014005. 2014 Journal Best Paper Award.
- Golparvar-Fard, M., Peña-Mora, F., and Savarese, S. (2011). “Integrated Sequential As-Built and As-Planned Representation with D4AR Tools in Support of Decision-Making Tasks in the AEC/FM Industry.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering Management, Vol. 137, No. 12, pp. 1099-1116. 2011 Journal Best Paper Award.
- Peña-Mora, F., Sriram, D., and Logcher, R., “Design Rationale for Computer Supported Conflict Mitigation,’’ ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 57-72. 1995 Journal Best Paper Award.
- Golparvar-Fard M., Peña-Mora, F., and Savarese, S. “Four-Dimensional Augmented Reality Models for Interactive Visualization and Automated Construction Progress Monitoring.” University of Illinois Case, US Patent No. 9,070,216, Issued June 30, 2015.
- Peña-Mora, F., Park, M., Lee, S., Fulenwider, M., and Li, M. “Reliability Buffering Technique Applied to a Project Planning Model,” MIT Case No. 9186S, US Patent No. 7,415,393, Issued August 19, 2008.
- Peña-Mora, F., Park, M., Lee, S., Fulenwider, M., and Li, M. “Dynamic Planning Method and System,” MIT Case No. 9185S, US Patent No. 7,349,863, Issued March 25, 2008.
- Peña-Mora, F., Vadhavkar, S., Dwivedi, G., Kuang, C., and Wang, W., “Software Service Handoff Mechanism with A Performance Reliability Improvement Mechanism (PRIM) for a Collaborative Client-Server System,” MIT Case No. 9250S, US Patent Application No. 10/069,797, Issued May 15, 2007.
- Peña-Mora, F. and Kuang, C., “Mechanisms and Artifacts to Manage Heterogeneous Platform Interfaces in a Collaboration,” MIT Case No. 9249S, US Patent Application No. 10/069,885, Issued January 9, 2007.
- Hussein, K. and Peña-Mora, F., “Collaborative Agent Interaction Control and Synchronization System,” MIT Case No. 8376S, US Patent Application No. 09/540,947, Issued February 28, 2006.