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IABSE Executive Director (1974-2005)

Alain Golay (1946 – 2024)
IABSE Executive Director (1974-2005) 

It is with profound sadness that the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) mourns the passing of Alain Golay, our esteemed past Executive Director from 1974 to 2005. Alain (b. 24 July 1946) passed away on 17 March 2024, leaving behind a profound legacy of leadership, innovation, and dedication to IABSE and its members over decades. Alain Golay received his degree in Civil Engineering in 1967 from EPFL, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1971, Alain Golay joined the Association as a part-time Secretary whilst still working in an Engineering Company in Zurich. Three years later, he became full-time Executive Director of IABSE in 1974.

Alain Golay received the IABSE Honorary Membership in 2005 due to his outstanding services to the Association, guiding the Association with wisdom and vision during his tenure. Alain realised projects of great importance for the development of IABSE, including the creation of the IABSE Technical Committee in 1974, Technical Groups, SEI journal in 1991, SED in 1982, developing a long-range plan, IABSE Foundation, the IABSE Awards, and much more.

Alain Golay left IABSE in October 2005 after 34 years of devoted and loyal service. He served 7 presidents: Maurice Cosandey, Bruno Thurlimann, Hans von Gunten, John Hanson, Klaus Ostenfeld, Manabu Ito and Manfred A. Hirt. His impact on our association and the broader engineering community was immeasurable.

Beyond his role as Executive Director, Alain was a beloved mentor, colleague, and friend to many within the IABSE community. His warmth, humour, integrity, and genuine concern for the well-being of others touched the lives of all who had the privilege of working alongside him.

The loss of Alain Golay leaves a profound void within IABSE.  On behalf of the entire IABSE family, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Alain's wife, Yumi Golay, and his loved ones during this difficult time. May they find comfort in knowing that his contributions to IABSE will be remembered and celebrated for years to come. May he rest in peace knowing that he made the world a better place through his presence and his deeds.

If you wish to reach out to the family, please write to


Chep Uytiepo
IABSE Executive Director

Jungholzstrasse 28
8050 Zurich

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