Exceptional Alumni: Fabio Bendaña – American Association of Airport Executive (AAAE) Innovation Awards Recipient


FIU Department of Architecture alumnus and Principal Architect of CHA Consulting, Inc., Fabio Bendaña, has done exceptional work in the architecture world, especially for interior and exterior design for airports. One of his latest projects, the renovation of the Greater Rochester International Airport, has become an award winning piece and was created with the inspiration of a barrier-free airport which is catered to create an environment where circulation is intuitive through color and light. The project won the award for Large Hub and Medium/Small Hub Airports by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Innovation Awards.

Name: Fabio Bendaña

Degree Earned and Year Graduated: Master’s in Architecture (M.Arch), 2001

How has FIU helped you get to where you are today in your career?
FIU was key to help my career because it taught me to think critically, to solve problems, and to vanguard design just a little more. They always pushed me to lift the bar.

What path did you take to attain your current career?
I took risks and was not afraid of any challenges that my career brought about. I always aspire to do bigger and better things.

What does a typical day for you look like?
I run in and out of meetings daily, review projects, meet in our collaborative studio to solve design and engineering problems, and mentor our junior staff. I also look at project budgets and plan for staff as well as play a big part on the business development side of the company.

What was the coolest thing about working on the Greater Rochester International Airport renovation?
The coolest thing about working on the renovation of ROC was being able to design and build a facility that is not only aesthetically beautiful, but also improves the lives of the people in community by allowing them to transit through the airport in a more efficient, stress-free and intuitive way.

How does your job connect back to your coursework?
In the technical sense, my coursework led me to be more appreciative of details. To be mindful of the surroundings and to do architecture that plays a role in the lives of people.

Were there any classes or professors that influenced where you are today?
 Professors Marilys Nepomechie and John Stuart.

What advice do you have for students interested in a career in your field?
Don’t be afraid of challenges, they are meant to crate a base for innovation.  Our business is hard, but extremely rewarding as you participate in the built history of the world.

See photos of the award winning project below:

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