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On Campus

October 03, 2000 - VOL. 27, NO. 20

greek columnspacerArete: Mehmet Bengu Uluengin


Rick Cherwitz and Sharan L. Daniel


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Editor's note: Arete is an ancient Greek word for virtue, describing the quest for individual excellence. In this regular feature of On Campus, the University salutes its graduate students — whose considerable contributions to the academy and larger community are truly virtuious. These features will be framed and posted in the lobby of the Office of Graduate Studies, Main 101.

spacerName: Mehmet Bengu Uluengin
spacerHometown: Istanbul, Turkey
spacerDepartment: Community and Regional Planning
spacerAdvisor: Jeffrey M. Chusid
spacerDegrees: B. Arch., Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul, 1996; M.S., Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, 1999.

Mehmet Bengu Uluengin grew up in the discipline he eventually chose. His family introduced him to field-work many scholars would envy.

The third-generation architect describes his work as "bridging two disciplines involved in preservation -- architecture and planning." In fact "bridging" describes much of what Uluengin does.

He is working literally to bridge parts of war-torn Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through the efforts of Uluengin and his adviser, Jeffrey Chusid, head of the architecture school's preservation program, UT Austin is participating in the Mostar 2004 Program, which aims to "reconstruct and reconcile" the city. The program's main project is rebuilding the 400-year-old stone bridge over the Neretva River, destroyed Nov. 11, 1993.

Promoting Mostar 2004 was one of Uluengin's jobs before he came to UT Austin. As an architect with the Historic Cities Support Program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), Uluengin assisted Amir Pasic, a Mostar architect and urban planner who won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1986 for preservation of historic Mostar.

Uluengin's personal history with architecture began with his grandfather, one of Turkey's first architects to specialize in preservation. His parents, practicing architects, pursued the same specialty. Proving his talent for the tradition, Uluengin finished third in his undergraduate class. In 1995, he received first prize for his design of low-cost housing in a competition sponsored by Ytong Company in Turkey.

Uluengin arrived here with three years' field experience at his family's firm and with ATKC. With Uluengin Architects Ltd., he worked on documentation of the Topkapi Palace Ramparts and of the archeological findings of Byzantine Emperor Constantine's Palace. He also helped construct a 1:1,000-scale model of historic Samarkand, Uzbekistan, capital of the 15th-century Timurid Empire.

At UT Austin Uluengin serves as a teaching assistant while he seeks to bridge the old and new in his research.

NOTE: Nominations (including self-nominations) for ARETE should be sent to Associate Dean Richard Cherwitz at spaj737@uts.cc.utexas.edu


October 3, 2000
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