Former architectural engineering head Behr to retire

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Rich Behr, Charles and Elinor Matts Professor of Architectural Engineering, will retire from Penn State on Nov. 1. Behr will pursue a position as dean of the U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Prior to coming to Penn State, Behr held several different positions around the country. Throughout his career he has taught and researched at many institutions such as Texas Tech University, the University of New Hampshire and the University of Missouri-Rolla. Behr was also a senior research engineer at the Atlantic Richfield Corporation, where he administered projects supporting the development of ice load structural design criteria for offshore arctic drilling platforms.

When Behr came to Penn State in 1997, he was a professor and head of the architectural engineering department. In 2007, Behr was appointed the Charles and Elinor Matts Professor of Architectural Engineering and founding director of the Penn State Smart Spaces Center.

His early research focused on the structural performance and durability of building enclosure systems subjected to severe windstorm, earthquake and accelerated weathering effects. His work emphasized experimental structural engineering as applied to glass and aluminum curtain wall systems for multi-story buildings.

Behr developed and implemented innovative teaching techniques for structural engineering and engineering mechanics at the university level. His computer assisted, small-scale, structural model mini-laboratory, "AN/EX," received considerable interest from engineering educators and received sustained support from the National Science Foundation.

Behr has published several papers in a variety of engineering journals and shared his work at major technical conferences around the country and world.

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Last Updated January 10, 2015