This page lists all BCT Faculty members. Associates and Emeritus Faculty are listed on separate pages.

Faculty: Peggi Clouston | L. Carl FiocchiHo-Sung Kim | Munkaila Musah | Fernando Romero | Alexander Schreyer | Benjamin Weil

Adjunct faculty: Kent Hicks

Peggi L. Clouston

Professor & Graduate Concentration Coordinator, Sustainable Building Systems 

316 Olver Design Building
+1 (413) 545-1884


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Ph.D. (Wood Mechanics, University of British Columbia)
M.A.Sc. (Wood Mechanics, University of British Columbia)
B.A.Sc (Structural Engineering, University of British Columbia)
P. Eng. (EGBC and ASCE Associate Member)

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Clouston teaches courses in material mechanics, bio-based laminates, and structural timber design to architects, engineers, and building technologists. With over 80 publications, her research focuses on the structural behavior and efficient use of advanced bio-based (wood, grass and straw) composite materials. Some of the technologies studied and developed in her lab include: laminated bamboo lumber, mass timber t-beams, and hybrid cross-laminated timber-concrete systems – a key innovation used in the J.W. Olver Design Building floors. Recent research showed the structural viability of utilizing low-value trees grown in the northeastern United States as raw material for cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels. This led to the commercialization of Eastern Hemlock CLT and the first ever implementation of northeastern-sourced CLT in buildings. The work has the broader benefits of incentivizing local wood use as a low-carbon, climate-smart building material option while bolstering local forest-based businesses. 

Prof. Clouston is a registered professional engineer (EGBC) and serves as Associate Editor of the ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering. In 2016, she led the design, engineering, and construction of a large student design/build project that culminated in the construction of a Massive Timber Dome (30ft x 30ft) on the plaza of the UMass Fine Arts Center.


L. Carl Fiocchi

Senior Lecturer & Chief Professional MS Advisor

337 Olver Design Building
+1 (413) 545-1866

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Ph.D. (Building Systems, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
M.Arch. (Architecture, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
B.A. (Biology, University of Pennsylvania)

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Fiocchi’s interest and research are concerned with high performance energy efficient buildings with special emphasis on the building envelope and mechanical systems of both residential and commercial structures. He has led the initiative to establish the UMass DesignBuild program which produces a low carbon net positive Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) each year which is donated to the city of Holyoke where it contributes to addressing the affordable housing crisis in an underserved community. His experience in construction, coupled with the imminent threat of climate change, provided the impetus for these efforts. Modernist architecture and its subset Brutalism, as it relates to the above, has been a continued focus of his work.


Ho-Sung Kim

Senior Lecturer & Chief Undergraduate Advisor

320 Olver Design Building
+1 (413) 545-1970

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Ph.D. (Architecture, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
M.S. (Civil Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
M.Arch. (Architecture, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Prof. Kim teaches courses in construction management, renewable energy systems, and LEED certification. He serves as the faculty advisor for the UMass Student Chapter of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and faculty coach for their competition team. He received a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an emphasis on technology and the environment and is a LEED Accredited Professional.


Munkaila Musah

Assistant Professor

256 Olver Design Building
+1 (413) 545-0267


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Ph.D., Forest Science and Biology (Sustainable Biomaterials for construction), Michigan Tech. University
M.S., Forest Molecular Genetics and biotechnology, Michigan Technological University
Post Graduate Certificate (Sustainability Engineering), Michigan Technological University
MPhil Science Education (Environmental Science), University of Education, Winneba, Ghana
BS Ed. (Biology and Chemistry), University of Education Winneba, Ghana

Prof. Musah is passionate about greener construction with environmentally friendly materials, zero-emission construction sites, and smart energy-efficient buildings. His research is focused on Cross-laminated Timber (CLT) for high-rise buildings, nondestructive testing, environmental sustainability, and bio-based composites.  He designs, manufacture and test different hardwood and softwood species for mass timber application. Achieved by tuning material density, macro anatomy, microstructures, and surfaces to study the material structural-property relationships for advanced applications as a structural member and for potential application in on-site and offsite construction.

His interest in achieving sustainability in society, especially in the built environment has pivoted his research in the development of renewable material based green products through intelligent and integrated design process coupled with the use of life cycle analysis, nondestructive testing such as Acoustics and Near Infrared Spectroscopy to assess structural damage and other desired properties. Prof. Musah’s current research also investigates sustainability where he is working to replace petroleum-based adhesives with sustainable biomaterials exploring additives like soy flour, nanocellulose, wood fibers. He also provides leadership for manufacturing and characterizing the quality of composites such as OSB, fiber board, plywood, and polymer composites.

