This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

People etc.

Published: July 21, 2005

Civil engineers receive CERF award for innovation

Two UB civil engineers have received this year's CERF Charles Pankow Award for Innovation recognizing collaborative design, development and construction efforts.

Michael Constantinou, professor and chair of the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Andrei Reinhorn, Clifford C. Furnas Professor of Structural Engineering in SEAS, were honored for their research focused on making buildings more earthquake-resistant.

CERF, the Civil Engineering Research Foundation, is an affiliate of the American Society of Civil Engineers and works with the construction, engineering, design and environmental industries to promote innovation and improve productivity. The Pankow award goes to an organization—in this case, UB—involved in a collaborative effort that demonstrates innovation that's transferred into practice, increasing productivity and performance.

Constantinou and Reinhorn worked with WSP Cantor Seinuk, Enrique Martinez Romero S.A. and Taylor Devices Inc., all of which shared in the award, to develop a new system for bracing building walls. They applied the system to Torre Major, the tallest office tower in Mexico City. In the event of an earthquake, the new system should help the tower not only withstand the quake, but become operational again almost immediately afterwards.

A UB faculty member since 1987, Constantinou was a finalist for the Pankow award in 1998 and 2003. He received a patent for his energy-dissipation apparatus in 2002.

Among other honors, Constantinou received a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity in 2004. He holds masters and doctoral degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Reinhorn received his doctorate from the Israel Institute of Technology in 1978. He came to UB as a visiting professor in 1979, becoming a permanent faculty member in 1981.

He chaired the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering from 1996-99 and holds two patents: one for a press brake deflection compensation structure and the other for diagnostic techniques for momentarily operating machineries.

The New York State Professional Engineering Society named Reinhorn its Engineer of the Year in 2002.