Patrick Murphy honored with ASAE Early Career Impact Award


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Alumni Society of Architectural Engineers (ASAE) named Patrick Murphy, ’07 B.A.E./M.A.E. and Schreyer Honors College Scholar, as the recipient of the 2017 ASAE Early Career Impact Award. Murphy received his honor at the Department of Architectural Engineering banquet held in April.

The ASAE created the award to annually honor and recognize a Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering alumnus in the early stages of his or her career. The award winner must showcase outstanding career experience and industry leadership, community service and involvement, service and outreach to the architectural engineering department and the potential for continued success in his or her career.

Like many architectural engineers, Murphy grew up thinking he wanted to become an architect. But, when a professor at Syracuse University asked to see his non-existent portfolio of artwork in 2001 during a campus tour, Murphy said he knew architecture wasn’t his future.

“I focused on drafting classes and physics in high school, not art,” he said. “After a few weeks of existential crisis, I discovered that architectural engineering was exactly what I had been preparing for my whole life and that I already visited and loved the school that was best known for the major.”

This school was Penn State.

“The only issue was convincing my father that the out-of-state tuition was worth it. We took one more trip to Penn State and met with Dr. Geschwindner. My father asked ‘what’s your job placement rate?’ Dr. Geschwindner responded, ‘one-hundred percent. It’s always 100 percent.’ I was in,” Murphy said.

Upon graduation in 2007, Murphy joined Vanderweil Engineers as a mechanical engineer. During his first five years with the firm, he worked to become an expert in geothermal system design – the design of central heating and cooling systems that transfer heat to or from the ground to a building. In that timeframe, Murphy designed six geothermal systems, including a system for the Vietnam Memorial Visitors Center on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Murphy has also worked to establish himself as a leader in sustainable design. He has been involved in the design of three LEED Platinum projects, an off-grid net zero facility and two projects which earned the highest Green Globes certification. Murphy has been recognized for his sustainable design work, receiving three regional ASHRAE Technology Awards, two U.S. Green Building Council Maryland Wintergreen Awards for Excellence in Green Building and a first place award in the national Metropolis Magazine NextGen Design Competition. The competition challenged engineers to retrofit a fifty-year-old, one-million-square-foot federal office building in order to make it a net zero building.

As a leader in innovative, sustainable design, Murphy has directed the mechanical system design of several high-profile buildings including the United States State Department Diplomacy Museum, Exelon Tower, Parks and People Foundation headquarters, Alexandria Renew Enterprise headquarters, the Education Center at the Wall, and the Frostburg State Sustainable Energy Research Facility, all projects located in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area.

Murphy’s success as an engineer with Vanderweil has led to continued promotions – team leader for the mechanical engineers in Vanderweil’s Alexandria office; project manager for healthcare, academic, high-rise commercial, high-rise residential and government projects; firm associate; and most recently, director of sustainable design. Murphy’s promotion to associate in 2015 was one of the earliest ever promotions of its kind, making him the youngest titled Vanderweil employee.

Murphy manages nearly $2 million in revenue annually and coordinates HVAC, electrical, plumbing, fire alarm, fire suppression, information technology and security system design for Vanderweil's various markets and project types and sizes.

His leadership also extends to the greater community, including the Department of Architectural Engineering and his community in the D.C. area.

As a mentor to the next generation of architectural engineers through the Penn State Student Society of Architectural Engineers/Alumni Society of Architectural Engineers mentoring program, Murphy assists students in their career searches and on thesis projects. Murphy has mentored six architectural engineering mechanical option students, reviewing their resumes and providing interview and professional interaction insight and career advice.

Murphy is the founder of the Georgetown Running Club, a non-profit running club for elite and sub-elite runners. He worked to establish the club, its bylaws, budget, and customs. The club has continued to evolve since its creation and now has a part-time coach and a $20,000 annual operating budget. It has sent four runners to the 2016 United States Olympic Trials and has raised close to $100,000 for other non-profit organizations, to memorialize members of the running community and to raise awareness for men’s health.

Murphy’s accomplishments, both in the built environment and in the community environment, make him the ideal candidate for the ASAE award.

“Patrick is truly one of the top up-and-coming leaders in architectural engineering,” Jonathan Dougherty, president of ASAE, said.

Murphy is humbled to receive the recognition and to be a part of a group of alumni that are so widely respected for their vast knowledge, professionalism and industry experience.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by my peers in the Penn State AE alumni, who I regard as the best in the industry. It was also a joy to return to State College again to participate in the thesis jury and see the amazing work that the students from this program produce every year,” he said.


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Samantha Chavanic

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by my peers in the Penn State AE alumni, who I regard as the best in the industry. It was also a joy to return to State College again to participate in the thesis jury and see the amazing work that the students from this program produce every year.”




Widely acknowledged as one of the top Architectural Engineering programs in the world, the Penn State AE Department is dedicated to providing outstanding academic excellence to all of our students. The AE program is focused on preparing students and conducting research in the design, engineering, and construction of building projects.

Department of Architectural Engineering

104 Engineering Unit A

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-6394