ASCE has honored Gongkang Fu, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, with the 2021 Ernest E. Howard Award for innovative and significant contributions to national and state practice specifications advancing structural engineering. 

A number of Fu’s milestone advancements were adopted by AASHTO’s Manual of Bridge Evaluation (MBE) 2018 in a completely revised Section 7, “Fatigue Evaluation of Steel Bridges.” These advancements include a new concept of using field inspection as a proof test to update remaining fatigue-life estimates. This approach used structural reliability theory to ensure the safety of bridges. Along with other original work, this important concept was pioneered by Fu in several publications. MBE is the mandatory and governing code for evaluating the safety and remaining life of all U.S. roadway bridges.

Fu’s new concepts and approaches were first implemented in the 2015 interim Revisions of the BME and have been practiced nationwide since then. They have helped bridge structural engineers of this country, and in many cases saved a significant amount of resources where over conservatively negative remaining fatigue life is encountered and optimum posting rules are needed.

The Ernest E. Howard Award is given to a member of the Society who has made a definite contribution to the advancement of structural engineering through research, planning, design, or construction.