ASCE has honored Nicos Makris, Ph.D., C.Eng, F.ASCE, with the 2023 George W. Housner Structural Control and Monitoring Medal for his contributions to passive and semiactive structural control from supplemental energy dissipation and rocking isolation to his pioneering development of eclectroheological dampers and health monitoring and condition assessment of fluid dampers.  

Makris’s research has covered a wide range of topics in the areas of structural control and health monitoring, with emphasis on the seismic protection of structures with passive and semiactive structural control, earthquake engineering and applied mechanics-dynamics, soil-structure interaction, signal processing, and the limit-state analysis of historic structures and monuments. His over 30-years-long scholarly efforts that combine experimental methods, mathematical modeling/analysis in structural controls, and structural monitoring have contributed appreciably to the seismic resilience of the civil infrastructure. His research accomplishments in structural control and monitoring and their relevance to civil engineering applications include a wide range of experimental investigations and the development of analysis methodologies that led to innovative technologies and design practices, which have improved the performance and prolonged the lifespan of the civil infrastructure. 

Among Makris’s many contributions are pioneering work on the application of generalized calculus to approximate the strong frequency dependence of dynamic properties of a certain class of viscoelastic fluid dampers. His fundamental work on the frequency- and the time-domain response of fractional-derivative-based constitutive models indicated that the concept of fractional differentiation could be extended to complex-order time derivatives. Although the concept of complex differentiation was well established in the mathematical literature since the beginning of the 20th century, Makris’s contribution appears to be the first application of complex-order derivatives in viscoelasticity that has impacted the design of a class of dampers.

Makris received in 1996 a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation to continue his work on the development and implementation of energy dissipation devices for seismic protection applications. The mechanics that supported the development of the prototype electrorheological damper was documented in two highly cited papers published in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, while the control strategies were published in archival journals that focus on intelligent automation and smart materials.

The George W. Housner Structural and Monitoring Medal recognizes outstanding research contributions to the broad field of structural control and health monitoring.