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SmithGroup Hires Swensen as Principal and Studio Leader in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, PA — SmithGroup, an integrated design firm, has hired Jill Swensen, AIA, LEED AP, as a Principal and Studio Leader at its Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, office.

A Registered Architect with more than 20 years of experience, Swensen specializes in the programming, planning and management of complex environments that advance learning and research activities. In her new role as a Studio Leader, she will collaborate with multidisciplinary experts across the firm’s Higher Education, Science & Technology and Health groups to create spaces for college, university and healthcare clients in Pennsylvania and the eastern U.S.

Swensen’s portfolio features work for academic institutions including Carnegie Mellon University, The University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, The Ohio State University and the University of Glasgow, among others. At Yale University’s campus in New Haven, Connecticut, Swensen recently led planning and design activities for a range of new construction and renovation efforts. Projects include the Yale Science Building, a 277,550-square-foot biology research facility; and the modernization of Kline Tower.

SmithGroup’s Higher Education Practice, led by Chris Purdy, AIA, specializes in planning and design of spaces for the health sciences; engineering education; science, technology, engineering and math; law and professional schools; student life; and recreation.

“Jill thoroughly understands the changes occurring in higher education, especially in the STEM disciplines, where new, flexible and innovative spaces to support experiential learning and collaborative research are essential,” Purdy said. “She will work closely with clients and team members to lead the planning and design of modern campus environments that are transformative and align with project goals.”

Swensen earned a Master of Architecture from Syracuse University after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from Pennsylvania State University. She is a longtime member of the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council. She comes to SmithGroup from the Butler, Pennsylvania, office of Stantec.