Miami University grad wins first-of-its-kind Navy architect award

A Miami University graduate has won national honors for his role in helping design U.S. Navy facilities and their surrounding grounds.

Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) in Norfolk, Virginia recently announced Geoff Malia as their selection as the NAVFAC Architect, Landscape Architect, and Interior Designer of the Year for 2023.

The award is the first of its kind, said Naval Command officials.

Malia, who is a native of Toledo, graduated from Miami in 2005 with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and currently resides in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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“Please join me in congratulating Geoff Malia from NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic on his selection as the 2023 NAVFAC Architect, Landscape Architect, and Interior Designer (ALAID) of the Year,” said NAVFAC Commander/Chief of Engineers Rear Adm. Dean VanderLey.

“Being an engineering command, the importance of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design in the delivery of our projects and facilities can sometimes easily go overlooked and be underappreciated. That is why I am extremely proud to be the inaugural presenter of this new annual award,” said VanderLey.

Malia, who is now serving as the deputy public works officer at Public Works Department in Great Lakes, Illinois, served as the project manager and engineering branch head there, leading a team that conducted $80 million of design, construction, and facilities management work across six states.

In 2022, he managed NAVFAC MIDLANT’s largest structural inspection program, conducting many inspections in-house and completing them ahead of schedule.

Officials said Malia also lent his expertise to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the COVID-19 pandemic, managing projects to create field hospitals and beds for patients within an expedited delivery timeframe.

Malia was first selected as the NAVFAC MIDLANT (Echelon IV) ALAID of the Year for 2023, late last year, before going on to compete for this higher-level award.

All nominees were evaluated in the areas of achievements in their respective field, civic and humanitarian activities, professional registration, continuing education, awards and honors, and professional/technical society involvement.

NAVFAC MIDLANT Commanding Officer Capt. Matt Riethmiller said of Malia: “This award speaks volumes to Geoff’s expertise and helps shine a light on the great contributions he makes every day at NAVFAC MIDLANT and within the Design and Construction community at-large. He was chosen from an impressive list of qualified candidates.”

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