AMES, Iowa  — Shelby Doyle, an assistant professor of architecture at Iowa State University, received the Emerging Faculty Award from the Building Technology Educators’ Society Friday, June 21, at its biennial conference in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The award recognizes building technology educators who display excellence and innovation in their teaching performance, methods and subject matter early in their careers, inspiring student engagement in building technology and its impact on design.

Doyle received a bachelor of science in architecture with honors from the University of Virginia in 2004 and a master of architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2011. She joined the Iowa State faculty in 2015 as a presidential high-impact hire in design-build and digital fabrication and was awarded the ISU Department of Architecture’s inaugural Daniel J. Huberty Faculty Fellowship in 2016.

Together with assistant professor Nick Senske and lecturer Leslie Forehand, Doyle established the architecture department’s Computation and Construction Lab (CCL). She has helped secure funding for a broad range of contemporary tools, including a $50,000 grant from the ISU Computation Advisory Committee and matching funds from the ISU College of Design to purchase two industrial robotic arms recently installed in the CCL.

Doyle and Senske also received an Upjohn Research Initiative Grant from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a Research Incentive Award from the Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) for their research to develop water-soluble and biodegradable concrete formworks through additive manufacturing (3D printing).

Doyle believes in exposing students to the potentials of technology and design as tools of both critique and public engagement. Her recent studios and seminars have investigated design ideas across scales, mining the relationships between architecture, infrastructure and fabrication. Her students have designed and constructed permanent structures for the Iowa Arboretum, Des Moines Social Club and Urbandale Parks and Recreation Department and temporary pavilions for the 80/35 Music Festival, Flyover Fashion Festival and Iowa State University exhibit at the Iowa State Fair.

Advocacy and impact

Doyle transforms her classroom into a creative workshop where students can engage difficult problems through design iteration and “learn how to use tools that help them become informed and passionate explorers,” said associate professor Rob Whitehead, the inaugural recipient of the BTES Emerging Faculty Award in 2011, in nominating Doyle for this year’s award.

“Professor Doyle sees ‘building technology education’ not simply as a noun, but as a verb. She simultaneously explores how tools are learned and used, the expanded possibilities of artifacts created by these tools, the way these artifacts can influence public environments, and the cultural conditions that complicate who participates in the design and production of architecture,” Whitehead said.

“Of particular importance is Professor Doyle’s ability to frame design practices and service as forums to critique and improve societal issues of equity. Who holds the pen, the mouse or the hammer shouldn’t be a decision based on gender, and I’ve seen her actively work to address and improve these conditions; our students benefit greatly from her advocacy,” he said.

Prior to joining the Iowa State faculty, Doyle was a visiting assistant professor in the Louisiana State University School of Architecture and a research fellow with the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio. She also served as an instructor with the University of Houston Pan Asia Mekong Summer Program, Parsons The New School for Design, and Urban Lab Phnom Penh and Limkokwing University Faculty for the Built Environment, both in Cambodia.

A licensed architect and a LEED Accredited Professional, she is a member of the AIA and Iowa Women in Architecture. She formerly served on the BTES board of directors and co-organized the 2017 BTES conference in Des Moines.


Shelby Doyle, Architecture, (515) 294-8711, doyle@iastate.edu
Rob Whitehead, Architecture, (515) 294-8276, rwhitehd@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu