UB's Bruneau Wins 2012 T.R. Higgins Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction

Release Date: February 10, 2012 This content is archived.


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The American Institute of Steel Construction is recognizing UB's Bruneau for outstanding contributions to engineering literature on fabricated structural steel.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Michel Bruneau, PhD, professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering in the University at Buffalo's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is the 2012 recipient of the prestigious American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award.

Bruneau is being honored for papers on steel plate shear wall design published in AISC's Engineering Journal and the proceedings of the Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering.

Each year, the AISC T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award recognizes an outstanding lecturer and author whose technical paper(s) are considered an outstanding contribution to the engineering literature on fabricated structural steel. The award, which includes a $15,000 prize, will be presented at the 2012 NASCC: The Steel Conference at the Gaylord Texan Convention Center in Dallas in April.

"The Higgins jury quickly identified Michel as a top candidate, and the subsequent discussions and deliberations served to further elevate him," said Charlie Carter, AISC vice president and chief structural engineer. "The jury noted in particular the impressive extent and breadth of Michel's contributions as a researcher and engineer."

Bruneau's research covers a broad range, from the evaluation and retrofit of existing steel bridges and buildings subjected to large destructive forces up to collapse, to the development of new design concepts capable of providing satisfactory seismic-resistance, blast-resistance or both simultaneously as multi-hazard resistant concepts. His research has contributed to the development and large-scale experimental validation of various energy-dissipating design concepts to enhance the resilience of structures against extreme events, such as ductile steel plate shear walls, ductile bridge diaphragms, tubular eccentrically braced frames, structural fuses and controlled-rocking piers.

Bruneau is the former director and deputy director of MCEER, the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research headquartered at UB, a national center of excellence in advanced technology applications dedicated to reducing losses from earthquakes and other hazards, and to improving disaster resilience. One of three such centers in the nation established by the National Science Foundation, MCEER has been funded principally over the past two decades by the National Science Foundation, the Federal Highway Administration and others.

Bruneau came to MCEER and UB from the University of Ottawa, where he headed that institution's Ottawa-Carleton Earthquake Engineering Research Centre. He is author and co-author of numerous research articles and one book on earthquake-engineering principles, and he has participated in several reconnaissance visits to assess structural damage caused by earthquakes and other disasters, most recently to Christchurch, New Zealand, following the earthquake in February 2011. In 2001, Bruneau was part of an MCEER team that investigated structural damage to buildings near the World Trade Center towers after their collapse on Sept. 11.

Bruneau is a member of several professional and technical code-writing committees. His past service to the profession includes participation in expert peer review panels, project advisory committees, special project design teams, conference advisory committees and journal editorial boards. Prior to his appointment in academia, he practiced as a consultant for architecture and engineering firms Morrison Hershfield Limited (Toronto), and Buckland and Taylor (Vancouver).

Bruneau is author and co-author of numerous research articles, books and book-chapters, and is the lead author of a textbook on the design of steel structures to resist earthquakes and other extreme events, as well as two books of fiction. He has received several awards for his technical work, as well as for his latest novel.

The AISC T.R. Higgins Award is named for Theodore R. Higgins, PhD, former AISC director of engineering and research, who was widely acclaimed for his many contributions to the advancement of engineering technology related to fabricated structural steel.

Bruneau is a resident of Clarence.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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