ASCE has honored Xinzhong Chen, Ph.D., M.ASCE, with the 2017 Jack E. Cermak Medal for advancing the field of wind engineering through the development of advanced modeling and analysis approaches for wind load effects on structures such as high-rise buildings, long-span bridges, and wind turbines.
Winds in hurricanes, tornadoes, and downbursts are highly fluctuating. Chen’s research is an analytical statistical approach to obtain accurate results of the response of highly sensitive structures to wind.
In the field of bridge aerodynamics, Chen developed a new time-domain aerodynamic force model to better capture frequency-dependent unsteady characteristics of aerodynamic forces on long-span bridges, and extended this model to consider nonlinear aerodynamics and transient nonstationary winds. He derived a closed-form solution of coupled bridge flutter that captures the physical mechanism of flutter and leads to a formula for estimating critical flutter wind speed. He also established a new framework for assessing bridge response under transient nonstationary wind excitations, which helps to address new challenges on the design of structures to nonstationary thunderstorm, hurricane, and tornado wind effects, a new frontier in wind engineering.
In the field of wind-sensitive buildings, Chen developed a new framework based on a method of equivalent nonlinear equation for complete analytical solutions of crosswind response statistics, its extreme value distribution, and fatigue damage with consideration of nonlinear aerodynamic damping. His contributions also include development of an innovative controlled Monte Carlo Simulation technique for effectively generating probabilistic long-term extreme turbine responses through short-term simulations.
The Jack E. Cermak Medal was established by the Engineering Mechanics Division/Structural Engineering Institute to recognize Dr. Jack E. Cermak’s lifetime achievements in the field of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics.