UTA civil engineering assistant professor takes home DBIA international award


Distinguished leadership award


Credit: UT Arlington

Sharareh (Sherri) Kermanshachi of The University of Texas at Arlington has won the 2018 Design-Build Institute of America, or DBIA, Distinguished Leadership Award in the faculty category.

Kermanshachi, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, was recognized after an international search. Professors from Georgia Tech, Arizona State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder are some of the former recipients of this award.

“It is a great honor to receive such a prestigious award from DBIA,” Kermanshachi said. “The implementation of the design-build delivery method will continue to grow in the construction industry. This system not only minimizes project risks, reduces overall costs and improves execution timeline, but it also enhances workforce productivity and optimizes performance efficiency. The design-build delivery method is a logical movement that will shape the future of the construction industry.”

The Distinguished Leadership Award is awarded to one faculty member per year but in some years no award is given.

The Design-Build Institute of America is a 5,000-plus-member organization that provides access to the nation’s best design-build education, professional certification and model contracts. Its annual awards program recognizes the country’s most inspiring design-build projects.

Design-build is a fast-growing movement and a popular method used to deliver construction projects in the United States. Design-build saves time and money by encouraging innovation and collaboration and allowing the designing and building of construction projects to occur on the same timeline.

Kermanshachi is a certified Design-Build Professional. Her research and teaching activities have been previously acknowledged by DBIA, and she was awarded the DBIA fellowship in 2017.

“My goal is to promote the design-build method in the public sector,” she said.

Ali Abolmaali, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, said Kermanshachi has been instrumental in strengthening the College of Engineering’s construction engineering discipline.

“Dr. Kermanshachi’s research findings have significant impact in the area of construction engineering. In addition, she has led many UTA students to become knowledgeable and productive construction engineers in the civil engineering sector, and especially in the design-build arena,” Abolmaali said. “The industry knows that when its companies get someone from UTA, they’ve had the best education in the classroom. Dr. Kermanshachi is part of that success. This award speaks to her acumen in the classroom and in the field with research projects that benefit the industry.”

DBIA officials said Kermanshachi’s commitment to design-build is demonstrated through her scholarship, her student mentoring and her active engagement with DBIA’s Southwest Region. In addition to serving as the director of UTA’s Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Environment (RISE) Lab, supervising multiple doctoral and master’s students, Kermanshachi is the founder of the UTA’s DBIA student chapter and currently serves as its faculty adviser. She has conducted several national- and state-level research projects and has published more than 80 books, journal articles, conference papers and research reports.

In addition to the DBIA Distinguished Leadership Award, Kermanshachi has received several prestigious national and regional awards, including the ASCE, or American Society of Civil Engineers, Professional Service Award, its Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Fellowship, and its Outstanding Reviewer award; the Utility Engineering & Surveying Institute Fellowship; the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award; the Open Educational Resources Research Fellowship and the Graduate Climate Award.

Kermanshachi was the only academic recipient of the 2017 Texas and Louisiana Engineering News Record Top 20 Under 40 Award and she was also invited to serve as the judge for the 2017 and 2018 ENR Best Projects.


The College of Engineering is ranked No. 82 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “Best Graduate Schools” list. The graduate program in civil engineering is ranked No. 89. The SR Education group ranked UTA No. 9 on its list of “Best Online Colleges Offering a Master’s in Civil Engineering” for 2019.

Media Contact
Herb Booth
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Original Source


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