Kareem elected to National Academy of Engineering

by William G. Gilroy

Ahsan Kareem

Ahsan Kareem, Robert Moran Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Election to NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education, including significant contributions to engineering literature, the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing and implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.

Kareem, who also is director of Notre Dame’s NatHaz Modeling Laboratory, was cited for contributions to “analyses and designs to account for wind effects on tall buildings, long-span bridges, and other structures.”

Kareem specializes in probabilistic structural dynamics, fluid-structure interactions, structural safety, and the mitigation of natural hazards. To better understand and predict the impact of natural hazards on the constructed environment, he uses computer models and laboratory and full-scale experiments to study the dynamic effects of environmental loads under winds, waves and earthquakes on structures and to develop mitigative strategies to enhance the performance and safety of structures.

Kareem is the lead U.S. collaborator for a project titled “New Frontiers of Education and Research in Wind Engineering” at Tokyo Polytechnic University’s Global Center for Excellence. The center, founded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, was established to build a sustainable urban environment that is resilient to extreme wind events and is in harmony with regional and local environments.

A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1990, Kareem has served in the administration, management and organization of numerous professional societies including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), as well as committees of the National Research Council, NAE and the American Association for Wind Engineering. He also has served as a senior consultant to several major oil, insurance and consulting engineering companies and the United Nations.

The research findings of Kareem and his students and postdoctoral fellows are having a major influence in the area of structural engineering, including monitoring of hurricane winds and their load effects; development of innovative structural systems for offshore drilling and production; monitoring dynamics of costal construction, deepwater offshore structures, tall buildings, bridges and industrial structures; risk modeling; and development of cyber-based collaborations for research and education in wind effects.

Among his recent honors are ASCE’s State-of-the-Art award for scholarly contributions to full-scale monitoring of tall buildings, an appointment as an advisory professor at Tongji University in Shanghai and selection as the inaugural recipient of the Alan G. Davenport Medal, presented by the International Association for Wind Engineering in recognition of his distinguished achievement in the dynamic wind effects on structures. He also received the Robert H. Scanlan Medal for outstanding original contributions to the study of wind-load effects on structural design and the Jack E. Cermak Medal in recognition of his contributions to the study of wind effects on structures. Both the Scanlan and Cermak medals are sponsored by ASCE.

Kareem’s receipt of the Davenport, Scanlan and Cermak medals is an unmatched recognition in this field.

He was graduated from the West Pakistan University of Engineering and Technology with distinction in 1968 and, through a joint program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he earned his master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Hawaii. He earned his doctorate in civil engineering, with a focus on structural and fluid dynamics, from Colorado State University.