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Rensselaer Professor Tarek Abdoun Wins ASCE Huber Award

April 13, 2009

Rensselaer Professor Tarek Abdoun Wins ASCE Huber Award

Tarek Abdoun

Tarek Abdoun, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and associate director of Rensselaer’s Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (CEES).

Rensselaer Associate Professor Tarek Abdoun has received the 2009 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The prestigious award cites Abdoun’s “significant contributions to the study of soil and soil-structure systems subjected to extreme events using centrifuge modeling and advanced instrumentation,” and commends his “innovative and highly creative” research.

“Professor Abdoun’s accomplishments, and the respect he’s earned from his peers around the world, speak for themselves,” said Ricardo Dobry, director of Rensselaer’s Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (CEES). “We applaud Tarek’s accomplishments, and we congratulate him for winning the ASCE Huber Award.”

Abdoun, an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and associate director of CEES, received the award last month at the International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo ’09 in Orlando, Fla.

“Tarek’s achievements make all of us proud in different ways,” said Jose Holguin-Veras, professor and acting head of Rensselaer’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “As both a Rensselaer alumnus and a faculty member, his achievements raise the stature of our department as an educational and a research institution.”

His primary research interests include centrifuge modeling, soil-structure interaction, soil remediation, field advanced sensing, and data visualization. Abdoun led Rensselaer’s physical modeling research team that clarified the failure mechanisms of some of the New Orleans levees during Hurricane Katrina, providing critical feedback to the corresponding numerical analyses. He has performed hundreds of modeling tests using Rensselaer’s 150 g-ton geotechnical centrifuge to study the resilience and sustainability of national infrastructure.

In 2007, Abdoun received the Shamsher Prakash Research Award for Excellence in the Practice of Geotechnical Engineering from the Shamsher Prakash Foundation. That year he also received the Commander’s Award for Public Service with accompanying medal from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This medal, one of the highest awards given to civilians by the Army, was for his outstanding contributions to the rebuilding of the New Orleans levees ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Abdoun received Rensselaer’s 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008 School of Engineering Excellence in Research & Teaching Award, as well as a Rensselaer Early Career Award in May 2007. He also received the 2004 Casimir Gzowski Medal from the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering.

Abdoun received his master’s and doctoral degrees in geotechnical engineering from Rensselaer.

Contact: Michael Mullaney
Phone: (518) 276-6161


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