Feniosky A Pena-Mora


Feniosky Peña-Mora is the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. He also directs the Center for Buildings, Infrastructure and Public Space at Columbia.

From 2014 to 2017, he was on a public service leave serving in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration as Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC). There, he was responsible for over 1,200 projects valued in excess of $15 billion, undertaken by more than 1,400 workers and 1,320 consultants. Under his leadership, more than 860 construction projects, valued at more than $9 billion, started or completed. The agency also committed more than $5.4 billion in new contracts by improving the capital project procurement process. The agency received more than 80 design and professional awards. Each one of these accomplishments was a record for DDC.

Prior to his public service leave at DDC, he was the Dean of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering at Columbia University. In this post, he was responsible for setting the school’s strategic direction and managing its operation and growth to over $400 million in endowments, a $200 million annual operating budget, 4,500 students, and 400 staff and faculty members.

He has also served as Associate Provost and the Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Endowed Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In this position, Prof. Peña-Mora led the university’s Interdisciplinary, Diversity, and Entrepreneurial Initiatives.

He started his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was co-director of the MIT Intelligent Engineering Systems Laboratory, and the Gilbert W. Winslow Career Development Professor.

Prof. Peña-Mora is the author or co-author of more than 220 scholarly publications, and holds six patents and one provisional patent. His multiple awards include: the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE); the National Science Foundation CAREER Award; the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize of the American Society of Civil Engineers; the ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Award; and the ASCE Construction Management Award. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Buildings (CIOB) as well as an elected member of the Dominican Republic Academy of Sciences, and the United States National Academy of Construction. He earned his Master of Science and Doctor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.