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Hamid Ghasemi: Engineer of the Year

Tuesday, February 20, 2001
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Tel.: 202-366-0660

Dr. Hamid Ghasemi has been named the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Engineer of the Year for 2000 and has received the agency's Engineering Excellence Award.

"These awards recognize the tremendous contributions that Dr. Ghasemi has made, not only to advances in structural engineering but to the agency's work with its other partners and to the people of other nations," FHWA Deputy Executive Director Vince Schimmoller said. "He is an outstanding member of our FHWA family."

As the FHWA's engineer of the year, Dr. Ghasemi will be recognized by the National Society of Professional Engineers along with other distinguished engineers who work for the federal government. The Engineering Excellence award is an annual award that the FHWA gives to the winner of the agency's engineer-of-the-year competition.

Dr. Ghasemi, who joined the FHWA in 1992, is a research structural engineer in the agency's Office of Infrastructure Research and Development. He has worked on the seismic isolation of highway bridges, developing the test plan and became the driving force behind the testing of 11 seismic isolation devices. In addition, he wrote 12 of the project's 14 reports, which are used by bridge engineers internationally.

As a member of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures' Technical Committee T3, he assisted in the development of the new AASHTO Guide Specifications for Seismic Isolation of Bridges. He also is assisting in building the nation's largest seismic shake-table at the University of California at San Diego.

At the request of the Turkish government, Dr. Ghasemi was one of the U.S. seismic engineering experts who provided assistance during Turkey's recovery effort after two 1999 earthquakes there. His four reports of two reconnaissance trips to Turkey after the Duzce and Kocaeli earthquakes led to his role as an advisor to the Turkish Road Directorate on better seismic design of bridges. He also organized a five-day Turkish-American workshop on the subject in November 2000.

Dr. Ghasemi has lectured to state and private industry engineers on bridge dynamics and isolation. He conducted an analytical and experimental study on modal analysis of skewed bridges, and has written more than 15 technical publications.

Dr. Ghasemi received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville and earned a doctorate in structural engineering at the University of Kentucky. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Civil Engineering Research Foundation, and the Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center's seismic isolation evaluation panel.


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