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Mahesh Senagala
Mahesh Senagala

UTSA Associate Professor Mahesh Senagala elected to international CAD group

By James Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(May 29, 2007)--Mahesh B. Senagala, UTSA associate dean for research and College of Architecture associate professor, recently was elected president of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA). Taking office in October, Senagala will oversee the organization that focuses on research and development of computer aids for architecture students.

"ACADIA is a highly regarded international organization providing a discourse arena and a networking structure in the area of computer utilization in the architecture, planning and building science," said Julius Gribou, dean of the UTSA College of Architecture and interim provost. "The election of Professor Mahesh Senagala to the presidency of ACADIA is a recognition of his valuable contributions in this area, and provides an opportunity for UTSA and the College of Architecture to be a significant participant in this critical component of architectural education and practice."

Senagala, who has taught at UTSA since 1999, teaches the class Robotics in Smart Architecture in collaboration with the UTSA College of Engineering. The revolutionary approach to architecture centers on creating structures that better serve their occupants.

One of Senagala's better-known works is installed at the Monterey Building on the UTSA Downtown Campus -- "UTenSAils" is in the form of two full-scale tensile fabric structures. His entrepreneurial approach to architecture yielded $103,000 from industry contributors, enabling his design-develop-build studio to install the sails. "UTenSAils" has been featured in many industry magazines and was chosen as a best practice by the American Institute of Architects. In keeping with the ACADIA mission, the UTSA project helped foster partnerships among more than 24 academic and international industry partners.

"We are extremely pleased with Professor Senagala's election to this prestigious position," said Robert Gracy, UTSA vice president for research. "It is a tribute to his creative innovations in this field, as well as his leadership skills. His experience in international collaborations will be especially valuable in developing intellectual property from our academic institutions."

ACADIA was formed in the early 1980s to facilitate communication and critical thinking in the architecture, planning and building science. The organization focuses on software, hardware and methodology for teaching architecture with an emphasis on research and development of computer aids that enhance design creativity and contribute to the design of environments that are responsive to the people who use them.

ACADIA includes members from the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. Because the organization focuses on education and research, most members are affiliated with colleges and universities, but the membership includes design firms and software companies.

For more information, contact the UTSA College of Architecture at (210) 458-3010.

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