Charles R. Farrar, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, the leader of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Engineering Institute, a research and education collaboration with the University of California, San Diego, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Farrar has worked at LANL since 1983, and is also a current adjunct faculty member in UCSD’s Structural Engineering Department. The first 10 years of his LANL career focused on performing experimental and analytical structural dynamics studies for a wide variety of systems, including nuclear power plant structures subjected to seismic loading and weapons components subjected to various portions of their stockpile-to-target loading environments. Since 1992 his research interests have focused on developing integrated hardware and software solutions to structural health monitoring problems and the development of damage prognosis technology. The results of this research have been documented in more than 400 coauthored publications as well as through numerous keynote lectures at international conferences and invited lectures at domestic and foreign universities.
His professional activities have included participation on ASCE’s Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering and ASCE’s Task Committee on Dynamics of Nuclear Structures; appointments to associate editor positions for the International Journal of Structural Health Monitoring and Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics; congressional testimony related to the I-35 Bridge collapse; two National Academy of Engineering panels; coauthoring a book, Structural Health Monitoring: A Machine Learning Perspective; and the development of a short course, Structural Health Monitoring Using Statistical Pattern Recognition, which has been offered 36 times to industry and government agencies in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, and the United States.
Farrar’s work has been recognized at LANL through the presentation of the inaugural Los Alamos Fellows Prize for Technical Leadership. Other recognition by his peers includes the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in Structural Health Monitoring, the Engineers Australia Eminent Lecture Tour, and a U.K. Royal Academy of Engineers Distinguished Visitor Fellowship. He is also a Fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a Fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
In 2000 he founded the Los Alamos Dynamics Summer School (LADSS), an undergraduate research and education program designed to motivate top engineering students to attend graduate school. Beginning in 2002, he expanded the LADSS concept into the LANL/UCSD Engineering Institute with a research focus on integrating advanced predictive modeling capabilities with novel sensing systems and information technology. This collaboration has also produced a formal, multidisciplinary graduate degree program in structural health monitoring. He is one of the cofounders of the Los Alamos Judicial Science School, which is one-week training program to help judges (district, appellate, and state supreme court) assess the quality of the science, engineering, and technology being presented in their courts.
Farrar earned his BSCE from Michigan Technological University in 1979, and his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of New Mexico in 1988.