Here is how we shape structural engineering

Andrew Whittaker is fifth UB structural engineer to receive Nathan M. Newmark Medal

Image with blue tint of Gang Wu standing in lab.

Andrew Whittaker, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, won the prestigious Nathan M. Newmark Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The award is presented annually to recognize a recipient for their outstanding contributions in structural engineering and mechanics. An internationally renowned scholar and engineer, Whittaker was honored for his fundamental contributions to earthquake, blast and impact engineering of buildings, bridges and nuclear structures.

Whittaker’s research and leadership has helped develop engineering standards for several national committees, including ASCE 4, ASCE 7, ASCE 43, ASCE 59 and ACI 349. He chairs the ASCE Nuclear Standards Committee, and his work has led to significant advancements in seismic isolation of nuclear reactors, power plants and facilities. He has also made significant contributions to the first generation of tools for performance-based earthquake engineering (FEMA 273/274, 1992-1997), and led the team that developed the second generation of these tools (FEMA P58, 2000-2013). 

A fellow of the ASCE and the society’s Structural Engineering Institute, Whittaker has served as vice-president and later president of the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering from 2003 to 2011, on the board of directors of both the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the World Seismic Safety Initiative from 2008 to 2010, and on the advisory committee for the Southern California Earthquake Center from 2010 to 2017.

He consults to federal agencies, regulators, consultancies, contractors and power utilities in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Australia. His contributions have also been recognized by ASCE with the Walter P. Moore Jr. Award and the Stephen D. Bechtel Jr. Energy Award.

Whittaker will accept the Nathan M. Newmark Medal in March 2024 during ASCE’s Structures Congress in San Antonio, Texas. He joined UB in 2001 and received his doctorate in structural engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

UB’s legacy of excellence in structural engineering

Whittaker is the fifth faculty member from UB’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering to receive the prestigious award since 2000.

He joins Michael Constantinou (2015), Andrei M. Reinhorn (2011), Tsu Teh Soong (2002) and George C. Lee (2000) as a recipient of the Newmark Medal. All are internationally recognized for their contributions to structural and earthquake engineering.

Portrait of Michael Constantinou.

Michael C. Constantinou is a SUNY Distinguished Professor and Samuel P. Capen Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. He is one of the world’s leading scholars in seismic protective systems and has made key contributions to the development of standards related to seismic protective systems.

Portrait of Andrei M. Reinhorn.

Andrei M. Reinhorn, Clifford C. Furnas Eminent Professor Emeritus, was among the UB faculty members who developed the university's seismic simulation facility, which helped bring the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER) to UB, which later became MCEER. He also led the $21 million expansion of the facility as part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) George E. Brown Jr. Network of Earthquake Engineering Simulation.

Portrait of Tsu Teh Soong.

Tsu Teh “Larry” Soong, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former Samuel P. Capen Professor, was co-principal investigator of the NSF grant that established UB’s NCEER in 1986. Soong is a co-developer of a smart bracing system to control vibrations in skyscrapers.

Portraits of George C. Lee. Photographer: Douglas Levere.

George C. Lee, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus, was instrumental in founding UB’s NCEER. He served as dean of UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for 17 years, and as chair of the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering for five years.

Portrait of Andrew Whittaker.
Award Recipient:

Andrew Whittaker, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences