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Architectural Engineering Outstanding Faculty Fellows

To enrich and diversify the scholarship within the architectural engineering (AE) department at Penn State, the Architectural Engineering Outstanding Faculty Fellows program is intended to encourage visiting faculty and researchers to collaborate with AE faculty through an extended visit, leading to long-term relationships and engagement.


The selected fellow is expected to spend between five and twelve months at Penn State University Park. During that period, the fellow is expected to:

  • Conduct a research project, or a portion, while visiting that benefits from and contributes to the program and aligns with AE research areas of interest
    • The fellow will be expected to present a portion of their research to AE faculty and students through the AE Research Seminar Series
    • The project should build upon the fellow's previous or current work but should provide ample opportunity for collaboration with AE faculty and students
  • If appropriate, offer a 3-credit elective course on a relevant AE topic that enriches the program through the visiting Fellow’s expertise
    • The course should target an upper-level elective or graduate-level course offering
  • Participate in departmental events to interact with AE faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and other stakeholders in an effort to facilitate scholarship and enrichment of the AE department

Proposal Requirements

Proposals for the fellowship should be emailed to Robert Leicht, associate professor of architectural engineering, at Proposals should include the following:

  • A current curricula vitae (CV) highlighting expertise and previous work
  • A summary proposal (one page) describing the research which will be conducted while visiting
    • Please highlight goals related to the visit
    • Please highlight collaborative opportunities related to the research areas within the Penn State AE department
    • Targeted dates for the visit
  • A summary, or copy of a current syllabus, of a course that may be offered as an elective to AE students while visiting
  • A letter of support from a current AE faculty indicating their interest in serving as your host and support for the proposed collaborative research

Selection Process

Proposals should be submitted via email for consideration in the following academic year. A review will take place to verify the requirements are met, to verify funding availability, and to ensure appropriate alignment with AE research and areas of interest. The panel will review and select the applicant based upon the following criteria:

  • Ability to contribute value to AE scholarly community 
  • Potential for ongoing collaboration with AE faculty 
  • Merit and collaboration value in the proposed area of research 
  • Potential for professional development of recipient

Potential Areas of Collaboration

To help address potential areas in which visiting faculty could collaborate with the Penn State faculty within architectural engineering, the following topics are broad suggestions. While intended to help, applicants should not feel limited to these areas for proposal topics:

Selection Timeline

The review process is expected to take place on a rolling basis. The successful applicant will be notified as soon as reasonably possible to verify acceptance and timeline for finalizing details before notifying any applicants who applied but were not selected. If specific deadlines for consideration at your home institution or related to other travel requirements, such as visa applications, exist, please be sure to highlight that information in correspondence regarding the proposal submission. The timeline of one year, or more, ahead of the visit is intended to accommodate most university sabbatical leave application timelines. 

  • Fellowship Timeline

  • A fellow is expected to spend between five and twelve months at Penn State. Participation is expected at the following events (exact dates TBD):
  • - Presentation in the AE Research Seminar Series
  • - AE-related organizational events, such as Project CANDLE or PACE

  • Available Resources

  • The resources available to the fellow include:
  • $10,000 teaching stipend to teach a course
  • When appropriate, up to $5,000 discretionary fund to support research activities while at Penn State
  • $2,000 per month stipend to support personnel subsistence and travel expenses while at Penn State
  • Access, as appropriate, to University infrastructure including high-performance computing, Penn State libraries, licensed software, state-of-the-art experimental laboratories, and other relevant university resources

  • Benefits

  • It is assumed that while visiting, the Faculty Fellow will still be drawing a salary from their home institution and therefore will not receive equivalent recompense from Penn State. A background check will need to be completed by the recipient, in accordance with Penn State policy. In addition, fringe benefits, retirement benefits, healthcare, and related benefits accorded to full-time Penn State employees are excluded from this offer.
  • To receive the funding for the course instruction, Penn State will need to appoint the selected fellow as a Fixed-Term 2 appointment with no benefits for the duration of the course offering. Each applicant will be responsible for verifying the policy of their home institution for collecting this pay and coordinating the respective documentation or adding the appropriate details to their home institution's sabbatical application.

  • Contact

  • Robert M. Leicht, associate professor of architectural engineering
    104 Engineering Unit A
    University Park, PA 16802
    (814) 863-2080 


Globally recognized as a leading architectural engineering department, the mission of the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State is to advance the built environment through the development of world-class architectural engineers and research. The vision of the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State is to lead the world in innovative education and research to achieve high-performing built environments. Our program emphasizes the scientific and engineering aspects of planning, designing, and constructing buildings, providing our architectural engineering graduates with outstanding education and research opportunities. 

Department of Architectural Engineering

104 Engineering Unit A

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-6395