Paul Allen Seaburg, Ph.D., P.E, F.ASCE, distinguished educator, and founding member of the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI), passed away on December 29 at the age of 80. Prior to his death he served as adjunct professor of civil engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla and dean emeritus in the School of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Active within ASCE and AEI, he has served on the Executive Committee of the ASCE Structural Division and the first Executive Committee of the Architectural Engineering Division (AED), and was instrumental in establishing AEI. More recently, he served as chair of the AEI Standards Administrative Committee and on the ASCE Codes and Standards Committee.
Born June 6, 1934, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Seaburg was first employed as a structural steel detailer with the St. Paul Structural Steel Company, and later as a research assistant in mechanics and materials at the University of Minnesota. He obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota, and in 1969, his Ph.D. in civil engineering (with a focus on structures and mechanics) at the University of Wisconsin.
Commissioned as lieutenant on active military duty as an engineer with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seaburg would go on to serve with distinction with numerous institutions, including as department head and professor in the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State University, and as associate dean in the College of Engineering and Technology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Omaha campus.
Awarded 5 U.S. patents – for Concrete Forms, Poured Gypsum Roof Structure, Integrated Roof System, Alternating V-Truss Roof System and Method of Erection, and Clip Connector for Building Panels Having Interlocked Sections – Seaburg was a member of the Review Panel for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Mechanical and Structural Systems, and the Review Panel for NSF Small Business Innovation Research.
Throughout his distinguished career, Seaburg literally chaired or sat on over a dozen ASCE committees, including chair of the Architectural Engineering Institute’s Standards Oversight Committee, vice-chair of the Structural Standards Executive Committee, chair and later member of the Executive Committee of the Architectural Engineering Division, chair of the Committee on Cold-Formed Members, and member of the Committee on Metals and Committee on Composite Design.
Aside from ASCE, Seaburg served on several technical committees for the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), including the Consultative Council, the Planning Committee, and the National Institute of Science and Technology Research Agenda Review Committee. He also served on the American Iron and Steel Institute’s (AISI) Specification Committee for the Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Members, and as a member of Subcommittee 21–Strategic Planning and Research, a member of Subcommittee 24–Flexural Members, and chair of Subcommittee 26–Design Manual.
Editor of ASCE’s Journal of Architectural Engineering, Seaburg was also an active member of the American Society for Engineering Education, the National Institute of Building Sciences, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the Society of American Military Engineers.