Member Login Menu

2017 SEI and ASCE Structural Award Winners

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The following awards were presented at the 2017 Structures Congress, April 7, 2017, in Denver, Colorado. To nominate a colleague for these and other awards, visit the SEI Awards webpage.



The Jack E. Cermak Medal for achievement in the field of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics was established jointly by the Engineering Mechanics Institute and the Structural Engineering Institute. The 2017 award goes to Xinzhong Chen, Ph.D., M.ASCE . Dr. Chen is one of the leading authorities in bridge and building aerodynamics. His research interests include modeling and simulation of wind load effects on dynamically sensitive structures, nonlinear aerodynamics and non-stationary wind load effects, reliability- and performance-based design of structures to extreme wind loading, probabilistic fatigue and extreme response of large wind turbines. Dr. Chen has published over 150 refereed technical papers in international journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Chen is a Professor, National Wind Institute, Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering at Texas Tech University.


The Shortridge Hardesty Award is given annually to individuals who have contributed substantially in applying fundamental results of research to the solution of practical engineering problems in the field of structural stability. The 2017 award goes to W. Samuel Easterling, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, M.ASCE , for his outstanding contributions to the field of steel and composite steel/concrete structures. His primary field of study is the development, testing, analysis, and design of composite steel/concrete floor and roof systems in steel building structures. Sam leads the research community on these topics in the U.S. and is one of the top few researchers in this field internationally. His experimental research has been seminal in driving new design provisions for composite floor systems, and his design recommendations have been frequently adopted into the AISC Specification for Steel Construction, the national specification for the design of steel buildings in the U.S.  Dr. Easterling has chaired the Structural Stability Research Council, the ASCE/SEI Technical Committee on Composite Construction, and the AISC Task Committee 5 on Composite Construction.  Dr. Easterling the Montague-Betts Professor of Structural Steel Design, and Department Head of the Charles Edward Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech.


The Ernest E. Howard Award recognizes a member of the Society who has made a definite contribution to the advancement of structural engineering through research, planning, design or construction. The 2017 award goes to John W. van de Lindt, Ph.D., F.ASCE . Dr. van de Lindt is a globally recognized expert in wood engineering and his research work over the past decade has pushed the boundary of performance-based engineering for wood frame structures. He has greatly advanced the engineering community's understanding of wood building system performance to extreme natural hazards. He brought the concept of performance-based design into wood engineering against extreme hazard loading and advocated for resilience of wood buildings. Dr. van de Lindt is the George T. Abell Distinguished Professor in Infrastructure, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University.


The Moisseiff Award is given each year to the authors of a published paper that makes a significant contribution in the field of structural design. The 2017 award is presented to Daniel M. Dowden, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., M.ASCE; Patricia Clayton, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE; Chao-Hsien Li; Jeffrey Berman, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE; Michel Bruneau, Ph.D., P.Eng., P.E., F.ASCE; Laura N. Lowes, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE; and Keh-Chyuan Tsai, Ph.D. , for the paper titled "Full-Scale Pseudodynamic Testing of Self-Centering Steel Plate Shear Walls," published in the January 2016 issue of the Journal of Structural Engineering . The paper reported on the results of final experiments in a research program on a Self-Centering Steel Plate Shear Wall (SC-SPSWs) system. Results showed that SC-SPSWs are a viable and resilient seismic load resisting system alternative. Dr. Dowden is an Assistant Professor at the Michigan Technological University; Dr. Clayton is an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin; Mr. Li is an Assistant Researcher, National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE) in Taiwan; Dr. Berman is the Thomas & Marilyn Nielsen Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington; Dr. Bruneau is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University at Buffalo; Dr. Lowes is the William M. and Marilyn M. Conner Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington; and Dr. Tsai is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the National Taiwan University.


