Pankaj DuggalSenior Vice President
“I pushed myself to take classes throughout the University of Michigan to help augment the planning and architecture curriculum.”
Why did you choose Taubman College?
It was fate ... I met my future wife on the first day of the planning program! On a more serious note, my aunt and cousins (residents of Michigan) encouraged me to consider the University of Michigan as I was applying for graduate programs. During a family visit, I had the opportunity to visit the campus and Taubman College, and my conversations with faculty, the dean, and current students helped seal the deal.
Describe the work that you do.
Working for a large architecture, engineering, infrastructure, and consulting firm, I have been part of an extremely interesting and diverse portfolio of projects around the globe in a variety of technical and management roles. Currently, I lead our Federal and Environmental Solutions business which is a global business with revenues exceeding $1.5B USD and comprising more than 3,500 people in 11 countries. Our projects support national security and defense missions, as well as the communities where we live work and play. I also have worked on the air traffic control tower at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix; headquarters, aviation, and infrastructure projects for various defense agencies; the Internal Revenue Service Tax Processing Center in Kansas City; office, research development, and manufacturing facilities for corporations supporting our defense agencies; and U.S. embassies in various countries. My work also has included pharmaceutical, corporate, and institutional clients in the U.S., Mexico, Europe, China, South Korea, India, and Southeast Asia.
How did Taubman College prepare you for your career?
The multidisciplinary education at Taubman College and exposure to real-world projects helped me get prepared for my career. The specialization in real estate (jointly offered through Taubman College and U-M’s Ross School of Business) gave me the opportunity to work in multidisciplinary teams and better understand the key drivers that impact the decision-making process and influence the outcomes for our built environment.
What is an important lesson that has stayed with you from your time at Taubman College?
There are many different ways to solve a problem; with an open mind and patience, along with inclusive and diverse teams, we can arrive at innovative solutions way beyond what an individual could arrive at on their own.
What did you like best about Taubman College?
I loved the studio environment, access to professors from academia and industry, visiting faculty, the diversity of the student body, study halls in various libraries on campus, the U-M campuses, and Ann Arbor. Let's not forget food, drinks, and fun at Zingerman's, Angelo's, the Blind Pig, Good Time Charley's, and the Gandy Dancer.