ASCE has honored Partha P. Sarkar, Ph.D., F.SEI, F.ASCE, with the 2023 Jack E. Cermak Medal for his pioneering contributions to wind engineering by developing tornado and downburst wind tunnels and acquiring responses of flexible structures such as long-span bridges, tall-mast light poles, and street traffic signal structures.  

Sarkar has dedicated his life to working in the field of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics. His outstanding accomplishments include analytical as well as experimental methods to make progress in wind engineering. In his early career he took the time to understand synoptic wind and its profiles and turbulence in different terrains. Based on that knowledge he developed the first atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel at Colorado State University. Sarkar extended that knowledge to nonsynoptic winds of gusts, microbursts, and tornado and developed pioneering wind tunnels as part of the Wind Simulation and Testing (WiST) Laboratory at Iowa State University. He has made valuable use of this facility to test many different civil structures, as illustrated by JWEIA paper “Experimental Measurement and Numerical Simulation of an Impinging Jet with Application to Thunderstorm Microburst Winds,” which has been cited 145 times. His understanding of aerospace engineering has allowed him to pursue research on the impact of nonsynoptic damaging winds on civil engineering structures.

This medal was established by the Engineering Mechanics Division/SEI to recognize Dr. Jack E. Cermak’s lifetime achievements in the field of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics.