Two Auburn grads become youngest licensed architects in US

Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Two graduates from Auburn University have made history by becoming the youngest licensed architects in the United States.

Hunter Swatek and Tate Lauderdale met in physics class their freshmen year at the university, not knowing they would help each other become successful.

“We always were just motivating each other trying to get things done,” Lauderdale said.

Between late nights studying for exams and completing projects, the duo faced a lot of obstacles, including having to transition to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re trying to figure out as fourth years how we’re trying to produce work that looks good for portfolio, that looks good so that we could get jobs one day,” Swatek said.

Lauderdale and Swatek work at Goodwyn Mills Cawood in their Auburn and Birmingham locations working on different projects ranging from school buildings to stadiums.

According to the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards, the average architect completes takes around seven years to complete their licensure.

Requirements include completing the Architect Experience Program which consists of 3,740 hours of internship credits that are spread out among sections including practice management, project management, programming and analysis, project planning and design, project development and documentation, and construction and evaluation.

The candidate must also take the Architect Registration Examination, which normally takes 2.6 years and is made of six different tests based on knowledge obtained from their academic work and internships.

At 23 years old, Lauderdale and Swatek completed their licensure requirements 10 months after graduation.

The two plan to become leaders in the architecture industry, hoping to make a difference in the quality of life in different cities and communities.

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