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 Outstanding Paper Award (OPA) is remitted each year to the author(s) of a paper published in the preceding year’s issues of the IABSE Journal Structural Engineering International (SEI), encouraging and rewarding contributions of the highest quality. Starting with the 2011 Outstanding Paper Award, it is presented in the categories ‘Technical Report’ and ‘Scientific Paper’.


For ‘Scientific Paper’ category the OPA 2020 is presented to: SEI, Vol.29, May 2019, Once upon a Time in Italy: The Tale of the Morandi Bridge


Gian Michele Calvi, Eucentre Foundation, Pavia, Italy; Matteo Moratti, Studio Calvi Ltd, Pavia, Italy; Gerard J. O’Reilly, IUSS, Pavia, Italy; Nicola Scattarreggia, IUSS, Pavia, Italy; Ricardo Monteiro, IUSS, Pavia, Italy; Daniele Malomo, Mosayk Ltd, Pavia, Italy; Paolo Martino Calvi, University of Washington, Seattle, USA; Rui Pinho, University of Pavia, Italy. DOI: 10.1080/10168664.2018.1558033. Contact:


Abstract: On 14 August 2018 at 11:35 AM, a relevant portion (about 243 m) of the viaduct over the Polcevera river in Genoa collapsed, killing 43 people. The bridge was designed in the early 1960s by Riccardo Morandi, a well-known Italian engineer, and opened to the public in 1967. The collapsed part of the bridge essentially comprised an individual self-standing structure spanning 171 m and two simply-supported connecting Gerber beam systems, each spanning 36 m from the self-standing structure to the adjacent portions of the bridge. This paper aims to reminisce the complete story of the bridge, from the Italian construction boom in the 1960s to some of the issues that soon arose thereafter: the strengthening intervention in the 1990s, the subsequent structural monitoring and, finally, the strengthening project never brought to fruition. Potential reasons for the collapse are discussed, together with some of the possible inadequacies of the bridge, its maintenance and loading history based on critical reflection, comparison with specific features of bridge construction practice today and results obtained using numerical models with different levels of refinement. Since the entire matter (specifically the debris) was considered classified by the investigating magistrate in the immediate aftermath of the bridge collapse, this work is based entirely on publicly available material.


For ‘Technical Report’ category the OPA 2020 is presented to: SEI, Vol.29, May 2019, River Irwell Crossing—UK’s First Network Arch Bridge


Rusi Rusev, Principal Engineer; Rufus Foster, Assistant Engineer; Tim Abbott, Project Director, Mott MacDonald, Croydon, UK; Athanasios Bistolas, Associate, Mott MacDonald, Altrincham, UK Contact: DOI: 10.1080/10168664.2018.1516126


Abstract: The first network arch bridge in the UK was opened to traffic in December 2017 and supports a new railway line that connects Piccadilly and Victoria Stations in the heart of Manchester. Set alongside heritage structures of great significance, aesthetics is paramount and has led to an asymmetric “ribbon” form that visually connects different types of structures. The highly constrained site necessitated an unconventional piecemeal erection sequence over the river on asymmetric temporary towers. This required a detailed erection analysis of a complex methodology and special measures had to be taken to facilitate erection within acceptable construction tolerances.



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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