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IABSE Newsletter November 2020


IABSE 2020 Congress Christchurch - REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

Early Registration Deadline: 18 December 2020 – REGISTER HERE!

The Christchurch Organising Committee is excited to welcome all Congress participants with their Innovative Virtual Platform and is taking it even a notch higher by introducing a new format. With the challenges of different time zone differences, the Technical Programme will run in a compressed format (approximately 4-6 hours each day). Using a flipped-classroom approach. Presentations (except Keynotes) will be made available online, two weeks before the event so participants can compile questions for the presenters to answer during Q&A and discussion sessions. The sessions will cover all topics under our congress theme "Resilient Technologies for Sustainable Infrastructures” and are preceded each day by keynote lectures.

The Organisers are planning to have a full program up to 20 Keynote Speakers with the opportunity to hear them present on their specialized topic followed by some interactive discussion sessions. Currently there are nine confirmed speakers (Philippe Block, Luke Bisby, Dan Frangopol, Akio Kasuga, Stefano Pampanin, Carlo Ratti, G. Michele Calvi, Tullia Iroi, Angello Vittozzi), with more confirmations expected soon.

All presentations will be recorded so that registered participants will be able to access the Congress recordings at a later date. For more information, please click on the links below.

To understand more about the Technical Programme please click here..
Official website: iabse.org/Christchurch2020


IABSE Seoul Conference 9-10 November 2020!

Originally planned as a small Korean National Group event, expecting to attract 60 to 80 participants it developed into a full-blown Mid-Term IABSE Conference!

Thanks to the close collaboration between organisers (Korean NG and SC) and IABSE Secretariat, this Online Conference ran smoothly and was a great success. Its relevant theme and 5 Keynote Lectures attracted 147 participants from 15 countries. Since the conference attracted 3 Gold and 18 Silver Sponsors and more participants, the Korean Group decided to donate their excess income to IABSE.

Our heartfelt thanks to the Organising and Scientific Committees for conducting this Conference successfully! Here are some glimpses from the conference.


IABSE Congress Ghent 2021

As presented live during the recent Permanent Committee Meeting, Hans De Backer, OC Chair has assured all participants that the Congress will push through regardless what situation the pandemic will be. The Organisers are preparing this Congress in a hybrid format. Therefore, participants will have a choice of joining onsite or online.

The theme ‘Structural Engineering for Future Societal Needs’ is broad with a large variety of Sub-themes that covers everything in the bridge and structural engineering world including some current societal needs such as responding to a worldwide pandemic. Around 400 abstracts have been received and are now being reviewed by the SC. All papers are presented orally, this can be in a presentation which is onsite as usual, or online and live, or online and pre-recorded. It is the intention to have live streaming of all sessions. Keep yourself updated with the developments of the event by visiting; Official website: iabse.org/Ghent2021
Technical Programme: here..


Our supporter


3 New Conference Proceedings  - Now Online!

The 'Seoul Conference Nov. 2020', 'Wroclaw Symposium Oct. 2020' and the 'Young Engineers Colloquium Oct. 2020' Proceedings are now in our online shop: Click Here


SEI November 2020 Issue

Published online, hard copies are on their way to you. This is a special issue on Tunnels and Underground Structures and selected papers from the 'Best of Copenhagen' conference.

Read the Editorial by Tina Vejrum: Click Here
Read the Introduction to the series by Bruno Godart and Tina Vejrum: Click Here


IABSE Webinars and Online Events

Due to popular demand, we organised 2 new webinars in the beginning of 2021: Limited spaces so Register Now for both Webinars.

This webinar will be offered FREE! In order for us to continue to provide these webinars, we are looking for Sponsors to support us. For more information, please contact sissel.niggeler@iabse.org


National Group Events



Kolyu Ficheto Award, 13 November 2020

The Bulgarian Group of IABSE participated and supported the National Competition “Kolyu Ficheto” for best diploma thesis in the field of “Civil Engineering”. The competition was organized by the Bulgarian Scientific and Technical Union of Civil Engineering. Prof. Marina Traykova (Chair) was a member of the scientific jury. Koluy Ficheto is the name of one of the famous Bulgarian Revival builders. Тhe award winner is Nikolay Dinev, (in the photo with the Chair), is a graduate student from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia. 



III Pathology of Structures Seminar,
11-13 November 2020

The Colombian NG participated in this Seminar, organized by the Sociedad Antioqueña de Ingenieros y Arquitectos (SAI) and the Asociación de Ingenieros Estructurales de Antioquia (AIE), in Medellín, Colombia. This was a 3-day virtual academic and professional event, aimed at raising awareness, among professionals and students, on learning from past experiences and mistakes and not to repeat them. The technical presentation was given by NG Vice chair, Nelson Betancour, who presented a special case of a pathology and structural strengthening of a bridge in Bogotá city, originally designed by T.Y.Lin.



Online Session, 17 December 2020, 13:00 hrs CET

The Austrian group invites all IABSE members from Switzerland, Austria, Czech, Lichtenstein and Germany to take part in the second web meeting (free participation) on 17 December with Prof. Dr. Michael Kleiser on the topic 'Pure tension! - Two bridges in the heart of the new A5 motorway north of Vienna' Register here by December 5th. The meeting will be moderated by the Austrian Group's Chair Alfred Strauss, in association with Dr. Michael Kleiser, and others.

Register here by December 5th: Click Here!


