RESTON, Va. – The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) announced its 2023 class of Distinguished Members today, awarding ten distinguished and active members with the highest honor ASCE can bestow. Out of ASCE’s nearly 150,000 active members, only 253 hold the status of Distinguished Member. This honor is reserved for those who have attained eminence within the realm of engineering, whether that be construction, related arts and sciences, or engineering education. ASCE inducts a new class of Distinguished Members annually.

“Our Distinguished Members have revolutionized the engineering profession and made significant contributions to society that have improved public safety, health, and economic efficiency,” said ASCE President Maria Lehman, P.E. “We are proud and excited to recognize the 2023 class of Distinguished Members, who have each achieved a level of excellence that has pushed the industry forward and sets the standard for their peers and inspiration for future engineers.”

The 2023 class of Distinguished Members is as follows:

  • Anil K. Agrawal, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE, currently a Herbert G. Keyser professor of civil engineering at the City College of New York, is recognized for significant and definitive contributions in extreme hazards and mitigation for bridges and service to the Society as editor-in-chief of ASCE’s Journal of Bridge Engineering from 2009 to 2021. He is recognized by his peers worldwide as a pioneering researcher in bridge structures, including topics such as deterioration of bridge elements, robotic inspection of components, post hazard assessment via drones, behavior during extreme events like earthquakes, and vehicular impacts. 
  • Sreenivas Alampalli, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE, is a senior principal for transportation at Stantec, in Albany, New York. Alampalli is recognized for contributions to research, practice, and technology transfer in bridge inspection, evaluation, testing, and monitoring of bridge infrastructure. He promoted the development of numerous programs on bridge safety and management, including asset management practices and facilitating public-private-academic partnerships, not only for the New York State Department of Transportation, but for all other state DOTs and federal agencies nationwide. 
  • George Deodatis, Ph.D., F.EMI, Dist.M.ASCE, who currently holds the Santiago and Robertina Calatrava Family Endowed Chair in the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University, is a leading authority in simulation of stochastic processes, fields, and waves, and modeling random excitations on structures and uncertain structural/material properties. He has performed pioneering research in soil mechanics and geomechanics to study the effect of the random spatial variation of soil properties on problems such as soil liquefaction and bearing capacity of soils. Deodatis has also contributed to the development of a risk-based methodology – sponsored by NCHRP – to assess the remaining strength and overall safety of suspension bridge main cables using results of in situ visual inspections and laboratory tests of extracted wires.
  • W. Samuel Easterling, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE, the James L. and Katherine S. Melsa dean of engineering at Iowa State University, is internationally recognized for his research and professional contributions in the field of composite steel-concrete construction. Steel-concrete floor systems are used in steel-framed buildings throughout the world, and Easterling has conducted major research projects that have improved the safety and economy of composite steel floor deck systems, composite joists, and composite beams. As steel deck profiles began to change, he was one of the earliest to study and identify vulnerabilities associated with the placement of shear studs and its effects on the strength and ductility of the beams.
  • Roger G. Ghanem, Ph.D., F.EMI, Dist.M.ASCE, is the Gordon S. Marshall professor of engineering technology at the University of Southern California. He is internationally recognized for his eminence and leadership in the fields of analyzing and quantifying uncertainty in complex engineering systems, probabilistic multiscale modeling and analysis, and probabilistic modeling of stochastic systems. His work revolutionized the way ubiquitous uncertainties are treated through the introduction of Karhunen-Loeve and polynomial chaos expansions in order to describe any uncertain quantity in engineering. Multiscale modeling, another area where he has contributed seminally, has emerged as one of the most important areas in mechanics, as computational power is increased. 
  • Jimmy C.M. Kao, Ph.D., P.E., F.EWRI, Dist.M.ASCE, is a distinguished chair professor and director of the Institute of Environmental Engineering at National Sun Yat-Sen University, in Taiwan. Kao’s contributions are recognized worldwide in the areas of water quality modeling, watershed management, constructed wetlands design and operation, and wastewater treatment. He is one of the pioneers in site remediation technology and design, and his excellent research has caused a paradigm shift in remedial design from traditional whole-site cleanup to more practical and site-specific remedial approaches.   
  • Sashi K. Kunnath, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE, is unquestionably one of the leading researchers and scholars in structural and earthquake engineering, making outstanding contributions to advancing performance-based earthquake engineering and disproportionate collapse analysis. With his doctoral research he developed the computer program IDARC (Inelastic Damage Analysis of Reinforced Concrete structures), which was transformative in advancing research on nonlinear analysis of concrete structures to earthquakes and other extreme loads. He is a distinguished professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California at Davis.
  • Feniosky Peña-Mora, Sc.D., P.E., NAS, CCM, F.CIOB, NAC, Dist.M.ASCE, is the Edwin Howard Armstrong professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics, professor of earth and environmental engineering, and professor of computer science at Columbia University. As dean of the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Peña-Mora was responsible for setting the school’s strategic direction and managing a $400 million endowment and has transformed the school into one of the world’s premier engineering institutions. For ASCE, Peña-Mora serves as At-Large Society Director as well as chair of the Industry Leaders Council (ILC) and the Board Strategy Advisory Committee (BSAC).
  • Billie F. Spencer, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, is the Nathan M. and Anne M. Newmark Endowed Chair in civil engineering at Grainger College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Spencer is a world-recognized innovator and authority in smart structures technology. He was the first to recognize the potential of “smart” dampers using magnetorheological fluids for protection of civil engineering structures. His research into wireless smart sensors has enabled large-scale, practical structural health monitoring deployments using wireless sensors.
  • Yinhai Wang, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, is a professor of transportation engineering at the University of Washington. Wang has made significant contributions to smart transportation systems research and education through pioneering innovations in traffic-sensing technologies, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence methods. He is also the founding director of the university’s Smart Transportation Applications and Research Laboratory (STAR Lab).

More information on ASCE Distinguished Members and criteria.

About the American Society of Civil Engineers

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit or and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.