Press Release


9 June 2020



IABSE Awards 2020

The International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) is pleased to announce the Laureates of the IABSE Awards 2020.



The International Award of Merit in Structural Engineering is presented to people for outstanding contributions in the field of structural engineering, with special reference to usefulness for society. Fields of endeavour may include: planning, design, construction, materials, equipment, education, research, government, management. The first Award was presented in 1976.


The International Award of Merit in Structural Engineering 2020 is presented to Ahsan Kareem, US; For fundamental contributions to quantification, modeling and analysis of wind load effects in structural design through research, teaching, service, and practice.’


Professor Dr. Ahsan Kareem, recipient of this Award is a Robert M Moran Professor of Engineering and Director, of the Natural Hazards Modeling Lab at the University of Notre Dame, in the US. He did his PhD; MSc; BSc (with Distinction) from the Colorado State University; University of Hawaii/MIT and Pakistan University of Engineering and Technology. His field of expertise is in structural dynamics: wind, waves, earthquakes load effects. He has been an active member of IABSE since 2010 through his participation in IABSE Congresses as a presenter, publishing a technical paper in a recent issue of the IABSE’s SEI Journal; and giving a dinner talk at the IABSE Student Conference, Bochum, Germany in 2016.


During his professional career Ahsan Kareem developed pioneering procedures for wind loads on floating deep water offshore tension leg platforms from wind tunnel to computational schemes—which were used for the design of Chevron TLP, which led to the induction to the Offshore Technology Hall of Fame; he designed dampers for the Knightsbridge Tower, Manila, Dallas Museum Tower, Dallas and for Willis Tower TV antenna masts in Chicago; and was part of the design team for wind effects on the Olive and Eight and Olivian high-rise towers in Seattle.  His work has made major impact in advancing the state-of-the-art in wind effects on structures through the characterization and formulation of wind load effects via fundamental experimental, laboratory and full-scale measurements, an analytical/computational/stochastic framework; spearheading re-development of ASCE 7 for wind sensitive structures; development of e-technologies for web-enabled analysis and design of structures and the establishment of a cyber-based collaboration for research and education in wind effects; the performance evaluation via full-scale monitoring of a network of tall buildings around the world to validate their design procedures; the mitigation of structural motions through developments in tuned sloshing dampers and their semi-active control and implementation. More recently, his group has embarked on shape optimization of tall buildings based on CFD with embedded topology optimization to configure efficient and optimal structural system for super tall buildings and long span bridges. This work through sensing, computational intelligence and control and actuation technologies is leading to the development of autonomously morphing structures like long span bridge decks and tall buildings.


Clearly, his research has been translated to immediate practical applications, to cite a few: design of Chevron TLP, design of tall buildings in Seattle, sloshing damper technology used in several high-rise towers, and performance evaluation of super-tall buildings including the Burj Khalifa. Beyond his research, he has distinguished himself as a leader within the community through his service as the first President of the American Assoc. for Wind Engrg., and President of the International Association for Wind Engineering, his leadership role in ASCE's Engrg. Mech. Division and SEI, national and international conferences; editorial service to journals and matriculation of high-quality graduate students, over 50 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows and their placement in academia and industry, mark his committment to the structural engineering community. Kareem serves as a co-principal investigator and senior researcher for National Science Research Centres under the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) program, dealing with cyberspace infrastructure and simulation and modeling for natural hazards. selected publications can be viewed in Google Scholar (Google h-index 65 include): Click Here.


His honours include the following: Member, US National Academy of Engineering (NAE), 2009; Foreign Member, Chinese Academy of Engineering (CNAE), 2018; Foreign Fellow, Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), 2010; a distinguished member of ASCE ;Howard Medal, 2019; Shinozuka Medal, 2017; von Karman Medal, 2015; Croes Medal, 2015; Davenport Medal, 2007; Scanlan Medal, 2005; Cermak Medal, 2002; Alfred Noble Prize by ASCE/ASME/IEEE, 2016; Distinguished Research Award, International Association of Structural Safety and Reliability (ICOSSAR), 2103; ASCE State-0f-the-Art Award, 2008; US Presidential Young Investigator Award, the White House, 1984.


His involvement with other associations include the following: President of International Association for Wind Engineering; Past President of the American Association of Wind Engineering; Distinguished Member of ASCE, Past Chair of the Engineering Mechanics Institute and ExCom of the Structural Enginering Institute of ASCE; Guest Editor-in-Chief, Engineering, Elsevier; Executive Editor-in-Chief, Structural and Civil Infrastructure, Springer; past associate editor, Journals of Engineering Mechancis, Structural Engineering, ASCE; Honorary member Japan Association for Wind Engineering. He also serves as an honorary professor at Tsinghua University, Tongji University, Southeast University, Southwest Jiaotong University; Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Central South University; and Shijiazhuang Tiedo University and as a guest professor at Chongqing University and Beijing Jiaotong University. Additionally, Kareem was appointed by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China as a high-end Consultant to Tongji University—the highest level of appointment given to a foreign expert in China.



The International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) founded in 1929, operates on a worldwide basis and deals with all aspects of planning, design, construction, maintenance and repair of civil engineering structures. The mission of IABSE is to exchange knowledge and to advance the practice of structural engineering worldwide in the service of the profession and society. To fulfil its mission, IABSE organises conferences and publishes a high-quality journal, Structural Engineering International (SEI); publishes books reflecting the work of its Technical Groups; creates Working Groups, as required by new needs and technological progress; offers activities within National Groups of IABSE; supports Young Engineers with a programme, and presents annual Awards in recognition.


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For more information, please contact: 

Brindarica Bose
Communications and Publications Manager 
Jungholzstrasse 28 
8050 Zurich 



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