Announcing Leadership Changes at the School

August 27, 2021
The School of Architecture announces new program and leadership appointments effective Fall 2021.
Black and white collage of faculty headshots from top left clockwise, Ulrich Dangel, Kory Bieg, Mirka Benes, Ming Zhang, Danelle Briscoe

The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture is pleased to announce new program and leadership appointments. Effective Fall 2021, Associate Professor Ulrich Dangel will serve as the school’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Associate Professor Kory Bieg has been appointed as the Program Director for Architecture. Associate Professor Danelle Briscoe was named the Graduate Adviser for Architecture. In the Community & Regional Planning Program, Professor Ming Zhang, who currently serves as director of the University Transportation Center (UTC) Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2), will become the Program Director for Community and Regional Planning. And in the Landscape Architecture Program, Associate Professor Mirka Benes will now serve as the program's Graduate Adviser.

“Each of these faculty members bring a wealth of distinct experience to these leadership positions, and I am looking forward to the changes they will bring to our school,” said Michelle Addington, dean of the UT School of Architecture.

Dangel joined the faculty at UT Austin in 2005. He received a Diploma in Architecture from Universität Stuttgart in Germany and a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon. His professional career took him to London, where he worked for internationally renowned architecture firms Foster and Partners as well as Grimshaw. He is a registered architect in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Texas and maintains an Austin-based design practice, Glass & Dangel. Dangel’s research focuses on the use of wood in construction, its influence on building culture and craft, and how it contributes to the advancement of sustainable practices at the scale of local and global economies.

Bieg joined the faculty at UTSOA in 2012. He received his Master of Architecture from Columbia University and is a registered architect in the states of California and Texas. In 2005, Bieg founded OTA+, an architecture, design, and research office that specializes in the development and use of current, new, and emerging digital technologies for the design and fabrication of buildings, building components, and experimental installations. He has served as Chair of the TxA Emerging Design + Technology conference since 2013 and on the boards of SXSW Eco Place by Design and the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture.

Briscoe came to the School of Architecture in 2009. She received her Master of Architecture from Yale University and practiced for several years in Los Angeles with her final studio professor Frank Gehry. She now heads db design studio. She has lectured, researched, and written extensively about Information Modeling and particularly its relationship to built ecology. In 2015, Briscoe published a book titled Beyond BIM: Architecture Information Modeling that addresses the future of construction methodologies using advanced technologies and has most recently published OTHER NATURE. Briscoe has served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture from 2013-2015 and the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Architectural Computation in 2015.

Zhang joined the faculty at UTSOA in 2004. He received a Master of Science in Transportation and Ph.D. in Urban & Regional Planning, both from MIT, and a Master of Urban Planning & Design from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Since 2016, Dr. Zhang has served as the director of the University Transportation Center (UTC) Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2) granted by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Dr. Zhang’s recent research has focused on megaregional transportation issues, Transit-Oriented Development, and high-speed rail, and urban spatial development.

Benes is a historian of landscape architecture, architecture, and art, and has taught in the Landscape Architecture Program since 2006. She received her B.A. from Princeton University and her Ph.D. from Yale University, both in art history. Her teaching interests range from Mediterranean antiquity to Islamic gardens, and from seventeenth-century France to contemporary landscape architecture. Her specialized scholarship is on early modern Italy and France focused on the art, architecture, urban development, gardens, and vernacular landscapes of Rome and Paris. Among her publications are articles and two co-edited books, Clio in the Italian Garden: Twenty-First-Century Studies in Historical Methods and Theoretical Perspectives and Villas and Gardens in Early Modern Italy and France.

“In addition to welcoming our new academic leaders to their roles, I’d like to thank our outgoing Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Cisco Gomes for his leadership and service over the past few years, and Dr. Elizabeth Mueller for her service as outgoing Program Director for Community and Regional Planning,” Addington said. “During his tenure, Cisco was responsible for establishing the school’s Emerging Scholar visiting fellowship program; he reimagined how we think about international travel, including establishing new need-based scholarships for student studio travel; and helped reorganize the administrative structure of the school. In Community and Regional Planning, Liz has been an incredible leader, establishing a strong voice and presence among the planning faculty, and further expanding our role in the community.”