AMES, Iowa — Rob Whitehead, FAIA, LEED AP, an Iowa State University associate professor of architecture, has been named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

The AIA’s highest membership honor, fellowship is awarded to architects who have made significant contributions to the profession and society and who exemplify architectural excellence. Only three percent of AIA members have received this distinction.

Whitehead was elevated for his contributions to the profession through his work in education. He will join all new Fellows at the College of Fellows Investiture Ceremony during the AIA Conference on Architecture in San Francisco in June.

Whitehead joined the Iowa State architecture faculty as a lecturer in 2007 and moved into a tenure-track position in 2012. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2018.

He has taught architectural design studios, design-build studios and structural technology courses for undergraduate and graduate students. From 2019-2021 he served as a Faculty Fellow for High Impact Practices for the ISU Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.

Among Whitehead’s teaching honors are the 2020 Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award from Iowa State; 2014 AIA Iowa Educator Award from the Iowa chapter of the AIA; 2012-2013 ACSA Creative Achievement Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture; and 2011 Building Technology Educators’ Society (BTES) Teaching Award for Emerging Faculty.

In 2015, DesignIntelligence named him one of the 30 Most Admired Educators nationwide.

Whitehead is the author of Structures by Design: Thinking, Making, Breaking (Routledge, 2019), which received a 2021 Textbook Excellence Award from the Textbook and Academic Authors Association and a 2021 BTES Book Award honorable mention.

He is a co-author of Design-Tech: Building Science for Architects, 2nd Edition (Routledge, 2014) with Jason Alread and Thomas Leslie. The third edition is forthcoming from Routledge in 2023.

Whitehead has presented and published a number of peer-reviewed papers on topics related to the scholarship of teaching and learning, construction history and innovative structural designs. His students frequently are recognized for their work in design competitions and at academic conferences.

Whitehead holds bachelor of architecture from Iowa State and a master of architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his faculty position, he was a senior architect for nine years at Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture in Des Moines.


Rob Whitehead, Architecture, rwhitehd@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, College of Design Strategic Communications, hsauer@iastate.edu