After graduating from the professional doctoral program, where he was a recipient of the Dean’s Outstanding Student Award, Behrentz returned to his home country and joined Universidad de los Andes as an assistant professor. At the university he started a research program on air quality and urban sustainability in Bogota, Colombia’s capital – one of the largest cities in the Latin American continent. Before accepting this new leadership role, Behrentz served as director of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Environmental Engineering Research Center and was the former director and founder of the univerisity's Centre of Studies for Urban and Regional Sustainability.
Behrentz is widely recognized across South America as one of the leading experts in environmental urbanism and runs one of the few dynamometer testing facilities available in the subcontinent. He is an opinion-editorial writer in the main national newspaper in Colombia and has published several peer-reviewed journal articles and books related to urban matters. His work has been cited hundreds of times in the scientific literature and he has played a key role shaping environmental and urban planning policy in Colombian cities. He designed the air quality implementation plan for Bogota and co-authored the piece of legislation that eventually led Colombia’s diesel fuel to achieve international standards in terms of sulfur content.
Universidad de los Andes ranks fourth among Latin American academic institutions according to QS Rankings. As the dean Behrentz will provide vision and direction to the School of Engineering.