CEE Alums Elected to NAE
Two CEE alumni were among 68 new members elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for 2011. They are William F. Baker Jr. (MS 80), structural and civil engineering partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Chicago, and Armen Der Kiureghian (PhD 76), Taisei Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley.
Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions for an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature," and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."
The 68 new members and nine foreign associates elected to the NAE in 2011 will bring the total U.S. membership to 2,290 and the number of foreign associates to 202.
William F. Baker Jr.
Baker was cited, “For leadership in the development of innovative structures for high-rise buildings worldwide.”
Throughout his career, Baker has dedicated himself to structural innovation, most notably in the design of tall buildings. His most recent contribution has been to develop the “buttressed core” structural system for the Burj Khalifa, a system which, in conjunction with sophisticated wind engineering, makes it possible to construct skyscrapers of extreme elevation. The Burj Khalifa is currently the world’s tallest manmade structure.
According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, three of the five tallest buildings to top out in 2009 are credited to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill where Baker led the structural engineering: Burj Khalifa (Dubai), Nanjing Greenland Financial Center (Nanjing), and Trump International Hotel & Tower (Chicago).
Last year, Baker was awarded the Gold Medal by The Institution of Structural Engineers, based in the United Kingdom. In 2009, Baker became the first American to receive the Fritz Leonhardt Prize, given by the German Baden-Wuerttemberg Chamber of Engineers and the Association of Consulting Engineers. In 2008, Baker received the Fazlur Rahman Khan Medal for lifetime achievement from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Baker was named a CEE at Illinois Distinguished Alumnus in 2009.
Armen Der Kiureghian
Der Kiureghian was cited, “For contributions to risk and reliability and earthquake engineering to advance the practice of civil and structural engineering.”
He has served on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, since 1978, serving as Vice Chair (1990-93) and Chair (1997- ) of the Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials Program, and Vice Chair for Instruction (2007-2009) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has an outstanding record of research publications in engineering mechanics, earthquake engineering, structural reliability, stochastic mechanics, and risk analysis.
After the devastating earthquake of 1988 in Armenia, Der Kiureghian was instrumental in establishing the American University of Armenia (AUA) in Yerevan as an affiliate of the University of California. From 1991 to 2007, he served as the Founding Dean of Engineering and from 1991 to 2004 as the Founding Director of the Engineering Research Center of AUA concurrently with his position at Berkeley. During this period, he led the development of three graduate programs in Earthquake Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Systems Management, and Computer and Information Science at AUA, all of which are now thriving and have produced more than 350 graduates.
He is an elected foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. His awards include the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize (1988), the CERRA Award from the Civil Engineering Risk and Reliability Association (1999), and the ASCE Alfred M. Freudenthal medal (2006). He has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by the Faculty of Engineering of Teheran University in 2004 and by CEE at Illinois in 2006. In recognition of his role in establishing the American University of Armenia, the Government of Armenia bestowed upon him the Movses Khorenatsi medal in 2001.