Among the industry’s premiere honors, Engineering News-Record’s annual Top 25 Newsmakers list has included many ASCE members over the years. ENR’s list for 2015 includes four Society members whose work includes self-adapting asphalt compactors, building a vital new highway-tunnel, repairing a cathedral’s earthquake damage, and setting the foundation for one of the world’s tallest buildings. One of the 25 will receive ENR’s Award of Excellence at an April 7 event in New York. Meet the ASCE members:
Basar Arioglu, A.M.ASCE, construction board member, Yapi Merkezi, Istanbul, Turkey. A graduate of MIT with a B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering, Arioglu pulled a team together to build a $1.25 billion Istanbul Strait Road Tube Crossing in his native Turkey, a project that created thousands of jobs. The 14.6-kilometer road links Turkey’s Asian and European sides, including a tunnel that drops 106.4 meters below sea level.
Sesh Commuri, Ph.D, A.M.ASCE, Presidential Professor, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. A pioneer of “intelligent compaction” to extend the life of asphalt roads, Commuri has spent more than 13 years developing machine-control systems and artificial intelligence for the compaction process. The first commercially available intelligent compaction system features his technology. Commuri is continuing to develop embedded control systems as technical director at the Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Matthew C. Farmer, P.E., M.ASCE, Principal, Wiss, Janney Elstner Associates Inc., Fairfax, VA. Farmer designed an intricate yet cost-effective repair of the century-old National Cathedral in Washington, DC, after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in 2010 caused an estimated $34 million in damage. His plan addressed the structure’s high profile by minimizing the repair’s visibility. Farmer’s team also tracked damage to weak points using small scale analytical models and reinforced them against the possibility of future ground movement.
Alan R. Poeppel, P.E., M.ASCE, Senior Principal, Langan, New York. Poeppel set a new high mark for foundation engineering, designing one to hold a gravity load of 860,000 tons for Saudi Arabia’s over 1-kilometer Jeddah tower. The load is almost twice that of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Poeppel successfully overcame an additional challenge of basing the massive structure on bedrock 10 times softer than typically found in Manhattan.