Bruneau named SUNY Distinguished Professor

Published November 30, 2018

Michel Bruneau has been named a SUNY Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank in the SUNY system. He was among 14 SUNY faculty members appointed to the distinguished professor ranks by the SUNY Board of Trustees at its meeting on Nov. 15.

“We are fortunate to have Michel as a colleague, and I am pleased SUNY has chosen to honor him in this way. In addition to his many accomplishments, he was a co-author on the proposal that funded our Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory, which was a key part of a national infrastructure for earthquake engineering research and continues to provide unique capabilities for research and practice.”
Joseph Atkinson, professor and chair
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
Portrait photo of Michel Bruneau

Michel Bruneau

Michel Bruneau has been named a SUNY Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank in the SUNY system. He was among 14 SUNY faculty members appointed to the distinguished professor ranks by the SUNY Board of Trustees at its meeting on Nov. 15.

The rank of distinguished professor is an order above full professorship and has three co-equal designations: distinguished professor, distinguished service professor and distinguished teaching professor.

"This recognition also indirectly acknowledges the value of the outstanding research facilities, colleagues, and students at UB, which helps tremendously in achieving great research results and leveraging for broader impact," said Bruneau.

Bruneau was named a distinguished professor in recognition of his international prominence and distinguished reputation within the field of civil engineering. According to SUNY, “this distinction is attained through significant contributions to the research literature or through artistic performance or achievement in the case of the arts. The candidate’s work must be of such character that the individual’s presence will tend to elevate the standards of scholarship of colleagues both within and beyond these persons’ academic fields.”

A professor in UB’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Bruneau conducts research on the evaluation and retrofit of existing steel bridges and buildings subjected to large destructive forces up to collapse, as well as the development of new design concepts capable of providing satisfactory seismic resistance, blast resistance or both simultaneously as multi-hazard resistant concepts.

While his research on ductile steel plate shear walls over the past 15 years has generated new knowledge and multiple design recommendations similarly implemented in design specifications, Bruneau’s research also has more broadly encompassed contributions to the development and large-scale experimental validation of various other energy-dissipating design concepts to enhance the resilience of structures against extreme events, such as ductile bridge diaphragms, tubular eccentrically braced frames, structural fuses and controlled-rocking piers.

Some of his innovative design concepts have been implemented in structures worldwide, among them the $1 billion temporary supports of the new San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge East Span and a 56-story high rise being designed in Seattle.

Bruneau is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and a member of various American Institute of Steel Construction and Canadian Standards Association committees tasked with developing design specifications for bridges and buildings. He has conducted numerous reconnaissance visits to disaster stricken areas, as well as serving as director (2003-2008) and deputy director (1998-2003) of UB’s Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER).  

“We are fortunate to have Michel as a colleague, and I am pleased SUNY has chosen to honor him in this way. In addition to his many accomplishments, he was a co-author on the proposal that funded our Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory, which was a key part of a national infrastructure for earthquake engineering research and continues to provide unique capabilities for research and practice,” says Joseph Atkinson, professor and chair of the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering.

He has authored or co-authored more than 500 publications, including more than 140 referred journal papers, 230 papers in conference proceedings and three works of fiction. He is lead author of “Ductile Design of Steel Structures,” which is widely used by structural engineers worldwide and considered an important reference for the seismic design of steel structures. He has received several awards for his technical work, as well as for his novels.