SUNY Distinguished Professor named Fellow of ASCE

by Peter Murphy

Published August 21, 2019

Michael Constantinou, a Samuel P. Capen Professor of Civil Engineering and SUNY Distinguished Professor, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Impacts in seismic engineering


Over the last 20 years, Constantinou has significantly contributed to earthquake engineering in the United States and around the world. His research led to the development of sliding isolation systems, elastomeric isolation systems and fluid viscous dampers. In each case, he developed theory, performed small and large-scale experiments and validated numerical models and computer codes to enable deployment of this technology that makes structures safer.

Constantinou’s technology protects some of the most critical buildings and bridges throughout the world, including the San Francisco International Airport, the Ataturk International Airport in Turkey, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, on-and off-shore oil platforms and other structures. He currently holds four patents and has published over 130 journal articles.

ASCE recognized Constantinou with the Charles Pankow Award for Innovation (2005), the Moisseff Award (2015) and Nathan Newmark Medal (2015). These awards acknowledge Constantinou’s contributions to the design and construction industry, the field of structural design and “further developments of protective systems for infrastructure against catastrophic shocks and vibrations.”

Constantinou also contributed significantly to ASCE/Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Standard 7 Hazard Tool. He is responsible for much of the content found in ASCE/SEI Standard 7-16 describing the “means for determining dead, live, soil, flood, tsunami, snow, rain, atmospheric ice, earthquake, wind loads and their combinations for general structural design.” According to ASCE, ASCE/SEI 7-16, Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures is an integral part of building codes in the U.S.

Constantinou joined UB in 1987, and holds the positions of Samuel P. Capen Professor and SUNY Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank in the SUNY System. His research includes the analysis and design of structures with an emphasis on seismic protective systems design, analysis inspection, testing and peer review, and the analysis and design of industrial systems, identification of machine vibration problems and the design of motion control systems for machines and equipment.