Professor Kathy Roper began teaching at Georgia Tech in July 2002. She brought a complete career of Facility Management industry knowledge to the School of Building Construction (BC) and College of Design.
Roper spearheaded the Facility Management Master’s Program and coordinated the partnership and accreditation of the Facility Management program with the International Facility Management Association (IFMA).
“My time at Georgia Tech has been the capstone of my career and an exciting, invigorating transition from industry. I have truly enjoyed working with students to help them better understand and become knowledgeable facility management professionals. I am excited now to relax a bit and see what retirement holds. The transitions over the short 14 years have been amazing — technological advances, our building renovation, international student growth, and establishing a global network of colleagues teaching and researching facility management. My life has been so enriched by these experiences and I thank all of those who I’ve met and worked with in this phase of my life.” Kathy O. Roper, CFM, LEED AP, IFMA Fellow Associate Professor and Chair, Facility Management School of Building Construction Georgia Institute of Technology.
Past students, faculty, staff, family, and the Dean of Design, came together to celebrate her retirement.
Professor Roper was honored for her achievements and contributions to the School of BC.
Daniel Castro, Ph.D., P.E., Professor and Chair of the School of BC acknowledged her success at the celebration- “Professor Roper’s academic contributions in the area of facility management are unparalleled. After a long successful career in the industry, she delivered fundamental contributions to the profession of facility management through her research, teaching and service. She developed a facility management program accredited by FMAC from the ground up, graduated half a dozen doctoral students, supervised quite a few MS theses, founded the first open access journal in facility management: the International Journal of Facility Management, and coauthored the Facility Management Handbook, which is the leading publication authority for FM professionals, besides being an active contributor of conference proceedings and journal papers, and teaching thousands of student credit hours in our graduate program. All of this while being an active faculty member, always willing to serve on important committees and strategic plans for the School, the College and the Institute. She will be an inspiration for other faculty to look after.”
Students that were advised by Professor Roper were eager to share in the celebration and honor their mentor. Roper was lead advisor for John Fard. John recently earned his Ph.D. and is now a Project Manager with CBRE. He said, “Professor Roper was integral to guiding me through the PhD process. Her support, patience, and selfless approach to mentorship made working with her such a joy and success.”
Michael Hatcher, President of Sovereign Construction and Development, LLC, just earned his Ph.D. and was advised by Roper. He also commented on her impact, “I have had the honor and privilege of being one of Professor Roper’s students for a good portion of the last eight years (2008-2016). In my experience Professor Roper is the definition of intelligence and class. Her contributions at Georgia Tech are immeasurable and will have a lasting impact on the Facility Management program for years to come.”
Roper also advised master’s students on their thesis. Jeff Ross-Bain, current graduate student and President of Ross Bain Green Building added, “
Professor Roper brought extensive real world Facility Management experience to the School of Building Construction. This knowledge, combined with her academic strength and integration of world class instructors into the department, created an exemplary environment from which to learn and develop professional facility management skills.She will be missed.”
Congratulations Professor Roper!