BUFFALO, N.Y. — The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has chosen Andrei M. Reinhorn, Ph.D., Clifford C. Furnas Professor of Structural Engineering at the University at Buffalo (UB), to receive the 2011 Nathan M. Newmark Medal.
The national medal is given to an ASCE member who, through contributions in structural mechanics, has substantially strengthened the scientific base of structural engineering. The award winner is jointly selected by the members of the Board of Governors of the Engineering Mechanics Institute and by the retired chairs of the Structural Engineering Institute Executive Committee.
Reinhorn is the third faculty member, after George C. Lee and Tsu T. Soong, in the UB Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to receive the award in the last 11 years, a unique achievement among competing institutions during this period.
He is being recognized for his outstanding contributions to the development of experimental and analytical methods in structural dynamics and for his design of response-control systems for earthquake-resistant buildings, as well as contributions to quantify earthquake resilient communities.
His most notable contributions are in the development of new modeling techniques for nonlinear structural analysis, structural control of inelastic structures and quantification of disaster resilience of communities. Reinhorn, who also is an investigator with UB’s MCEER (formerly the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research), has developed new models and computational approaches for damaged and degrading structures near collapse, which have enabled engineers to design safer buildings. His widely used models offered new analytical concepts in states space and Lagrangian formulations. His computational platforms are widely used by academics and design professionals around the world.
Reinhorn also has developed modeling and solution techniques for structural control and base-isolated structures. He pioneered experimental structural control that brought experimentation from small-scale laboratory implementations to the full-scale, real-life realization of controlled structures using active tendon systems in Japan. He also has pioneered many new techniques in shake table testing and advanced experimental techniques.
Reinhorn developed the first digital controller for large structures and designed complex algorithms for control of multidirectional systems against wind and earthquakes. He also designed the retrofit of a U.S. Navy Building in San Diego, a project that received a General Services Administration Award for construction.
He was one of the pioneers in defining the disaster resilience of communities and developing ways to quantify it. Using basic principles of process control, he developed a strategy for community decisions corresponding to disasters, recovering from disasters, strengthening and toughening systems, preventing disasters, and preparing communities for decisions in future events.
A winner of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities in 2007, Reinhorn also is the recipient of the 2002 Engineer of the Year Award, the 1991 Educator of the Year Award from the New York State Society of Professional Engineering, Outstanding Achievement of the Year Award from the Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council, and American Society of Civil Engineers Award for Outstanding Service.
A UB faculty member since 1979, Reinhorn is one of the founders of UB’s Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL). He was instrumental in obtaining the funding for it and in directing and overseeing the $20 million-plus expansion between 2001 and 2007, which now allows faculty from UB, MCEER, and around the United States to conduct cutting-edge earthquake engineering research.
Reinhorn chaired the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering from 1996-99. He earned a doctorate in civil engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.