ISU design college honors Mark Engelbrecht with the Christian Petersen Design Award

AMES, Iowa - Mark C. Engelbrecht, professor of architecture and dean emeritus of the Iowa State University College of Design, is the 2010 recipient of the Christian Petersen Design Award presented by the college.

Engelbrecht was honored in a program Aug. 23, during the College of Design's annual welcome reception celebrating the start of a new academic year.

Established in 1980, the Petersen award is given annually to alumni, staff and friends of the university for distinguished work that advances the design and art professions. It is named for the noted artist who was Iowa State's sculptor-in-residence from 1934 to 1955.

The award was presented by Engelbrecht's longtime colleague and friend Olivia Madison, dean of library sciences. Madison is senior dean at Iowa State, a position Engelbrecht previously held for several years.

"Mark shares with Christian Petersen a fundamental belief in Iowa," Madison said. "And he has demonstrated it through his own belief in the arts as they improve the quality and richness of individual and community lives and expand social, political and economic development."

Abbazia di Fossanova, Italy. Sketch by Mark Engelbrecht, 1994

Engelbrecht joined the Iowa State architecture faculty in 1969 and served as dean of the college from 1994 to 2009. As dean, he oversaw development of the Core Design Program, uniting all first-year students in a common curriculum; successful fundraising efforts to construct the Kocimski Auditorium and the LEED Platinum-certified King Pavilion; and the opening of the Design Café-a first for the Iowa State campus.

"Mark's transformational journey always has been grounded by a belief in excellence, a pervasive and compelling sense of community building, coupled with the strongest belief in the power of education," Madison said.

He integrated community-based projects into studio instruction and established college outreach centers in Perry and Sioux City. Internationally, Engelbrecht developed the design college's Rome Program into a fully licensed branch of Iowa State University in Italy, which has hosted more than 1,600 design students since 1991. He also completed an agreement with China's Lanzhou Jiaotong Technical University to allow Chinese transfer students to earn ISU design degrees.

"Mark has made a profound and lasting impact on the environment, culture and community of the design college," said Luis Rico-Gutierrez, dean of design. "He has truly lived and practiced the highest standards embodied by this award."

Self portrait sketch. Mark Engelbrecht, 1994

Engelbrecht also served as principal of Engelbrecht and Griffin PC, with offices in Des Moines and Newburyport, Mass., from its founding in 1967 to 2000. The firm is best known for designing the University of Northern Iowa's Maucker Union, which earned national honors when it was built in 1968 and was named one of Iowa's top 50 buildings of the 20th century by the Iowa chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2000.

Engelbrecht is a Fellow of the AIA. He serves on the ISU Foundation Board of Governors and as a trustee of the Octagon Center for the Arts in Ames. He has received numerous awards for personal and professional achievement - most recently, the AIA Iowa Medal of Honor in 2008 and ISU Order of the Knoll Faculty-Staff Award in 2009. He is an Order of the Knoll member of the ISU Foundation's Campanile Society and President's Circle, and an annual member of the ISU Alumni Association.

He received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Iowa State in 1963 and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University in 1964.