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headshot of Ulrike Altenmueller Lewis
Dr.-Ing. Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis, AIA
Program Director, Architecture; Associate Professor



URBN Center, 4A20H

Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis joined the full-time faculty of the Department of Architecture & Interiors in 2008. As practicing architect with academic credentials, Ulrike has worked for firms in the United States and Germany with a variety of responsibilities and remains involved in architectural practice and scholarship on both continents.

She was the Architecture Program Director from 2011 to 2013 after previously serving as the Associate Program Director of Architecture. Since her arrival, Ulrike has led profound changes to the curriculum and energetically reformed the Architecture Program, which she directed to a highly successful reaccreditation through the NAAB in collaboration with then Department Head Jon Coddington in spring 2012. Prior to her position at Drexel University, Ulrike has taught at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany and at the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center of Virginia Tech. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects AIA, a registered architect with the Architektenkammer Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and holds an architectural license with New York State. Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis has practiced in Germany as well as in the USA, where she worked with RTKL Associates in Washington DC and Alfredo De Vido in New York City.

In January 2016 Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis was appointed Provost Fellow and began working with the Office of Faculty Affairs on designing mentoring and career development strategies for Drexel University. She is also co-director of Drexel’s Smart Initiatives Program (DSIP), which allows her to extend the focus of her research and service interests in a broad and interdisciplinary way within the University and the community. This role gives her the opportunity to combine her focus on experiential learning, fostering undergraduate research, interdisciplinary collaboration, design thinking with community participation/engagement.  Ulrike is very much interested in Drexel’s strategic initiatives--particularly those related to the creation of One University.

Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis’ s primary research interest concerns the impact of the built environment on human wellbeing and performance, specifically on learning environments, how they can support pedagogical concepts and improve learning outcomes. She has published on this topic widely and has presented her research findings in numerous national and international conferences. Ulrike’ investigations of Finnish contemporary school architecture introduce an international audience to original and highly successful approaches to school design. Detailed case studies of exemplary educational buildings capture and objectify spatial experiences grounded in evidenced-based design principles. As expert in educational building design Ulrike contributes to Drexel University’s efforts for the new Powel Elementary School/Science Leadership Academy Middle School neighboring the campus as member of the site planning steering committee.

The secondary research interest centers on translations of important historic texts from German into English, which is based on the awareness of the impact access to sources can make on research and scholarship. Centered on the challenge to find appropriate terminologies that adequately maintain the content and culture of the texts when translated into the English language. In collaboration with Matthew Mindrup (University of Sydney), Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis has prepared an annotated English translation of Taut’s anthology Die Stadtkrone (The City Crown) that was first published in 1917. This significant anthology was first available to an English-speaking audience as publication with Ashgate in 2015.

Dr.-Ing. (Doktor-Ingenieur), Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany
Dipl.-Ing. (Diplom-Ingenieur), Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany