Remembering Paul Brandt

Oct 12th, 2016

Former head of the department of building science and emeritus professor Paul C.H. Brandt (1923—2016), passed away on October 9, 2016, at his home in Auburn, Ala. Brandt was born to Carl and Alma Brandt of Indianapolis, Indiana, on October 26, 1923. Brandt served in the US Army during World War II. When he returned from the war, he went on to receive an undergraduate and graduate degree from the University of Illinois, School of Architecture in 1947 and 1948. While completing his graduate studies, he taught statics in the School of Architecture. He was hired by the university to teach structural engineering for two years. Following his graduation, he was employed by an A.E. firm in Indianapolis for two years doing primarily structural design. He was licensed to practice architecture and structural engineering in Indiana. After receiving his registration as both an architect and also as a structural engineer, he was employed in his family’s general contracting firm for seven years. During the following eleven years, he founded and was president of Brandt, Delap & Nice, Inc. Architects and Engineers in Indianapolis. When he visited the Auburn campus in the early summer of 1968 to attend freshman orientation with his oldest son, he met Dean J. Ingram Clark of the School of Architecture. In the discussion that ensued, he learned of an opening in the Department of Building Technology. The School had been searching, for nearly a year, for a new department head in Building Technology. Brandt had just the requisite qualification and experience they were looking for. After a number of interviews, Dean Clark offered him the position. Brandt accepted the position as professor and department head and returned to Indianapolis to sell his business. His appointment began in September, 1968. At Auburn, he taught Building Materials, Mechanics of Structures, Estimating, Contracting Business, History of Building, and Thesis. He was the author of the first edition of the History of Building Science. According to Brandt, his strengths were in recruiting and keeping an excellent faculty, and in being the sole student advisor to all of the Department’s students while he was the Head. This included evaluating the transcripts of all transfers (the vast majority of students were transfers from other departments at Auburn as well as other universities), keeping individual records for each student (pre-computer age), and making a suggested schedule for each student every quarter. In Colorado Springs in 1974, Brandt met with members of the Education Committee of the Associated General Contractors Association, faculty representatives from about a dozen other universities who offered construction degrees, and several interested national sub-contractor organizations. The goal of this group was to create a framework for national accreditation of construction programs offering the baccalaureate degree. This meeting led to the organization known as the American Council for Construction Education, or ACCE. In 1980 Auburn’s Department of Building Science became fully accredited. Brandt stepped down as department head in 1991 to pursue full-time teaching, and retired in 1993. Generations of students remember him as a valued mentor, adviser, and father figure. He is survived by his wife, his children, grandchildren, great, as well as great-great grandchildren.