February 29, 2012 10:01 ET

SmithGroupJJR's Paul Urbanek Elevated to Fellow of the American Institute of Architects

DETROIT, MI--(Marketwire - Feb 29, 2012) - SmithGroupJJR, one of the nation's leading architecture, engineering and planning firms, is pleased to announce that Paul Urbanek, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, vice president, has been elevated to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows. This tribute reflects Urbanek's significant contributions to the profession of architecture, the education of future architects, and his long-standing commitment to the AIA.

AIA's membership totals over 80,000, with fewer than 2,700 receiving the prestigious distinction of fellowship or honorary fellowship. Urbanek will be recognized at an investiture ceremony at AIA's National Convention and Design Expo, to be held May 17, 2012 in Washington, DC.

Since joining SmithGroupJJR in 2000, Urbanek has led design efforts for many of the firm's most notable and award-winning projects. Significant works include the University of Louisville Clinical & Translational Research Building, Louisville, Ky.; Indian Springs Metropark Environmental Discovery Center, White Lake, Mich.; renovation and expansion of Cranbrook Art Museum & Collections Building, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; and First Automotive Works 4.5 million-square foot Research & Development Center, Changchun, China.

Urbanek is currently design principal for Oakland University's new 128,000-gsf Engineering Center in Rochester, Mich.; Michigan State University's Facility for Rare Isotope Beams in East Lansing, Mich.; and an international design competition for a new technology park in Beijing, China.

Urbanek was also a lead designer for the Memorial at Cameron, a tribute to be erected in Cameron, La. commemorating the 550 lives lost during Hurricane Audrey in 1957. In February 2012, the project was honored by ARCHITECT magazine as winner of a prestigious Progressive Architecture (P/A) Award.

Urbanek earned a bachelor of science in architecture and a bachelor of architecture from Lawrence Technological University, and was recognized as the school's 2011 Distinguished Architectural Alumni. He is a registered architect in Michigan and a LEED accredited professional.

Urbanek resides in Royal Oak, Mich.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects ( have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world.

The Fellowship program was developed to elevate architects who have made significant contributions to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals, but also their significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.

SmithGroupJJR is one of the largest architecture, engineering and planning firms in the U.S., ranked #1 for design quality based on design awards won in Architect magazine's 2011 annual best firms ranking. The firm is also the recipient of the 2011 Landscape Architecture Firm Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. A national leader in sustainable design, SmithGroupJJR has 363 LEED professionals and 71 LEED certified projects.

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