Academic Engineer of the Year, 2020

February 10, 2020

Professor Laura N. Lowes, Ph.D.

University of Washington

Professor Laura N. Lowes, Ph. D., University of Washington, has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Academic Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of her exceptional career as a structural engineering educator who integrated cutting edge research with engineering design and problem solving. Her teaching, student advising, publications, lectures, and participation in technical conferences have led to significant advances in the seismic design of structures. 

She employs a unique knowledge base and skill set that includes expertise in development and application of numerical models.  Specifically, she uses laboratory testing and numerical simulation to develop recommendations for advancing design codes and standards. She is best known for her research addressing the behavior, simulation, design, and performance assessment of the slender reinforced concrete walls that are used commonly to resist lateral loads in mid- and high-rise buildings.  She and her collaborators developed a numerical modeling approach that enables simulation of loss of lateral load carrying capacity that could result in building collapse during a seismic event. 

As a teacher, she provides students with the fundamental knowledge and technical skills needed to accomplish their research and enter professional practice upon graduation. Her classes include some traditional lectures as well as carefully crafted laboratory exercises and homework assignments that help students link fundamental theory to practice.  Her students are required to model a structure or a component of choice and demonstrate that their results are valid.  In addition to her traditional teaching activities, she has established multiple webinars to inform the natural hazard engineering community about the state of the art in earthquake engineering.

Academic Engineer of the Year, 2019

January 23, 2019

Professor Jeffrey W. Berman, Ph. D., University of Washington

2019 Award Recipient

Nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineers Association of Washington

Jeffrey W. Berman

Professor Jeffrey W. Berman, Ph. D.
University of Washington

Professor Jeffrey W. Berman, Ph. D., University of Washington, has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Academic Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his exceptional career as a structural engineering educator who integrated cutting edge research with engineering design and problem solving. His teaching, student advising, publications, lectures, and participation in technical conferences have led to significant advances in the state of earthquake engineering practice.

He serves as the Director of the Structural Research Laboratory and a structural engineering lead of the multi-year M9 Project, a large National Science Foundation-sponsored interdisciplinary research project investigating the impact of magnitude 9 Cascade Subduction Zone earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest.  His research has advanced the understanding of how ground motion duration and ground motion frequency content impact buildings.  This has resulted in recommended design guidelines to improve the seismic safety of local buildings.

He has conducted research on the development of post-tensioned rocking cross-laminated timber wall systems as a potential lateral force resisting system for timber buildings up to 15 stories.   His experimental and computational studies have shown the viability of rocking cross-laminated timber walls for resisting seismic loads and providing structural-damage free performance in large earthquakes.  He also conducted research on the evaluation and retrofit of steel concentrically- braced frames designed prior to 1988.  Such frames may have deficiencies that inhibit ductile system behavior.  Through large-scale experiments and computational simulation, he and his colleagues have developed recommendations for evaluation and retrofit of such frames that are being incorporated into the national standard for seismic evaluation and retrofit of buildings.

Academic Engineer of the Year, 2018

January 30, 2018

Professor Marc O. Eberhard, Ph.D., University of Washington

2018 Award Recipient

Nominated by the Structural Engineers Association of Washington

Marc Eberhard

Professor Marc O. Eberhard, Ph.D.
University of Washington

Professor Marc O. Eberhard, Ph.D., University of Washington, has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Academic Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his exceptional career as a structural engineering educator who integrated cutting edge research with engineering design and problem solving. His teaching, student advising, publications, lectures, and participation in technical conferences have led to significant advances in the state of earthquake engineering practice.

As the current leader of the structural engineering program, he is responsible for overseeing undergraduate and graduate educational programs.  He has collaboratively led the efforts to create new courses, to revise the content of existing ones, and to review graduation requirements to ensure that they meet the needs of students and professional practice.  He has been a great mentor to graduate students and has involved them in many of his research projects.  Many of these students are now working locally for public agencies and private engineering firms, and many of his Ph. D. students are now teaching at other universities.

As a researcher, he is most widely known for his work on the performance of reinforced concrete columns during earthquakes and for the development of new bridge bent systems that make it possible to construct bridges quickly in seismically active regions.  He developed a web-accessible database with the results of tests of more than 600 reinforced concrete columns.  Using this database, he and his students developed engineering tools to evaluate the deformation capacities of reinforced concrete columns at various levels of damage.  More recently, he has been working on the effects of tsunamis on bridges and on the effects of large-magnitude earthquakes and sedimentary basins on buildings and bridges in the Pacific Northwest.  He and another faculty member have developed a new seismic design methodology to account for both the spectral acceleration of expected ground motion and the duration.

