Ahsan Kareem receives 2021 ASCE Newmark Medal for innovative contributions in structural engineering and engineering mechanics


Ahsan Kareem, Robert Moran Professor of Engineering and director of the NatHaz (Natural Hazards) Laboratory, has been named the recipient of the 2021 Nathan M. Newmark Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Kareem was cited for “his innovative contributions to advancements in a wide range of areas in structural engineering and engineering mechanics from theory and practice to leadership and education.”

His efforts have contributed to a more complete understanding of wind effects on structures such as tall buildings, long-span bridges, wind turbines, high-speed trains, and floating deepwater offshore platforms. He has spearheaded the re-development of building codes for wind-sensitive structures, led advancements in computational methods, and introduced web-enabled technologies for the analysis and design of structures. He directed full-scale monitoring efforts of iconic tall buildings around the world with advanced real-time monitoring and data management and analysis systems to improve design procedures.

Kareem’s work in sensing, computational intelligence, scientific machine learning, and control and actuation technologies has led to innovations that hold the promise of autonomously morphing structures, such as long-span bridge decks and tall buildings, under changing environmental loads to reduce the carbon footprint.

In addition to his research, Kareem has served his field in a variety of leadership capacities, including his current efforts as president of the International Association for Wind Engineering. He has long championed the next generation of leaders, and many of his former students and postdocs are making their marks in academic and industry positions around the world.

The award honors structural engineer and academic Nathan Newmark (1910-1981) for his outstanding contributions to the field. ASCE has presented it annually since 1975.

“As a student, I grew up admiring Newmark’s work as a leader in earthquake and blast engineering and was influenced by the Newmark-Beta method to evaluate a structure’s dynamic response,” said Kareem. “He and many of the past winners have left a remarkable legacy. It’s an honor to be included among them.”

— ND College of Engineering