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Bruneau receives Moisseiff Award from ASCE


Published April 12, 2017


Michel Bruneau, a professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, was a member of a research team that received the 2017 Moisseiff Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The prize recognizes an important paper published in a print issue of an ASCE journal dealing with the field of structural design, including applied mechanics and theoretical analysis, or constructive improvement of engineering structures such as bridges and frames of any structural material.

Members of the research team received the award for their paper “Full-Scale Pseudodynamic Testing of Self-Centering Steel Plate Shear Walls,” published in the Journal of Structural Engineering in January 2016.

According to ASCE, the authors “make an outstanding contribution to the development of a new structural system that is safe and effective, and which provides advantages over current systems that are in common use.”

Bruneau’s co-authors include UB alums Daniel Dowden, PhD ’14, of Michigan Technological University and Jeffrey W. Berman, ’06 & BS ’00, of University of Washington. Other co-authors are Laura N. Lowes, University of Washington; Patricia M. Clayton, University of Texas at Austin; Chao-Hsien Li, National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering; and Keh-Chyuan Tsai, National Taiwan University.

The paper is the culmination of research this team has carried out for years on self-centering steel plate shear wall systems (SC-SPSW) for high seismic zones. Self-centering systems can enhance structural resilience by enabling reuse of the system after significant earthquakes. The research is comprehensive and includes unique large-scale experiments that highlight the advantages of this structural system, according to ASCE. Through this work, the authors bridge research to practice by providing design recommendations for this system.

“It is very rewarding to learn that our long history of excellent research in earthquake engineering, both in the department and through MCEER, is being recognized by this award,” says Joseph Atkinson, professor and chair of the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering.

ASCE established the award in 1947 as a memorial to recognize the accomplishments of Leon S. Moisseiff, who was a notable contributor to the science and art of structural design.

Bruneau joined the UB faculty in 1998. His research includes the evaluation and retrofit of existing steel bridges and buildings subjected to large destructive forces up to collapse, as well as the development of new design concepts capable of providing satisfactory seismic resistance, blast resistance, or both simultaneously as multihazard resistant concepts.

He received aPhD in structural engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1987.