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James Underwood

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Title: Professor of Architecture
Company: Ball State University
Location: Muncie, Illinois, United States

James Underwood, professor of architecture at Ball State University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in architectural design and education.

Mr. Underwood’s educational journey commenced with distinction, earning a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Purdue University in 1966, followed by a cum laude Bachelor of Architecture from Ball State University in 1971. His professional career began diversely as he engaged in structural work for an architect in Muncie, Indiana. Simultaneously, he pursued teaching as a professor of architecture at Ball State University, a role he has excelled in since 1971.

Beyond academia, Mr. Underwood co-authored “Structural Design: A Practical Guide for Architects,” published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in 1998 and later with a second edition in 2007. His dedication to teaching has been recognized through numerous awards, including Design Intelligence’s acknowledgment as one of the 25 Most Respected Educators in America in 2016. His profound commitment to education extends to nurturing his students’ creativity, manifesting in transformative projects. Notably, he led students in planting 12,000 trees and constructing a pioneering solar, geothermal house enveloped entirely in copper on his 30-acre homestead.

Mr. Underwood attributes his success to the intersection of architecture and engineering in his career. The dynamic interplay between the convergent thinking of engineering and the divergent thinking of architecture fuels his passion. He also finds fulfillment in guiding students through the process of transforming unconventional or seemingly impossible ideas into tangible realities. Looking to the future, Mr. Underwood envisions stepping into a new phase of life, savoring the reward of a career that has spanned generations. 

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