Ahsan Kareem, the Robert M. Moran Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been named the 2015 winner of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Theodore Von Karman Medal, the highest national medal awarded in the field of engineering mechanics.
Kareem, who serves as the director of the NatHaz Modeling Laboratory at the University, is globally recognized for his expertise in of structural engineering, including monitoring of hurricane winds and their load effects; development of innovative structural systems for tall buildings and analyses procedures for offshore drilling and production platforms; monitoring performance of coastal construction, deep-water offshore structures, tall buildings, bridges and industrial structures; risk modeling; and development of cyber-based collaborations for research and education in wind effects.
His most recent honors include his selection as a recipient of the Distinguished Research Award by the International Association for Structural Safety and Reliability and election as an inaugural fellow of the Engineering Mechanics Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. A longer look at his career, however, includes many more accolades. Kareem is a distinguished member of the ASCE, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a foreign fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. In 2012 he was inducted to the Offshore Technology Conference Hall of Fame for his papers, which were presented in early years of the OTC and offered innovation, direction and lasting impact on the design, construction or installation of offshore infrastructure.
He has also received the ASCE’s State-of-the-Art Award for scholarly contributions to full-scale monitoring of tall buildings, was selected the inaugural recipient of the Alan G. Davenport Medal, and was awarded the Robert H. Scanlan Medal for outstanding original contributions to the study of wind-load effects on structural design, as well as 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 unmatched in his field.
In addition to the many national honors he has garnered, Kareem has participated in numerous international collaborations and programs to promote innovation in science and technology, such as the 2014 Foreign Experts Symposium in Shanghai. Appointed by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China as a high-end consultant to Tongji University — the highest level of appointment given to a foreign expert in China — and designated as honorary professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, he holds honorary professorships at Southwest Jiao Tong University in Chengdu and Hong Kong Polytechnic University Kong Polytechnic University and frequently serves as a guest professor at other universities throughout China.
A Notre Dame faculty member since 1990, Kareem graduated from the West Pakistan University of Engineering and Technology with distinction 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.