Kareem named distinguished member of ASCE

by Nina Welding

Ahsan Kareem

Ahsan Kareem, the Robert Moran Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) — the first Notre Dame faculty member so honored.

Each ASCE distinguished member is selected on the basis of his or her acknowledged eminence and worldwide reputation for outstanding leadership and research activities in a particular field. The selection of distinguished members is limited to eight to ten individuals per year with the additional caveat of one distinguished member per 7,500 ASCE members. This year’s honorees will be recognized during the ASCE annual convention in October.

Recognized as one of only a few researchers whose work has transformed his or her field through a series of innovations, Kareem was cited for his “acknowledged eminence in the field of wind engineering and engineering mechanics; for profound contributions to the ASCE Standard of Wind Loads; and for development of Web-based analysis and tools for design practice.”

Kareem, who serves as the director of Notre Dame’s NatHaz Modeling Laboratory, 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 mitigation strategies to enhance the performance and safety of structures.

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 coastal 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.

His work also has resulted in more than 165 journal publications and significant appointments such as editor-in-chief of the international journal of Wind and Structures, associate editor of the Journal of Structural Engineering and Journal of Engineering Mechanics, and Chair of the Engineering Mechanics Division of ASCE.

Among Kareem’s most recent honors are election as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a foreign fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, receipt of the ASCE’s State-of-the-Art award for scholarly contributions to full-scale monitoring of tall buildings, 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. His receipt of the Davenport, Scanlan and Cermak medals is an unmatched recognition in this field.
Kareem 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.