Frangopol cited for global impact on engineering

Dan M. Frangopol, the Fazlur R. Khan Endowed Chair of Structural Engineering and Architecture, recently received honors from two top Chinese technical institutions.

Frangopol was named an honorary professor of Southeast University in Nanjing and Tianjin University in Tianjin. The distinction is considered by each institution to be its highest academic honor.

The two universities recognized Frangopol for the global impact of his contributions to the performance, maintenance, reliability and optimization of civil infrastructure systems. Frangopol also holds an honorary professorship from Tongji University in Shanghai.

Southeast University, one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in China, rarely confers the title of honorary professor. In fact, Frangopol is only the third recipient of the honor in the field of civil engineering.

At the SEU conferment ceremony on June 13 at the university’s Sipailou campus, Vice President Minqiang Hu presented Frangopol with the certification of appointment.

Later, Frangopol gave a lecture titled “Integrated Reliability-Based Life-Cycle Optimization Framework for Maintenance and Monitoring of Aging Structures: Applications to Bridges and Naval Ships.”
A first for a civil engineer

Tianjin, formerly Peiyang University, was the first four-year university in China. Now a world-class research institution, it has awarded only 54 honorary professorships in its 116-year history.

Frangopol became the first person to receive the honor in civil engineering at a ceremony on June 16. Tianjin President Li Jiajun conferred the award. After the ceremony, Frangopol gave an invited lecture at the school’s civil engineering department.

Frangopol, who joined the Lehigh faculty in 2006, is the first holder of the Fazlur R. Khan Endowed Chair of Structural Engineering and Architecture. His research interests include the application of probabilistic concepts and methods to civil and marine engineering including structural reliability, probability-based design and optimization of buildings, bridges and naval ships, structural health monitoring, life-cycle performance maintenance and management of structures and infrastructures under uncertainty, risk-based assessment and decision making, infrastructure resilience to disasters, and stochastic mechanics.

In 2010, Frangopol was selected as a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

He is an honorary member of the Romanian Academy of Technical Sciences, and has received two honorary doctorates and numerous awards, including the prestigious Nathan M. Newmark and T. Y. Lin medals, and some of the field’s highest honors from ASCE, IABSE and IASSAR, among others.

He is founding editor of Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, and founding president of the International Association for Bridge Maintenance and Safety (IABMAS) and the International Association for Life Cycle Civil Engineering (IALCCE). He has supervised 34 Ph.D. candidates and 50 M.S. students, and authored or coauthored approximately 300 books, book chapters, and refereed journal articles.