This award was established by the Engineering Mechanics Institute and Structural Engineering Institute to honor Nathan M. Newmark for his outstanding contributions in structural engineering and mechanics. The 2017 medal is awarded to Xilin Lu, Ph.D., M.ASCE . Dr. Lu has made numerous significant contributions to structural engineering, particularly focusing on earthquake resistant design and testing of structures. He was one of the first in China to embrace new technologies for earthquake hazard mitigation. Through shaking table tests and theoretical analysis, his research results and devices have been successfully applied in many projects, including the Shanghai Expo Theme Building, Shanghai Shimao International Plaza Building, and the National School Building Safety projects after Wenchuan Earthquake. He created seismic analysis, performance evaluation, and design theory for complex tall buildings, which formed the foundation for the associated national codes and standards in China. Dr. Lu is also the editor-in-chief of two prestigious international journals: The Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings and the Journal of Asia Architecture and Building Engineering . Dr. Lu is a distinguished professor at State Key Laboratory of Disaster Reduction in Civil Engineering, Tongji University.


The Raymond C. Reese Research Prize is given to the authors of a published paper that makes an outstanding contribution to the application of structural engineering research. The 2017 award is presented to Yongchao Yang, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE; Shunlong Li, Ph.D., Aff.M.ASCE; Satish Nagarajaiah, Ph.D., F.SEI, M.ASCE; Hui Li, Ph.D., Aff.M.ASCE; and Peng Zhou , for their paper titled "Real-time Output-Only Identification of Time-Varying Cable Tension from Accelerations via Complexity Pursuit," published in the January 2016 issue of the Journal of Structural Engineering . This paper highlights a new methodology termed "complexity pursuit" which has the capability of computing time-varying cable tension using cable acceleration measurements using only two accelerometers.  Dr. Yang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dr. Li is an Associate Professor at the Harbin Institute of Technology; Dr. Nagarajaiah is a Professor of Civil Engineering, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Rice University; Dr. Li is the Changjiang Scholarship Professor, Professor of Civil Engineering and Mechanics at Harbin Institute of Technology; and Mr. Zhou is a Ph.D. Student at Harbin Institute of Technology.



To recognize exemplary activities and efforts to advance the structural engineering profession, and to encourage the growth of SEI from the local and higher education level, SEI has established the Graduate Student Chapter of The Year Award. SEI is proud to announce the 2017 winner is the University of Texas, Arlington Graduate Student Chapter . The chapter offers software training sessions, structural workshops, and site tours of existing structures and buildings under construction. The chapter's activities help students broadened their education experience and prepare for the transition to a professional career in structural engineering.


To encourage and recognize outstanding achievement by local chapters of the Structural Engineering Institute, SEI has established the Chapter of The Year Award. The 2017 winner of this annual honor is the Illinois Chapter . The chapter focuses on creating professional development activities and networking opportunities for structural engineers in the ASCE Illinois Section. The chapter offers a Biennial Lecture Series bringing national speakers to the Chicagoland audience. Chapter dinner meetings often highlight local projects and courses on bridge inspection and SE Review are also offered. Yearly site tours bring members up close to significant structural projects. The chapter reaches out to younger members and the community through support for Steel Bridge, Concrete Canoe, and Future Cities.


The W. Gene Corley Award is awarded to an individual for their efforts in advancing and distinguishing structural engineering as a profession, especially licensure for structural engineers. The 2017 W. Gene Corley Award is given to Donald Dusenberry, P.E., SECB, F.SEI, F.ASCE. Mr. Dusenberry has served the Institute and the profession of structural engineering in nearly every possible capacity. He is a former President of the SEI Board of Governors and served on numerous SEI standards, technical and administrative committees. A key achievement of his presidency was the establishment of the Structural Engineering Licensure Coalition. In addition, the creation of the "Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering: A Case for Change," which laid out a bold set of strategic initiatives to transform the profession including promoting licensure. He chairs the committee that developed the first edition of SEI's standard for blast-resistant design and presently is chairing an SEI committee that is developing a new standard for mitigation of disproportionate collapse potential, and chaired the ASCE 7 committee during the cycle that developed the 2010 edition. He is also chairs an SEI committee charting a plan for the transition from prescriptive to performance-based codes and standards. Mr. Dusenberry is a Consulting Principal with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.