United Kingdom

Milne Medal and Nethercot Prize, 10 Nov. 2020

The 2020 Milne Medal was awarded to Steve Webb, this year, organised by the British Group of IABSE, who gave an online lecture on Nov. 10 on: "Wood, Stone, Moral Calculus and Big Picture thinking". The Milne Medal is awarded to an individual engineer for excellence in structural design, both in the overall concept and in the attention to detail in their work. It is named in recognition of the late Bob Milne, who served for many years as the Honorary Secretary of the IABSE British Group. Download the report.

The 2020 Nethercot Prize, which is open to early-career. The shortlisted papers are available here.



General Assembly, 22 October 2020

IABSE Danish Group had their General Assembly on 22 October 2020, and elected/relected members are the following: Tina Vejrum (Chair); Lennart Mortensen (Secretary); Lars Fuhr Pedersen (Treasurer); Board Members: Jens Henrik Nielsen, Jan Vig Nielsen; Barbara Boesen Mac Aulay.


Belgium, France and The Netherlands

Young Engineers Colloquium, 23 October 2020

The Belgian, French and the Dutch National Groups of IABSE jointly organized their Young Engineers Colloquium 2020 (YEC2020) in an ONLINE edition. YEC2020 is especially meant for young engineers to exchange knowledge internationally, with the focus on Belgium, France and the Netherlands. The event was sponsored by 7 Belgian and Dutch sponsors and attended by 43 participants. The Conference Proceeding is available in www.iabse.org (Members Area).
Read More: Click here.

Click to check your National Group for latest news!

Co-Sponsored Events

Check out our Co-Sponsored events


Members News and Topical News

86th Meeting of the Permanent Committee 

19 November 2020: IABSE President Yaojun Ge, and Executive Director Chep Uytiepo, welcomed all voting delegates and IABSE Members who took part in the first virtual Permanent Committee meeting via Zoom Platform.

The meeting commenced with activity reports from the President Yaojun Ge (China), Technical Committee Chair Daia Zwicky (Switzerland) and National Groups by Jan Wium (S. Africa). Executive Director Chep Uytiepo (Switzerland) presented the Finances of the Association and affirmation by Internal Auditor Marion Rauch (Germany). Also, the Permanent Committee accepted the proposed 3-tier reduced membership fees structure by Carlos Mendez (Mexico) to support lower-income countries using GNI instead of GDP. This was followed by the presentations of future IABSE Conferences and concluded by a report from Alp Caner (Turkey) for IABSE Foundation.


Liaison Committee Meeting 

On 11 November 2020: The Liaison Committee (RILEM, IABSE, fib, CIB, ECCS, IASS) had its annual meeting online this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Member associations shared experiences and how each of the Association tackles with this unprecedented situation.

Moving forward, the Liaison Committee invited Michael Havbro Faber to join the meeting to update and discuss how the member associations can further support the JCSS initiative on GLOBE.

For more information about LC and the GLOBE, please visit the LC Homepage.


Are you ready for a new challenge?
For the first time, IABSE Technical Committee Chair position will be open in 2021!

Personal Invitation from Daia Zwicky
Invitation from the TC Chair



As the 4-year term of Daia Zwicky as the TC Chairman will end in October 2021, this position will be open to the individual willing to take the challenge of taking over the responsibility of one of the most important roles in the Association. The nominations received will be shortlisted by the Executive Committee and endorsed to the Permanent Committee for election.

At the same time, the TC Vice-Chairman term of Andrew Martin will end in October 2021. Therefore, this position will be open to the individual willing to take the challenge in giving support to the new TC Chair.

To apply for this position, you need to be an IABSE member and submit the Nomination form to IABSE HQ by January 31, 2021, with your personal data, proposals for strategic and management plans. The form provides more details on the information the Executive Committee wishes to see. Shortlisted candidates shall be informed until mid-March 2021 about an invitation to present their plans to Executive Committee at its (virtual) spring meeting to take place in April/May 2021.

Take advantage of this opportunity to profoundly influence IABSE’s technical activities during your term (Nov. 2021 – Oct. 2025) – initiate the direction you wish to see for IABSE or put into place new activities you have always been missing in our appreciated Association.


IABSE Collective Member:  

Noise-reduced expansion joints with special “tunneling” New bridge in the city center of Gothenburg requires creativity and cooperation Gothenburg. A streetcar running on a bridge is not uncommon. However, this presents a challenge in Gothenburg since long ramps lead to the bridge construction. The required expansion joints between the structural sections have to be watertight and noise-reduced and must be usable for all road users in the streetcar track area. MAURER developed a customized solution for the roadway expansion joints with a length of up to 43 m. Read more here.




Roger A. Dorton:  

The Canadian Group is sad to announce the passing of IABSE Honorary Member Roger A. Dorton (1929-2020). He was active in IABSE between 1981 and 1999, chairing the Scientific Committees for the 1984 Vancouver Congress and 1991 Leningrad Symposium, and was Vice President 1993 to 1999. Emigrating from England in 1954, he joined P.L. Pratley’s firm to design Montreal’s Champlain and Halifax’s A. Murray McKay bridges.  In 1972 he joined the Ontario Ministry of Transportation where he initiated the Ontario Highway Bridge Design Code and the Ontario Heritage Bridge Program. In 1993 he joined Buckland and Taylor Ltd., primarily to design the second Blue Water Bridge at Sarnia and renovations to the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver.  Our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Read about him:  Click here


Connect and Share!
For any recent Member News, or Company news, please send us the new article by end of the month for inclusion in next month's Newsletter. If you wish to share any important online resource which could benefit our members, or share a talk on an interesting topic, please send it to bose@iabse.org. We would particularly encourage our IABSE Members to share their knowledge and experience with our young members during this lockdown period with either 'live webinars' or 'pre-recorded lecture sessions'. All the more reason to stay connected and inspired! Please contact us if interested.



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