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NASCC 2024


SSRC Recognizes Five Outstanding Researchers

SAN ANTONIO - The Structural Stability Research Council (SSRC) Tuesday presented awards to five researchers driving today’s innovation. The presentation took place at the 2024 Annual Stability Conference, which is incorporated into NASCC: The Steel Conference, in San Antonio.

Hyeyoung Koh, Bashar Hariri, Ali Imanpour, and Dan Linzell
from left: Hyeyoung Koh, Bashar Hariri, Ali Imanpour, and Dan Linzell

The meeting also represented a turning point. After three years as Chair, Dan Linzell passed the gavel over to Craig Quadrato, PE, of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

Lynn S. Beedle Award: Jerome F. Hajjar, PE, PhD, Northeastern University

The Beedle is SSRC’s premier award, recognizing those who have carried out world-class structural stability research and made outstanding and decisive contributions to establish SSRC as a world-leading structural stability organization.

Jerome F. Hajjar is the CDM Smith Professor and Department Chair in the department of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern University. He has served as chair of the Structures Faculty and deputy director of the Mid-America Earthquake Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; was a faculty member at the University of Minnesota; and was a structural engineer and associate at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. His research and teaching interests include analysis, experimental testing, and design of steel and composite steel/concrete building and bridge structures; regional modeling and assessment of infrastructure systems; and earthquake engineering. He has published over 300 papers and edited five books on these topics. Hajjar serves on the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Committee on Specifications and several of its task committees, including chairing Task Committee 5 on Composite Design and the AISC Sustainability Committee. He is the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) and has served on the SEI Board of Governors and several other ASCE and SEI committees. Hajjar was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2022 and has received numerous awards for his research and teaching, including the 2021 AISC Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2016 ASCE Moisseiff Award, the 2010 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award, the 2009 ASCE Shortridge Hardesty Award, the 2005 AISC T. R. Higgins Lectureship Award, and the 2000 ASCE Norman Medal for his research on steel structures, composite construction, structural stability, and earthquake engineering.

Hajjar will deliver a keynote titled “The Stability of Resilient and Sustainable Structures” Thursday at 8:00 a.m. in the Stars at Night Ballroom.

SSRC Distinguished Member Award: Roberto T. Leon, PE, PhD, Virginia Tech

The Distinguished Member Award is an annual honor bestowed upon an SSRC member who has made outstanding contributions to the work and mission of the SSRC through years of service.

Roberto Leon is the Charles E. Via Jr. Professor in Virginia Tech’s department of civil and environmental engineering--and one of the leading researchers in both steel-concrete composite structures and the seismic design and performance of new and existing steel and composite structures. He has published more that 170 peer-reviewed papers, books, and books chapters, and his work has been cited by other researchers more than 7,000 times. A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2011, his previous honors include AISC’s Geerhard Haaijer Award for Excellence in Education and an AISC Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a master’s degree from Stanford University, and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. He was elected to the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2015 and serves on the AISC Committee on Specifications, TC 5 (Composite Design), and TC 7 (Evaluation and Repair).

This year, SSRC also celebrated the achievements of Perry Green and Sam Easterling, who received awards virtually during the pandemic.

The McGuire Award for Junior Researchers (MAJR) Medal: Ali Imanpour, PEng, PhD, University of Alberta

The MAJR Medal’s namesake, the late William “Bill” McGuire, was a longtime member of SSRC who always emphasized the crucial need for state-of-the-art research is instrumental to improve the quality of stability design. This year’s jury, which included Larry Fahnestock, Craig Quadrato, and SSRC Chair Daniel Linzell (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), selected Imanpour for his high-quality research focused on structural stability, his strong record of professional engagement seeking to translate research into practice, and his investment in the structural engineering profession through service to SSRC.

Ali Imanpour is an associate professor of structural engineering at the department of civil and environmental engineering of the University of Alberta. He was a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University before joining the University of Alberta. Imanpour received his PhD in structural engineering from Polytechnique Montreal in 2015. Before undertaking his doctoral studies, he worked as a structural design engineer for four years and was involved in design and retrofit projects. His research strives to blend analytical and experimental investigations and artificial intelligence techniques in order to develop understanding and tools to design steel structures under gravity and natural hazards, with a focus on seismic stability of steel structures, stability of beams, innovative structural systems, and the application of artificial intelligence in seismic engineering and construction of structural steel.

Sarada M. and Raju A. Vinnakota Award: Bashar Hariri, PhD candidate at Polytechnique Montreal (now postdoctoral scholar at the University of Toronto)

The Vinnakota Award recognizes the most promising students performing research in structural stability today.

SSRC presented this year’s Vinnakota Award to Bashar Hariri for "Design Guidelines for Mitigating P-Delta Effects on the Seismic Response of Multi-Storey Steel Building Structures in Moderate and High Seismic Regions." SSRC also presented a certificate to Hariri’s advising professor, Robert Tremblay, PhD, also of Polytechnique Montreal.

There were two honorable mentions for the Vinnakota Award this year. The first went to Divyansh Kapoor, a PhD candidate at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, for "Influence of End Connectivity on the Out-of-Plane Buckling Capacity of Light-gage Steel Corrugated Panels." The second went to Arka Maity, a graduate research assistant at University of California, Davis, for "A Novel Fiber Element to Simulate Interactive Local and Lateral Torsional Buckling in Steel Moment Frames."

Yoon Duk Kim Young Researcher Award: Hyeyoung Koh, PhD, postdoctoral associate of civil and environmental engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Yoon Duk Kim Award is named in memory of a vibrant young researcher who was known for her cheerful smile and contagious energy. This award recognizes students or early career professionals who have already made a noteworthy contribution to the advancement of structural stability.

This year’s recipient, Hyeyoung Koh, is a postdoctoral associate in structural engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned her doctoral degree. She received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in architectural engineering from Hanyang University in Seoul. Koh’s research focuses on structural design and analysis as well as structural stability of steel and steel-concrete composite structures by taking various methodological approaches including physical experiments, computational modeling, and data analytics.



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