Wu shares thoughts on bridge engineering with IABSE

Published April 16, 2019

Note: Teng Wu received the 2018 IABSE Prize, established to honor and encourage a member early in his or her career for an outstanding achieve­ment in structural engineering. The award is conferred on an individual member, forty years of age or younger. It includes CHF 2500 and regis­tration to the IABSE Conference where the award presentation is held.

Wu currently serves as the associate editor of ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering and Frontiers in Built Environment-Wind  Engineering and Science, and as an editorial board member for several international journals. He is a member of Super-Long-Span Bridge Aerodynamics Working Group of  IABSE. He has made significant contributions to the development of analytical and computational methods focusing on nonlinear and unsteady features of bridge aerodynamics.

Read more about him and watch his video on IABSE's website.

This interview first appeared in IABSE News, Nr. 1/2019 and is reprinted here with permission from IABSE and Taylor & Francis Group.

“As a structural engineer, my ultimate goal is to contribute to building a more resilient community for people to live.”
Teng Wu, assistant professor
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
Teng Wu.

Q1. Please tell us how you feel after winning this prestigious IABSE Award in 2018

I was attending the International Sym­posium on Computational Wind Engin­eering in Korea when I received this exciting news, and hence I was able to share this good news face to face with many of my colleagues and friends, especially with my Master advisor at Tongji University prof. Yaojun Ge and my PhD advisor at University of Notre Dame prof. Ahsan Kareem. They are all very happy for me!

I treat this prestigious IABSE  award  as a good recognition of my research work on bridge wind engineering in recent years, and I greatly appreciate the sup­port I got from my friends, colleagues, advisors and students. Without their support, I will definitely not be able to receive this achievement.

Q2. Please share your experience as a IABSE Member

(As a member of the Super-Long-Span Bridge Aerodynamics Task Group of IABSE, as a participant of the 2019 IABSE Congress New York City, as an author for the SEI Journal in this issue and others; do you feel IABSE is different from other worldside associations, if yes, how?)

I have been involving with IABSE com­munity since my PhD study. Actually, the Abstract of my PhD dissertation "Nonlinear Bluff-Body Aerodynamics" has been published on the IABSE Structural Engineering International. Later, I joined the Super-Long-Span Bridge Aerodynamics Task Group of IABSE led  by  Prof  Giorgio  Diana. We have been working on setting  up the numerical benchmark tests for super-long span bridge aerodynamics, and the preliminary results will be pre­sented during the 40th IABSE Sym­posium at Nantes, France.  And, coincidently, just a couple of hours ago I received a message that my manu­script "Changing Bridge Aerodynamics under Nonstationary Winds" has been accepted in its current form for publi­cation in Structural Engineering Inter­national. In addition, I'm a scientific committee member of the 2019 IABSE Congress at New York City, organized by the US Group of IABSE. We welcome the world's structural engineer­ing community to share their latest experiences with their colleagues and friends during this event.

IABSE is a vibrant and friendly com­munity, and I surely will continue to actively involve with IABSE as a struc­tural engineer for a more resilient built environment.

Q3. Please tell us about your work in the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, USA.

(Your research addresses the effects of service and extreme winds on the built environment, with an emphasis on bridges, please tell us about this field of research and its advancement worldwide).

I received my PhD degree from University of Notre Dame in 2013. Then I joined in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo (UB) as an Assistant Pro­fessor. My major research focuses are the development of analytical and computational methods focusing on nonlinear and transient structural aerodynamics, nonstationary extreme winds and hurricane wind and rain hazards. Basically, our previous con­siderations of wind effects on struc­tures/bridges assume that the wind velocity is a stationary and Gaussian process and the wind loading and structural response are linear. However,  the  real  situation is that the wind velocity is actually a non­ stationary and non-Gaussian process and the wind loading and structural response are nonlinear. These non­ stationary, non-Gaussian and non­ linear features in the wind effects on structures are very important, and I have been working on advancing our current  analysis  framework so that we are able to consider these salient features in a systematic way. My con­tributions to these topics have been recognized through the 2013 Ameri­ can  Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) O.H. Ammann Research Fel­lowship, 2014 American Association for Wind Engineering (AAWE) Best Paper Award, 2016 ASCE  Alfred Noble Prize, 2017 AAWE Robert Scanlan Award, 2017 International Association for Wind Engineering (IAWE) Junior Award, and now the 2018 International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) Prize.

Q4. As a young engineer, what were your aims, how would you like to advance in your career in the future and contribute to the society as a Structural Engineer?

As a structural engineer, my ultimate goal is to contribute to building a more resilient community for people to live. To achieve this goal, I will devote myself to advancing our under­ standing on the nature of winds and other extreme events and the associ­ated loading effects on structures, focusing on research, teaching and commitment to relevant organizations including IABSE.

Q5. Any words of advice to fresh graduates and those who are just starting their career as a structural engineer?

I believe the current model of IABSE to enhance the young engineers' invol­vements with world-wide experts and more experienced members is very successful. I myself have been benefit­ing significantly by active interactions with more senior friends and col­leagues. It's always a very effective way to advance our career by introdu­cing our researches to other people during conferences and other academic events.

I'm not sure whether IABSE have done this, but it may be a good way to attract more young engineers in school by establishing the Student Chapters of IABSE.

Q6. Anything else you would like to share with IABSE Members?

Enjoy your life by loving your work!

Read more about him and watch his video on IABSE's Website: https://www.iabse.org/IABSE/association/Award_files/IABSE_Awards_List_of_Awardees/TengWu.aspx

News update:Teng Wu was recently invited to join the Editorial Board of the Structural Engineering International (SEI Journal) and he joined the Board in November 2018. Welcome onboard!