The Walter P. Moore, Jr. Award was established in 1998 to honor the dedication and technical expertise of its namesake and recognize significant contributions to the development of codes and standards. The 2017 Walter P. Moore, Jr. Award is given to Andrew S. Whittaker, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE . Dr. Whittaker has made fundamental contributions in earthquake and blast engineering of buildings, bridges, and mission critical infrastructure. A hallmark of his work is quickly moving research results into design practice through codes, standards and guidelines. Key contributions include supplemental seismic damping systems, seismic isolation, reinforced concrete shear walls, and characterization of earthquake ground motion. He made significant contributions to the first generation of tools for performance based earthquake engineering (FEMA 273/274, 1992-1997) and led the structural engineering team that developed the second generation of these tools (FEMA P58, 2000-2013). He was President of the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering from 2003 to 2011, and on the Board of Directors of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the World Seismic Safety Initiative from 2008 to 2010.  Dr. Whittaker is a Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering; Director of the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), the Institute of Bridge Engineering, and the Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory, all at the University at Buffalo.


The Gene Wilhoite Award recipient is chosen from society members in recognition of an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the art and science of transmission line engineering. The 2017 Gene Wilhoite Award is given to Ronald J. Carrington, P.E., M.ASCE . Mr. Carrington is an industry expert with over 30 years of experience in engineering of power delivery projects. He plays a principal role in bringing large and complex transmission projects to completion. Experienced in all phases of power delivery engineering and consulting, Ron's current focus is as the Owner's Engineer for two very large regional transmission projects, Energy Gateway West Transmission Project and TransWest Express Transmission Project. Mr. Carrington has worked extensively with SEI committees that have developed publications and information for transmission line engineers. He is the chair of the SEI Electrical Transmission Structures Committee which oversees the development of manuals of practice and committee reports on wide range of topics including substation structures, wood transmission poles, and transmission line loading. He has been a member of the Electrical Transmission and Substation in Structures Conferences Steering Committee since 2006. Mr. Carrington is Project Director at POWER Engineers, Inc.


The Dennis L. Tewksbury Award was established in 1999 to recognize an SEI member who has advanced the interests of the Institute through innovative leadership, promoted the growth and visibility of SEI, established working relationships between SEI and other structural engineering organizations, or has otherwise rendered valuable service to the engineering profession. The 2017 award is presented to Robert E. Bachman, P.E., S.E., F.SEI, M.ASCE . Mr. Bachman has been one of the most effective liaisons among the many civil engineering professional organizations. He was chair of the SEI Codes and Standards Activities Division Executive Committee, and served on the SEI Board of Governors from 2008 to 2012. He serves as Chair of the Standards Coordinating Council, which has members from all the leading structural engineering standards development organizations. The Council brings together representatives of materials interests, structural engineering organizations, and others that prepare standards to make sure they are developed the best advice for structural design consistently and coordinating with each other. He has overcome significant challenges and timetables dictated by the International Code Council, and has shown masterful leadership. Mr. Bachman is a Consulting Structural Engineer in private practice.


The SEI President's Award, which may be bestowed annually, is given at the discretion of the President of the Structural Engineering Institute and recognizes an SEI member who has made exemplary contributions to the success of the Institute. The 2017 President's Award is given to Ashraf Habibullah, P.E., M.ASCE , for his many contributions to SEI and the profession. Mr. Habibullah is being honored primarily for his passionate advocacy in promoting the "Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering: A Case for Change." Mr. Habibullah has been a powerful advocate of the SEI Vision with our peer organizations. He also has encouraged young engineers to become involved in their profession and has shown strong support for the Structures Congress. Mr. Habibullah has been a strong advocate for strategic initiatives through the SEI Futures Fund. These actions to promote structural engineering leadership exemplify the Structural Engineer's role as Leader and Innovator. He has led the development of CSI's products for over four decades and has been active as a researcher and educator, conducting international seminars on analytical techniques used in software for Structural and Earthquake Engineering. CSI products are also recognized as the standard tools for research and education worldwide and CSI has donated software to thousands of universities for teaching purposes. He is the founder of the Engineering Alliance for the Arts, an organization that introduces K-12 students to the technological and artistic aspects of bridge engineering. Mr. Habibullah is a Civil and Structural Engineer and is President and CEO of Computers and Structures, Inc., which he founded in 1975.