On Friday March 24, the Department hosted the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated Thomas Taylor Design Studio!

Thanks to the generous contribution from our corporate sponsor, Thomas W. Taylor (UT'59), this state-of-the-art computing facility was formed in the Fall of 2021. The Design Studio consists of 38 high end CAD stations and multiple printers. This lab is only available to our brilliant Architectural Engineering students, allowing them to transform their imaginations into realities in a welcoming space. 

At a young age, Thomas W. Taylor joined Frank Chappell & Associates and incorporated the company as Datum Engineers. He has been incredibly influential in the structural engineering world and has worked on renowned structures such as the Perot Museum and Nasher Sculpture Center. 

Professor Gregory Brooks, who teaches Architectural Engineering in the studio, first met Thomas as a student. "When I first met Thomas, we were up on the 5th floor," Brooks said. "Thomas came to visit, and I remember standing up and introducing myself, and Thomas was asking questions about what we were doing. We were in these rooms that weren't finished nicely compared to this." The room, he recalled, was dark with flesh-colored walls. "We didn't care because we were there having fun, working hard and making great projects." Apparently, this visit piqued Thomas' interest in contributing to the program, and to the space. He announced his support for renovating the space, and giving students a professional working environment.

Brooks continued on to speak to Thomas’ character: “Not only is he a brilliant structural engineer, but he is a gentleman, and he is a role model for what a structural engineer should be.” Addressing Thomas, he said, “To me, not only are you a brilliant engineer, but you’re an amazing Longhorn.”

Taylor gave an enthusiastic lecture in the Mulva Auditorium prior to spending time with students in the Studio, where he observed every single project on display. 

“I know the reputation of this University, and of this program,” Thomas said, “and what you are doing, it is amazing…I’m proud to be here, and I’m proud to contribute. The best is coming, because you’re already doing do the best.”

We are so grateful for Mr. Taylor’s gift and cannot wait to see what our students create!

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