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.


IABSE Early Career Prize

The IABSE Early Career Prize, was established to honour and encourage a member early in his or her career for an outstanding achievement in structural engineering. The Award is conferred on an individual member, forty years of age or younger. The Prize includes a prize money and registration to the IABSE Conference where the Award Presentation is held. The first IABSE Prize was presented in 1983.


The IABSE Early Career Prize 2020 is presented to Dr. Carles Estruch, Spain, ‘for his expertise gained while working in the fields of research, design and construction—contributing in a holistic way to the field of structural engineering.’


Carles Estruch, has an outstanding academic and professional career. He has worked with a holistic view in the fields of research, design and construction in all his projects. Inflatable structures in engineering have a multidisciplinary component which probably many may not be aware of: the numerical analysis and design is quite complex, while the manufacturing phase has several physical limitations and comparatively short delivery times, which is a challenge. Carles did his PhD in UPC–Polytechnical University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain) and completed a MSc in Computational Mechanics from the UPC and Swansea University. He also has an Executive MBA from IESE. He has been awarded with several scholarships throughout his educational life.


Carles Estruch has been fully devoted to the field of inflatable structures for temporary use in engineering at his current workplace in the company Buildair. In the past nine years, he has gained expertise in innovative structures which mainly focus on large-scale inflatable hangars with up to 100 m width for airplanes maintenance, as well as in light-weight fast-deployable inflatable bridges with up to 30 m span for vehicles up to 30 tons, functional during emergency. He has participated in more than 20 projects (13 hangars, 3 bridges and others), during the engineering phase, manufacturing and management.


The milestones in his career as a young engineer include the following: Civil Engineering final degree project about a pedestrian bridge composed by inflatable beams; Head of Research and Development, responsible for the design and calculations of the first inflatable hangar of 54-meter inner width for Airbus, which holds a world record in temporary structures; Project leader of the first real-scale prototype of temporary bridge made up of inflatable beams for temporary use (16 m span, 30 t load capacity); as Engineering Director with full responsibility for an inflatable hangar of 75 m inner width, for SAEI (Saudi Arabia), which also won a new world record; a project of 31 m span inflatable bridge; and a 93 m hangar project.


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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