SAME and AIA Begin Collaborations in 2015


Kicking off 2015, the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) formed a strategic alliance through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The MOA agrees to facilitate collaboration and information sharing to enhance the profession of architecture in the Department of Defense and other related federal agencies, and to enhance the body of knowledge for architecture in the public and private sectors.

Both AIA and SAME serve professionals in the architecture field; SAME’s reach is slightly more diverse including engineering, construction (A/E/C), facility management and environmental entities. Together, this partnership will add greater value to the members of both organizations.

A Meet & Greet was held on January 22, 2015 with members of SAME and AIA. SAME was represented by Executive Director, BG Joe Schroedel, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.), Belle Febbraro, Program Manager and Nicole Mathews, Committee Support Coordinator; and the SAME Architectural Practice Committee (APC) leadership team of JJ Tang, AIA, APC Chair; Paula Loomis, AIA, F.SAME, APC Vice Chair and AIA Board Member; and David Thompson, FAIA. AIA leadership included Robert Ivy, AIA, Chief Executive Officer, Ed Gauvreau, AIA, Public Architects Chair, and Susan Parrish, Director of Knowledge Communities.

The group’s discussion consisted of areas of mutual support including promotion of excellence of the  built environment, annual conference support, professional development opportunities, enriched education and training, sharing and distribution of published materials and avenues for growth in membership and working relationships.

SAME and AIA Meet and Greet

Some first steps that will take place fall under promotion of excellence of the built environment. SAME APC will begin working with the AIA Public Architects (PA) Advisory Group on making recommendations for the upcoming Urbahn Medal jury selection. The Urbahn Medal annually recognizes a SAME member for distinguished performance in the field of architecture.  Similarly, AIA offers the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture to recognize achievements in the public and private-sector. AIA members in the public sector currently serve on the Thomas Jefferson Award jury and will continue to do so in the future. An opportunity to increase recognition of federal design award programs is also being explored.

Additionally, both organizations have some new ideas toward sharing and distributing of published materials. AIA currently runs a bi-annual newsletter geared toward public architects, the Cornerstone, featuring news articles, upcoming events and resources. AIA plans to have the Cornerstone and the PA webpage feature relevant articles from the SAME APC. The next addition will debut March/April 2015. Likewise, the SAME APC plans to include a featured article and links to the Cornerstone in the APC Quarterly Journal, a similar journal full of great information distributed among SAME APC members, as well as through the various social media channels at SAME.

What’s more, SAME and AIA look forward to opening discussions among SAME Posts and AIA chapters. Working relationships among the Posts and chapters will foster greater value to members through joint meetings, training seminars and initiatives. The possibilities are exciting.

Finally, as the Meet & Greet wrapped up, both parties were left eager to begin work on their combined efforts. Through collaboration, both organizations will offer greater benefits to their members and learn from one another. It appears as though 2015 is looking quite promising in the world of architecture!

For more information on the SAME Architectural Practice Committee, visit