Dan Frangopol elected to the Romanian Academy

Dan M. Frangopol, the Fazlur R. Khan Endowed Chair of Structural Engineering and Architecture in the department of civil and environmental engineering, has been elected an Honorary Member of the Romanian Academy.

Founded in Bucharest in 1866, the Romanian Academy promotes the study of Romania’s literature and history and the Romanian language, as well as scientific research. The academy has 181 acting members who are elected for life.

Frangopol, a native of Romania, was elected to the academy on June 30 with 15 other members, including six honorary members. He was the only new member elected to the academy’s Engineering Section, which has 17 members.

The honor is the third academic accolade of its kind that Frangopol has received in the past two years. In 2015, he was inducted into the Academy of Europe (Academia Europaea), and in 2016, he was inducted into the Royal Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.

Frangopol has earned international renown as a pioneer of life-cycle engineering, which seeks to improve the lifetime performance of infrastructure, and to minimize its lifetime costs, by accounting for the effects of time when designing and building new structures and when maintaining and managing decaying infrastructure.

“The problem of maintenance has become a major area of interest for civil engineers in the United States,” Frangopol said last year in an interview with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

“We invest more in maintenance and repairs of existing structures than in new structures. The goal should be to minimize the price and maximize the performance over the entire life of structures and infrastructure.”

Last year, Frangopol received ASCE’s OPAL Award (Outstanding Projects and Leaders) for Lifetime Achievement in civil engineering education. ASCE asked Frangopol to help lead its “Grand Challenge” of reducing the life-cycle cost of infrastructure by 50 percent by 2025.

ASCE said Frangopol’s contributions to life-cycle engineering had “defined much of the practice around design specifications, management methods and optimization approaches,” and added that his research had “not only saved time and money, but very likely also saved lives.”

Frangopol earned his Ph.D. in 1976 from the University of Liège in Belgium, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2008.

His numerous other honors include the inaugural Alfredo Ang Award for Risk Analysis and Management of Civil Infrastructure from ASCE, which lauded his “exceptional efforts in advancing, advocating and persistently promoting the life-cycle cost analysis of structures and structural systems, and their integration into reliability-based structural analysis and design.”

Story by Kurt Pfitzer

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