The ASCE Transportation and Development Institute is pleased to announce Dr. Gerardo Flintsch, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, of Virginia Tech, as the 2024 recipient of the Wilbur S. Smith Award. The award was established to honor contributions to the enhancement of the role of the civil engineer in highway engineering.  

Dr. Flintsch has been the Dan Pletta Professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 2021 and is the Director of the Center for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (CSRI) at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), where his work has been instrumental in the field of pavement management. He is also the Vice President and Technical Director of FM Consultants LLC.

Since joining Virginia Tech as an Assistant Professor in 1997, Dr. Flintsch has significantly contributed to VT’s civil engineering program. Dr. Flintsch founded CSRI, a facility that focuses on providing innovative, safe, efficient, sustainable, and resilient solutions for managing highway facilities, networks, and systems, as well as educating new professionals in the field and has served as its only Director since he founded it in 2005. He has also been an integral part of the Virginia Smart Roads, as set of state-of-the-art research facilities in southwest Virginia, which has included a full-scale pavement research and evaluation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) concepts, technologies, and products. It is the first facility of its kind in the world to be built from the ground up with its infrastructure incorporated into the roadway. The Smart Road project produced better road design and construction methods, resulting in better and longer-lasting pavements and reduced road maintenance and new road construction costs. 

Prior to joining Virginia Tech, he conducted research with Arizona Department of Transportation and taught several short courses at Arizona State University, where he was one of the first to research the applicability of neural networks to manage pavements assets. In addition, as a professional engineer, he is an active consultant, especially in South America, where he provides advice on various pavement and asset management challenges. His research efforts have attracted more than $48 million from an array of sources including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), amongst others. Dr. He has presented the results of his work at well-respected conferences all over the world. 

Dr. Flintsch received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a focus in transportation from Universidad Mayor del Uruguay in 1987, and his M.S. (1991) and Ph.D. (1996) in civil engineering from Arizona State University.