Katie Harms Receives AIA 2012 Young Architects Award

Katie Harms has been named a recipient of the American Institute of Architects 2012 AIA Young Architects Award.

Harms, who joined OPN after graduating in 2003 from Iowa State University with a bachelor of architecture degree, is the first woman and only the third Iowan to receive the award since the program began in 1993. The award recognizes individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers.

Early in her career, Harms won distinction as a professional leader on a regional and national scale. In 2008 she served as the AIA Central States Region Associate Director. In that position, she founded the CSR Emerging Professionals committee and established the CSR Emerging Professional Summit.

The summit, which has been held annually, is a forum for associate architects, students and professionals to learn and discuss topics of importance such as an intern development program and the architect registration examination.

While at OPN, Harms has focused on client relations and project management, working on projects ranging from federal courthouses and city event centers to corporate and educational assignments. She has contributed to the success of projects ranging in value from $600,000 to $180 million.

Harms is actively involved in the Corridor, serving as a leader and member of various groups including ImpactCR, Junior League of Cedar Rapids and the Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity. She regularly provides students in the College Community School District with the opportunity to job shadow and learn about the design profession.

In recognizing her work, the selection committee wrote:Dedication, passion, and thoughtful creativity are words that describe Katie M. Harms, AIA. Katie’s dedication is evident in many of the professional positions she has held both in the AIA and the community at large. Here leadership is exemplified both at the local and national level, as well as, through her focus on the advancement of emerging professionals. Mentorship for others, as well as, herself, is a keystone in her career. Through her involvement, Katie always looks toward the future from the impact she makes today. She promotes architecture as more than just creating physical buildings, but creating relationships with her colleagues, her clients, and her peers.

Katie became an employee with OPN Architects in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2003 after graduating from Iowa State. She has been growing within the firm and is a stand-out leader. At the office, she has been a part of various key projects ranging from Federal Courthouses, City Event Centers, corporate, and educational work.

Katie Harms is a role model of the engaged advocate-­architect. She has identified shortcomings in the resources available to emerging professionals at the state, regional and national level, and then designed and led initiatives to overcome these shortcomings, for the benefit of her peers and the profession.