Students, faculty receive scholarship to attend national health care summit

March 14, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Fourth-year architectural engineering students Rachel Coyle, Rachel Roberts, Ryan Sayre and Maggie Smith, and Associate Teaching Professor Moses Ling, have been selected as recipients of the 2019 American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) Ilse B. Almanza Scholarship, which will support the cost of attending the Planning, Design and Construction (PDC) Summit, held March 17–20 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Cosponsored by ASHE and the American Institute of Architects – Academy of Architecture for Health, the PDC Summit brings together senior leaders working in all disciplines of health care planning, design, and construction to learn, network and discover ways to create value for the health-care built environment.

“It is really great that architects and engineers are collaborating at this level,” said Ling. “It’s not about designing some inanimate object or building a monument — we all understand the mission, which is good health care. The mission in itself pulls everyone together.”

When Ling attended the PDC Summit for the first time four years ago, a conversation between him and Penn State architectural engineering (AE) alumni resulted in the idea to create a health care design course, which would be the first of its kind in the Department of Architectural Engineering.

“Health care is a major part of our building industry today, so the likelihood of our students going into that as a concentration is high,” said Ling. “Our industry is subdivided into types of buildings, health care being a major one, and offering this course would help students gain a balance between sustainability versus very high-tech performance-oriented buildings. Our future employers are looking at our students for that type of balance.”

Last year, a team of 10 Penn State architectural engineering students won big at the 2018 national Architectural Engineering Institute Student Design Competition for their creation of a cohesive, adaptable, patient-focused, state-of-the-art children’s hospital located in Omaha, Nebraska. The team received first place in the mechanical, structural and integration categories and second place in the construction category. It was also named the recipient of the disaster preparedness innovation award.

Ling’s goal for attending this year’s summit, in addition to learning, is to meet with AE alumni to continue a dialogue on their support for the AE health-care design course.

“The need for adding health care into our curriculum was fed even more due to the success of our students in this competition,” said Ling. “This is the stepping stone that we hope to build on.”

Last Updated March 14, 2019