Project Specialist, Field Projects
On staff with Field Projects, Rand Eppich manages the Institute's Digital Lab for architectural documentation and site analysis, providing recommendations, feasibility analysis, and documentation for the GCI's international fieldwork.
Rand was born in California, the second of three children. His family moved several times during his childhood as his father, a field representative for Beckman Instruments, took on new assignments. When he was 10, his parents settled in New Orleans, and he remembers being intrigued by the distinct architecture he saw on family trips to the French Quarter. His interest in architecture and historic buildings endured, and he majored in architecture at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. As an undergraduate, he volunteered at a local architecture firm, where he was ultimately hired. While there, he worked on an addition to the historic federal courthouse in Baton Rouge and developed a design proposal for a historic site in South Carolina that won first place in a National Trust for Historic Preservation competition.
After graduation in 1991, Rand moved to Southern California, and over the next few years, he obtained his architectural license, joined the American Institute of Architects, and worked at firms in Los Angeles and Pasadena. His work at one company involved adaptive reuse of historic buildings, while his tasks at the other firm focused on the design of airport facilities. While working as an architect, he returned to school in 1994 to earn a master's in architecture from UCLA. Even before completing his degree in 1997, he took on a new position as a project manager with the architecture school's Urban Simulation Team, supervising design projects for private and public clients, creating computer models of proposed developments.
Although the work was interesting, Rand wanted to return to historic preservation. At the beginning of 1998, he joined the GCI and set up the Institute's Digital Lab, where he was able to pursue his interests in historic preservation and computer documentation. Since then, he has worked on a number of field projects, including those at the Mogao grottoes in China and at Joya de Cerén in El Salvador. He was particularly gratified by his work coordinating the documentation of the conservation of the 14th-century mosaic on St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague; he enjoyed being an integral part of a team effort to preserve such a historically and artistically important work of art.
He is currently pursuing a master's degree in business administration at UCLA.