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ASCE honors Michel Bruneau as a distinguished member

Michel Bruneau standing between two shelves full of books.

Michel Bruneau, SUNY Distinguished Professor and internationally known leader in civil engineering, is one of 10 experts who were honored as  distinguished members by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 2022. 

This status is reserved for the most eminent civil engineers.

Bruneau was recognized for his contributions to advance state-of-the-art in structural engineering, ductile design of steel structures, multihazard engineering and seismic resilience through innovative research that has helped shape design codes and standards.

According to ASCE, “a Distinguished Member is a person who has attained eminence in some branch of engineering or in the arts and sciences related thereto, including the fields of engineering education and construction.”

“Michel is one of the most influential structural engineers of the last three decades,” says Joseph Atkinson, professor and chair of the University at Buffalo's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. “This recognition is well-deserved, and we’re proud to have someone whose career has been so critical to the safety of communities in our department.”

Bruneau’s work enhances the resilience of structures against extreme events. His work spans across multiple concentrations and decades, and his research on steel plate shear walls, ductile bridge diaphragms, tubular eccentrically braced frames, structural fuses and controlled-rocking piers have made major impacts on the resilience of structures. 

Some of Bruneau’s most recent research focused on SpeedCore, a new structural system consisting of concrete-filled composite steel plate shear walls. SpeedCore almost cuts the structure construction time for high-rises with core walls in half, as demonstrated with Seattle’s second-tallest building, Rainier Square, completed in 2021.

Achievements and recognitions

Over the course of his career, Bruneau has contributed to the development of codes and standards, bridge engineering and structural and earthquake engineering. He is an author or co-author on over 550 technical publications and is one of the most cited researchers in fields of structural engineering and earthquake engineering.

He has conducted numerous reconnaissance visits to numerous disaster-stricken areas to conduct on-site observations and studies of structural damage. He has also participated in various expert peer review panels, project advisory committees, and special project design teams.

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) honored Bruneau with its Lifetime Achievement Award for his major contributions advancing the seismic design of steel structures for over 30 years. Bruneau also received the AISC Special Achievement Award for his work on SpeedCore in 2020.

He was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2017 and as a Fellow of ASCE’s Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) in 2019. Each organization has its own criteria for fellowship, but both recognize the accomplishments Bruneau has made during his career. The SEI Fellowship distinguishes Bruneau as a leader and mentor in the profession, and according to his CAE Fellow induction notice, “his work has defined disaster resilience in a manner that has since driven research in this field.”

He was named a SUNY Distinguished Professor in 2018, the highest faculty rank in the State University of New York system, and was the recipient of the J. James Croes Medal, George Winter Award, Raymond C. Reese Award, and Moisseff Award, all from ASCE.

Bruneau joined the University at Buffalo in 1998 and served as deputy director (1998-2003) and then director (2003-2008) of UB’s Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, now known as MCEER.

He received his PhD in structural engineering with a specialization in earthquake resistant design from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1987.

Honoring the ASCE Class of 2022 Distinguished Members

The 2022 class of distinguished members were honored during the ASCE 2022 Convention on October 24, 2022, in Anaheim, California.

Michel Bruneau, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences