News & Features

CAEE Receives Donation from Architectural Engineering Alumnus Thomas W. Taylor


July 31, 2015

Alumnus Thomas W. Taylor (BS ArE ’59) and his wife, Dane (BBA ’75), have made a personal pledge to renovate the CAEE Architectural Engineering Suite. This gift will provide funding for a state-of-the-art design studio which teaches students the integration of architecture and engineering systems.

Defining the identity of the third floor, the new space will include glass wall views into the seminar room and student spaces. This will create a vibrant learning community where students can study, collaborate, and engage with faculty and classmates.

archE lab rendering

Current architectural engineering students held a competition for the best 3D image of the new design studio.

The construction of the new Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC) has triggered several significant renovations within Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall (ECJ). Once complete, the EERC will operate as a connected neighborhood on the three lower levels of ECJ, which will include the architectural engineering design studio.

Department Chair Richard Corsi summarizes what this gift means to the State of Texas and the importance of architectural engineering as a profession. “Americans spend 70 of their 79 years of average lifetime inside buildings," he said.  "It is critical that building environments are safe from structural or enclosure failures and designed to promote human health, productivity, and learning.  These conditions are the responsibilities of architectural engineers.  This wonderful gift from Thomas and Dane Taylor will benefit and inspire countless generations of architectural engineering students who will continue to define where we live our lives.  Their generosity will have immediate and long-lasting impacts that benefit CAEE students and those who occupy the buildings they design and build.”

A longtime supporter of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Taylor received his bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering in 1959. He has been a leader and innovator in the building industry throughout his 50+ year career as a structural engineer.  Now a Principal Design Engineer at structural engineering firm Datum Engineers, he took over operations in 1963 and helped Datum grow into a nationally recognized firm.

Passion for design and architecture – the “Art of Structural Engineering” – has been Taylor’s signature. Projects such as Thanksgiving Square, the Ballpark at Arlington, the Chapel of St. Ignatius, EDS Headquarters, Parkland Memorial Hospital, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Irving Convention Center, Dallas Convention Center and the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank have become Datum’s signature works.   

“I have had many blessings in my life and have so much enjoyed my career as an architectural engineer,” Thomas said. “The two blessings that have made such an impact on my life, is my loving family and a public education at the University of Texas at Austin.”

The new studio will be named after Datum Engineers. The expected date of completion is March 2016.

More architectural engineering student renderings of design studio.

If you are interested in supporting the ECJ Renovation, please contact Henna Tayyeb at or 512-471-4046.