AE Department Mission

The mission of the “Architectural Engineering (AE) Department” is to pursue architectural engineering as a humanistic and professional inter-discipline, which synthesizes art, engineering sciences and technology through critical thinking, creative judgment, technical understanding, and concerns for environment and sustainability. The department achieves its mission through teaching, creative work, and research. In this realm, the AE program commits itself to the highest ideals of the profession and culture of architectural engineering in KSA. The program supports excellence, open discourse activities, inclusiveness, cooperation, inter-disciplinary experience, and responsibility towards the community.


About Architectural Engineering

"Architectural Engineering" (AE) is a multifaceted discipline exploring how the design, construction and operation of a building come together. It focuses on many areas; lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, sustainability, electrical systems, mechanical systems, fire protection …etc. Therefore, architectural engineering combines the principles of design and engineering to create usable buildings. Like all engineers, architectural engineers apply math and science to problem solving. They often work on-site with a team of other engineers, architects and construction workers. Thus, architectural engineers encompass a number of disciplines of engineering including civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering as part of their day-to-day role.


Architectural Engineering usually focuses on fields like:

  • The structural integrity of buildings
  • The design and analysis of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, efficiency and design of plumbing, fire protection and electrical systems, acoustic and lighting planning …etc.
  • Energy conservation issues …etc.


Architect vs. Architectural Engineer:

A common question among engineering students is, "What is the difference between architectural engineering and architecture?" The answer to this question lies in defining the word "design".

Both professions are concerned with design; however, the meaning and the application of the word “design” are very different.

Architects are responsible for designing the aesthetics and spatial details of a building, the building’s size, shape, space utilization, and site requirements. In addition, architects make sure that the overall objectives of the client relating to the end-use of the building are met. Once the architect and client are in agreement, the architect then provides the architectural engineer with detailed architectural designs. It is under this framework that the architectural engineer will design the building’s systems. Therefore, architectural engineers are responsible for designing the systems of a building.They have to be architects and engineers at the same time and subsequently master architects’ skills as well as engineers’ ones. Their professional scope, especially in local context, will concern not only technical but also aesthetical and above all human issues given that they will operate within the architectural environment and human scale.

In short, the architect designs how the building looks; while the architectural engineer designs how it works.