Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Reston, Va. — The Board of Directors of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has elected Mohammed Ettouney, PhD, PE, FAEI, a principal of Weidlinger Associates, to the grade of Distinguished Member. Only 601 other engineers have been chosen for this honor over the Society’s 159-year history. An induction ceremony will be held in conjunction with their 141st Annual Civil Engineering Conference, to take place October 20-22, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. A Distinguished Member of ASCE is a Member or Fellow who “shall have attained acknowledged eminence in some branch of engineering or in the arts or sciences related thereto.” In 2009, Ettouney received the ASCE Metropolitan Section’s Homer Gage Balcom lifetime achievement award, named for the engineer of the Empire State Building.
In 2005, Ettouney was elected president of ASCE’s Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI), a national forum for the structural, mechanical, electrical and architectural engineering communities involved in the building sciences. He used this position of leadership to inspire a more multidisciplinary approach to solving problems of the built environment and to improve the codes that govern design and construction. One of seven institutes of ASCE, AEI is under the direction of a board of governors, a seven-member body on which he served two consecutive terms. Dr. Ettouney continues to inspire individuals from the various built environment professions to work more closely in defining and exploiting a global viewpoint toward structures, especially as it relates to safety and preventive maintenance.
Dr. Ettouney commented: “I am unable to sufficiently convey my gratitude for this honor from my ASCE peers, for whom I have the greatest respect. Through the sponsorship of the Architectural Engineering Institute and its innovative activities, they provide a meaningful platform for motivated professionals of the built environment to combine their expertise to address and resolve major problems in assessing and safeguarding our structures and infrastructure.”
Heavily involved in the monitoring, structural modeling, damage identification, economics and management of structural health, Dr. Ettouney is a coauthor, with Dr. Sreenivas Alampalli of the New York State Department of Transportation, of the two-volume book Infrastructure Health in Civil Engineering (CRC Press, Aug. 15, 2011). It calls for a holistic approach to infrastructure design, inspection, repair and maintenance, and argues for ensuring that structures do not degrade, fail or require expensive retrofits due to lack of attention at the beginning of or throughout their lifespans. Dr. Ettouney views structures in much the same way as a doctor practicing preventive medicine views the human body, urging that it is wiser and more cost-effective to forestall illness before it takes root.
Ettouney's professional work focuses on infrastructure security. He has introduced many concepts and guidelines to the field, including theories on multihazards and progressive collapse, and has completed numerous protective designs for federal, state and local authorities. Ettouney was a member of the task committee that established the Building Security Council and was appointed to serve on its first board of directors. A member of the earthquake engineering community, he was one of the writers of the first New York City seismic code (1995). His interest in multihazard and multidisciplinary designs has culminated in several projects, including a multihazard- multidisciplinary- performance-based research assignment sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology / Infrastructure Protection and Disaster Management Division (USDHS S&T/IDD) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Dr. Ettouney is a regularly featured speaker at civil and structural engineering events on nondestructive testing and other industry topics, including the subject of aging infrastructures (workshop sponsored by USDHS, S&T/IDD, June 2009). He recently participated in “Grand Challenges in Earthquake Engineering Research,” a workshop presented at a conference sponsored by the National Research Council of the National Academies. Additionally, he and other Weidlinger engineers led sessions and presented papers at the 2010 conference of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, which focused on “Nondestructive Evaluation/Nondestructive Testing for Highways and Bridges: Structural Materials Technology.”
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society.