Academic Engineer of the Year, 2017

January 18, 2017

Dr. H. David Stensel, P.E., University of Washington

Dr. H. David Stensel, P.E.
University of Washington

2017 Award Recipient

Nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers

Dr. H. David Stensel, P.E., University of Washington, has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Academic Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his exceptional career as an environmental engineering educator who integrated cutting edge research with engineering design and problem solving. An emeritus professor, he retired from the University of Washington in 2016 after teaching for 36 years at the University of Utah and University of Washington.

His work as an educator has been focused on encouraging his students to learn basic fundamentals and analytical methods and to connect that knowledge with design applications and problem solving.  A key component of his classes has been to address local real-world project needs with students sharing their evaluations and design developments with engineers in the utility or firm involved in the local problem.  He has been a great mentor to graduate students and has involved them in many of his research projects.

His research contributions have focused on microorganism selection and novel biological treatment processes.  He has been a leader in the application of novel full-scale treatment processes for biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal.  He was the technical leader for the for the first full-scale wastewater treatment facility in North America that removed phosphorus by biological means instead of chemical addition.  The biological option is not only less costly, but it enables phosphorus recovery and reuse.  He led the design of the first oxidation ditch systems for biological nitrogen removal that are now used at over 1,200 wastewater treatment plants in the United States.

Prior to joining the University of Washington, he taught environmental engineering at the University of Utah and served as Director of Environmental Engineering Technology for Envirotech Corporation in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

Academic Engineer of the Year, 2016

October 24, 2016

Dr. Elaine Scott, University of Washington Bothell

2016 Award Recipient

Nominated by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and
the American Society for Engineering Education

Dr. Elaine Scott

Dr. Elaine Scott

Dean Elaine P. Scott, PhD, University of Washington Bothell, has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 Academic Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of her exceptional career as an innovative leader in engineering education and a pioneer in interdisciplinary and collaborative STEM education. She currently serves as the Dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at the University of Washington Bothell.

She holds degrees in both agricultural and mechanical engineering. Her research focuses on the characterization of heat transfer in complex materials with an emphasis on biological materials, including food products and biomedical applications. She has significantly advanced the state of engineering through application of parameter estimation, inverse problem solving, and optimization in food engineering, biomedical engineering, aerospace engineering, and electrical engineering. Along with colleagues across the globe, she developed a noninvasive probe to measure blood perfusion.

An inspiring and tireless leader, she has a distinguished record of achievements in improving the quality of interdisciplinary engineering education. As the founding Dean of the University of Washington Bothell School of STEM, she oversaw the complex marriage and development of diverse STEM disciplines into one school, where students learn in a rich cross-disciplinary environment and participate in projects with faculty and industry partners with real-world impacts. Under her leadership, the school has grown from five degree programs to 15 degree programs during the past three years.

Prior to joining the University of Washington, she served as Director of Engineering Programs at Seattle Pacific University and as Director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Tech. Throughout her career, she has been a tireless advocate in fostering an inclusive culture in engineering. She is very active in numerous outreach programs to encourage more women and students from underserved communities to consider STEM careers.

 

2015 Academic Engineer of the Year

January 25, 2016

Dr. Gregory Miller, PhD, University of Washington

2015 Award Recipient

Nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers

Dr. Gregory R. Miller, PhD

Dr. Gregory R. Miller, PhD

Professor Gregory R. Miller, PhD, University of Washington has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Academic Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his exceptional career in education and research into structural fatigue and computational mechanics for modeling landslides and debris flows. He currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington.  His teaching and research efforts focus on making computational tools useful, emphasizing the importance of transparency and ease of use to ensure that engineers understand what their models are doing. This is to ensure that the human-computer interface illuminates important behavior and encourages in-depth analysis in ways that align with engineering needs.  His creative work resulted in the development of new courses and participation in numerous national workshops.

He joined the University of Washington faculty in 1983, and served in a number of important positions including Associate Dean of the College of Engineering. During his tenure at the university, he has helped to educate thousands of students (undergraduate and graduate) while contributing directly to the state of engineering through his research and scholarly publications.  He received a University of Washington Teaching Award in 1994 and continues to serve as a member of the University Teaching Academy.  In this role, he has participated in a number of initiatives aimed at developing instructional excellence across the university.

He has conducted numerous investigations of mobile platforms, image processing, and machine learning for infrastructure sensing and monitoring.  His published works have been broadly cited, and he has been involved in the development and dissemination of numerous software products for numerical analysis. Dr. Miller has been an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and serves as associate editor of the ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics.