Professor Shannon Chance is a fully qualified Architect, licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia (#0401011725) and a Council Record Holder in the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (#104024) since 2005, meaning that she is eligible for reciprocity/licensure in any state within the USA. She has also been a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED-AP) under the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program since 2009. Shannon’s PhD thesis, in the area of Higher Education Policy, Planning and Leadership, looked at how universities have been using green building rating systems to develop their built assets; she assessed to what degree their efforts constituted actual “leadership” in environmental sustainability. She presented findings at NASA Langley. Her thesis earned the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the International Society for Educational Planning and she graduated with the sole 2010 Dean’s Award for PhD students in her School. Aiming to work at the cutting edge of architecture and building environment, Shannon recently completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Building Information Modeling (BIM) in Ireland.
Having used hand tools since age six, engaging in house building since age nine, and being heavily engaged in arts and photography since shortly after, Shannon earned the five-year first-professional Bachelor of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech in 1992. Along with this B.Arch., she earned the designation of Magna cum Laude as well as the 1992 award for Outstanding Student of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, where she was selected out of approximately 6000 undergraduate students. She was employed during her undergraduate studies by the architecture and engineering (A/E) firm Mills, Oliver and Webb. During her third year of the B.Arch., she delivered a paper presentation at a National Conference on the Beginning Design Student, held at Catholic University of America. From third year onward, she was appointed by the College to lead annual (Bauhaus format) workshops in photography and 16mm film production to younger students. Her activities in art have ranged from serving as photography editor for her high school’s yearbook (1987-1988) to a sole-artist photographic exhibition featuring her work at the Daniel O’Connell house in Dublin (2013) sponsored by the Fulbright Commission in Ireland.
Immediately following the award of her B. Arch., Shannon received a fixed-term appointment as a Lecturer of Architecture (full-time) for Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies where she was involved with leading collaborative projects, teaching a module on 16mm film-making, and organizing student travel programs.
She then completed a one-year post-professional Master of Architecture degree—serving as a Teaching Assistant for a second-year architecture theory module and a jewelry module, in addition to serving as a Research Assistant on innovative hospital design—and again graduating with honors. In this period, she undertook a ten-week architectural study abroad program, traveling across Europe with Virginia Tech’s Architecture Department. She then worked in two half-time positions at Virginia Tech: (1) for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies helping organize for an upcoming architectural accreditation visit and two architecture conferences hosted by the College, and (2) for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as a web designer.
Alongside her Master’s of Architecture studies, Shannon completed a five-month cultural exchange program to Switzerland (the location of her M.Arch. thesis project) and won a state-wide design competition from the Virginia Masonry Association that carried a cash prize. The funds were sufficient for a move to Switzerland, where she worked for a year as an architect at Studio Wagner, doing high-spec residential and renovation design including projects published in Dwell magazine. Studio Wagner also contracted her out to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) to assist in the delivery of a film and video course taught by Luciano Rigolini and to prepare exhibition materials for use by SCI-Arc at events across Europe.
Returning to the United States, Shannon worked for two-years as an intern architect at the firm Tymoff+Mass Architects in Norfolk, Virginia. In this job, she worked on the design of public schools and libraries, residential projects (extensions and new builds), and took a major role in all stages of design and construction of a medical-school library, eventually serving as the architect’s site administrator. She also provided guest lectures and served on juries for the Department of Architecture at Hampton University and began serving as an Adjunct Professor there.
In 1999, Shannon founded ReConstruct Architecture, specializing in residential design within designated historic districts. She served as Commissioner of Architecture Review for the City of Portsmouth, Virginia, helping set the standard for historic preservation and adaptive reuse in the city. She operated this firm as a sole practitioner from 1999-2007, when her PhD studies took the front seat. Work with ReConstruct was full-time in the first year and part-time in subsequent years.
In 2000, Shannon received a full-time appointment as Assistant Professor of Architecture at Hampton University. In the years from 2000-2104, she gained a wide variety of skills and was actively engaged in myriad ways. For example, she:
- Co-designed a new Master of Architecture program that was launched in 2005 and received full accreditation
- Served on visiting accreditation teams of the National Architectural Accreditation Board (eight in total, and as NAAB Team Chair for two visits)
- Taught at all year levels of the accredited architecture degree program (Y1-Y4, advising thesis students in Y5) as well as some modules outside the department (e.g., honors Humanities)
- Served as module lead for Studios at Y2 (architecture) and Y3 (urban design)
- Served as the department’s International Studies Coordinator
- Organized and conducted 7 study abroad programs to Europe and Africa for students, directing, for example, a Fulbright-Hays funded program to Tanzania.
- Won highly competitive grants from the US Department of Education and the ROTCH Foundation. Enlisted ongoing financial support from the Gindroz Foundation and Davis Foundation.