Prof. Musah received his PhD in Michigan Technological University with specialization in Sustainable Forest Biomaterials. He obtained Master of Science degree in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology and a post graduate certificate in Sustainability Engineering from Michigan Technological University. He also holds a Bachelor of Education degree in Science (Biology and Chemistry) and a Master of Philosophy in Science Education with focus in Environmental Science in Ghana.


Fernando Romero

Prof. Romero has been working globally as a Construction Project and Program Director. The knowledge acquired over his career of more than 30 years, opened doors for him to have an international career in the area of project management working in several countries, including Japan, China, South Korea, Austria, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Suriname, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil. While his professional career permitted him to manage projects covering the full scope of construction and with a value of more than $18.5 billion, he also possesses wide-ranging academic experience in teaching construction. He was previously an Instructor in the Construction Management Department at SIUE (Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville) where he taught several courses such as Construction Management and Senior Assessment, International Construction, Building Construction Materials & Methods, Civil Construction Material and Methods, Project Control, Project Management, and Introduction to Construction Management. Prof. Romero has also served as a coach for student competitions in construction.

Prof. Romero is co-author of a book on megaprojects (in Portuguese) and has published extensively about capital projects.


Alexander C. Schreyer

Senior Lecturer II & BCT Program Director

318 Olver Design Building
+1 (413) 545-1976

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M.A.Sc. (Wood Science, University of British-Columbia, Canada)
Dipl.-Ing. (B.S. Structural Engineering, FH Wiesbaden, Germany)

Prof. Schreyer is Program Director and Senior Lecturer in the Building and Construction Technology (BCT) program at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) in Amherst, MA. He teaches courses in BIM (Building Information Modeling) and CAD (Computer-Aided Design), building materials and construction methods, wood properties as well as a capstone graduate structural design class in the M.Arch. architecture program.

Combining backgrounds in structural engineering, wood science and digital design, Prof. Schreyer’s interests span the entire range of planning, design, and execution of buildings and structures. He specializes in the design and construction of mainly heavy-timber type (e.g. glulam) structural systems. This is complemented by a strong interest in technology applications and web-based solutions in structural engineering, construction and architecture.

In his research, Prof. Schreyer focuses on the behavior of wood-based structural systems with a particular interest in innovative connection systems for wooden structures. Other foci are a development of software-based approaches in digital design and structural optimization as well as interactive web-based tools.

Prof. Schreyer is the author of “Architectural Design with SketchUp”, which provides a beginner- to an intermediate-level overview of various techniques to “do more” with the popular 3D modeling application Trimble SketchUp. He is also a co-author on the widely-used reference and textbook “Fundamentals of Residential Construction”, which provides a complete overview of the materials and methods used in single- and multi-family residential construction. Both books are published by John Wiley & Sons.


Benjamin S. Weil

Extension Assistant Professor, Extension Program in Building Energy

321 Olver Design Building
+1 (413) 545-1820


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Ph.D. (Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz)
M.A. (History, Syracuse University)
B.A. (History, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Prof. Weil teaches courses in energy-efficient buildings. With primary responsibility for the Extension program in building energy, his research program is responsive to the needs of various stakeholders in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including home builders, architects, weatherization companies, energy utilities, state government agencies, town governments, environmental and community organizations, and homeowners. He is particularly interested in the social and behavioral dimensions of energy efficiency. He is a building analyst certified with the Building Performance Institute and continues to enjoy building diagnostics.


Adjunct Faculty

Kent Hicks, CPHC

Mr. Hicks is the principal of East Branch Studio (EBS), the parent company for East Branch Homes (EBH), a builder of high performance homes in Western Massachusetts. The focus of the company’s construction services encompasses custom healthy net-zero homes, passivhaus, energy retrofits and offers full design services. Additionally EBS is involved with teaching and assisting with community projects.

He currently co-teaches BCT’s contribution to our DesignBuild curriculum, which in Spring 2022 led to the construction of the Hygge House, an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) that had a temporary stop as an Auxiliary Stage at the Green River Festival before it moved to its final site in Holyoke, MA. There it will be a contributor to One Holyoke CDC’s effort to address affordable housing for qualified families.

Additionally, Mr. Hicks is focused on environmental and climate equity while collaborating with non-profit organizations working locally and globally. He has learned a great deal from these organizations in supporting education, employment and community engagement in the various projects while lowering carbon emissions and planning for climate resiliency. He has also written and lectured extensively on these topics. Mr. Hicks’ connection with the Natural Environment is in synchrony with his expertise in the Built Environment. Mr. Hicks is nationally known for his background and experience in both wilderness survival and tracking. He has been a contributor and consultant to both literary efforts and law enforcement and search and rescue training programs.

Curriculum Vitae