ASCE has honored Ron Klemencic, P.E., S.E., F.SEI, NAC, NAE, Dist.M.ASCE, with the 2023 Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research for innovation in performance-based structural design, and for sustained impactful advocacy of and commitment to research and its implementation in civil engineering. 

Delivering better ways to design and build is no easy task in the heavily regulated civil engineering industry. One man has cracked the code: Ron Klemencic. The pioneer of  performance-based design and SpeedCore, Klemencic possesses vision and ambitions for the industry as well as an understanding of the ways to deliver on those ambitions. In doing so, he is transforming how we design and build in the 21st century.

Advancing any great idea starts with research. Inspired by the Charles Pankow Foundation where he serves as a Board Director, Klemencic championed the establishment of the MKA Foundation built upon the premise that “leadership in structural and civil engineering includes an obligation to engage and invest in non-proprietary research that is thoughtfully advancing our profession.” These investments helped make possible:

  • Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator, a free and easy-to-use tool that allows benchmarking, assessment, and reductions in embodied carbon.
  • ASCE/SEI Prestandard for Performance-Based Wind Design, the first document ever produced to aid in PBWD.
  • “SpeedCore” high-rise core wall modular system utilized on Ranier Square Tower, the ASCE 2022 OCEA winner.

Sharing all the work with industry, Klemencic is helping to make generational changes in the way we design and build. By co-creating with others, sharing the knowledge products with the industry, and driving changes in codes and standards, he ensures the outcome of the research will make an industry-wide impact. He continues to lead the research and development of many new technologies and systems.

The Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research was established in 1996 and is named in honor of Henry L. Michel, Past Chair of the Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF) Board of Directors. The award recognizes leaders of the design and construction industry whose dedication and aggressive vision for the industry have provided the cornerstones for improving the quality of people’s lives around the world through research in the design and construction industry. It was instituted as a Society Award on Dec. 17, 2008.