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Northwestern Professor Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

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February 20, 2006 | by Megan Fellman

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Surendra P. Shah, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University, a noted expert in the science and engineering of concrete materials, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest honors accorded to an engineer.

Academy membership honors those who have made “outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature.” Membership also rewards accomplishment in “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

Shah was cited for his work on advanced cement-based materials and for promoting interdisciplinary research and education on concrete materials.

Since its inception in 1989, Shah has been director of the Center for Advanced Cement Based Materials, a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center based at Northwestern that conducts multidisciplinary research in conjunction with other institutions.

Shah has done pioneering research in fiber-reinforced concrete, high-performance concrete and fracture mechanics of quasi-brittle materials. His research involves connecting microscopic behavior to the structural response of concrete. Such bridging of scales is important in developing improved materials, which are tougher, greener and more durable. In addition, Shah has developed innovative nondestructive tools, such as Electronic Laser Speckle Interferometry and Digital Image Correlation, to detect fracture in concrete materials.

He is affiliated with the University’s Infrastructure Technology Institute (ITI) where his work has focused on nondestructive testing and evaluation of various properties of concrete, including ultrasonic testing of concrete strength.

Shah was a visiting professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Delft Technical University, University of Sydney and University of Singapore and is currently an Honorary Professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He received the Senior Visiting Scientist Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany and was a NATO Visiting Senior Scientist to France and Turkey.

Shah, who joined the Northwestern faculty in 1981, also has received prestigious awards from professional societies including the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society for Testing and Materials and RILEM (a world-wide network of technical experts advancing knowledge of building materials and structures). He has authored more than 400 publications and is co-author of three books and co-editor of 20 symposium volumes.

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