The American Academy in Rome has appointed John Ochsendorf its 23rd director. Currently a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Ochsendorf will begin his 3-year term on July 1, 2017. When completed, he plans to return to MIT.

Ochsendorf holds dual appointments at MIT: Class of 1942 Professor of Architecture and professor of civil and environmental engineering. His interdisciplinary interests include the history of construction, masonry mechanics, and sustainable design. In 2007, his study of masonry vaulting was awarded the Rome Prize Fellowship in Historic Preservation from the Academy. The following year his explorations of pre-industrial engineering led to being named a MacArthur Fellow. Guastavino Vaulting: The Art of Structural Tile, Ochsendorf’s book on tile vaults constructed by the Guastavino family across the United States between the 1880s and the 1950s, was published in 2010 by Princeton Press.

Ochsendorf holds a BSc from Cornell University earned in 1996, an MSE from Princeton in civil engineering in 1998, and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in engineering in 2002. He joined the faculty at MIT after graduating from Cambridge.