- Served on and lead many high-level university committees, regarding university accreditation, university program review (QA), and promotion and tenure.
Shannon was Chair for the 2004 National Conference on the Beginning Design Student, attended by architecture teachers from across the USA. She was elevated to the rank of Associate Professor of Architecture in 2007 for “distinction in teaching.” Her teaching areas included architectural ecology/sustainability, architectural design and theory, urban design and theory, study abroad, service-learning, and special projects.
After completing a PhD at the College of William and Mary in Virginia in 2010, Shannon was appointed as an Associate Professor of Education at this Research I institution. In the capacity of Adjunct professor, she taught modules on educational planning and sustainable development in the summertime.
Shannon undertook the PhD (2006-2010), while teaching full-time at Hampton University, to learn more about education and conducting education research — and as an intentional step toward moving her career to Europe. She garnered a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship (Core Scholars Program, 2012-2013) in Engineering Education Research and went to work for a year in the College of Engineering and Built Environment at the (now) Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin). There, she helped bridge architecture and engineering programs.
Following the one-year Fulbright sabbatical, she returned to Hampton University, where she was elevated to Full Professor of Architecture in 2014 for “distinction in research.” Immediately after, she moved back to Dublin to accept a 24-month Marie Curie research fellowship (International Incoming Fellowship program under FP7). The success rate of the program this year was 9.4%; Shannon earned one of the highest scores of the year, 97.3%, on her first attempt. The fellowship ended in 2016, and shortly thereafter Shannon was appointed as Lecturer in TU Dublin’s School of Multidisciplinary Technologies. This School aims to draw together the various realms of built environment and engineering. In this School, Shannon teaches modules related to Y1 (design projects involving civil/structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering, and some architecture technology) as well as Y4 and postgraduate level BIM courses. She was also involved in the development of a new MSc program in Data Analytics for Built Design Professionals that has been validated and will launch in the coming year.
In the meantime, Shannon won a second Marie Curie research fellowship (standard Individual Fellowship program under Horizon 2020). This has allowed her to spend 24 months working in the Centre for Engineering Education at University College London (the seventh-ranked research institution in the world). Here she was able to build new skills as well as networks across the Faculty of Engineering as well as the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Institute of Education (which both rank first in the world in their respective areas). During this second Marie Curie fellowship, Shannon produced a number of cutting-edge research projects related to architecture and engineering education. Journal publications resulting from this Marie Curie fellowship involve:
- Engineering teachers’ experiences implementing Problem Based Learning
- Grit in engineering education
- Perceptions of ethics and global responsibilities among civil engineers practicing in London (multiple publications forthcoming)
- How architecture and civil engineering students perceive “creating something entirely new” and “generating new knowledge” (two publications under development)
Shannon also spearheaded the development of two special focus journal issues—one related to diversity in engineering education and a second on student development in the realms of identity and epistemological understanding. UCL served as an important conduit for connecting Shannon with leadership opportunities. She is currently supervising a PhD student in her role as Visiting Professor at London South Bank University, and her PhD student has published a number of noteworthy conference papers in the area of sustainable development. She also enjoys a five-year appointment as Visiting Professor at UCL.
Shannon has accepted global leadership roles, serving as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Education, an Editorial Board member of the European Journal of Engineering Education, and 2020-2022 Chair of the global Research on Engineering Education Network which organizes a bi-annual symposium (upcoming in Australia and India) and publishes special focus journal issues. Shannon is lead guest editor on a new special focus issue on ethics in engineering education and practice to be published spring 2021. She is also a mentor for TU Dublin researchers as well as the Journal of Engineering Education. She hosts the research blog www.IrelandByChance.com and photography website www.ChanceReflections.com and she assists with www.RoboSlam.com which posts materials and conducts outreach events to attract students to study STEM. She served as expert consultant for kids’ books on engineering and architecture by Usborne Publishers.
In the UK, she earned the teaching qualification of Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA, 2019). Over the course of her career, Shannon also has been admitted to the following professional organizations: American Institute of Architects (AIA #30402443); Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE); American Educational Research Association (AERA #709009); Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA); Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE); Society of College and University Planners (SCUP); International Society of Educational Planners (ISEP); Congress on the New Urbanism (CNU); and the East Beach Design Professionals Guild (Norfolk, VA).
She has published 59 conference papers, 15 journal articles, and 8 book chapters, with a half dozen more in draft stages. She has delivered master classes in South Africa as well as workshop seminars in countries including Portugal, Belgium, the UK, Ireland, Hungary, Denmark, and the USA.
Shannon has recently returned to her home institution, TU Dublin, where she holds a permanent appointment. Half her time is devoted to teaching and research and the other half to curriculum development in collaboration with UCL.