Performance-Based Seismic Design Expert Earns Ernest E. Howard Award

July 1, 2016


ASCE honored Ron Klemencic, P.E., S.E., M.ASCE, with the 2016 Ernest E. Howard Award for leadership in the application of performance-based seismic design methods for tall building structures and communicating this approach throughout the structural engineering profession.

Performance-based seismic design has changed the way all high-rise buildings of the future will be engineered for construction in earthquake zones. Over the past 19 years, Klemencic has been responsible for the engineering of 67 PBSD structures and participated in the peer review of five PBSD structures done by other firms.

An active PBSD advocate, Klemencic has met with building department officials in a number of cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, to educate and advance adoption, participated in committee development of industry guidelines on PBSD, and served as peer reviewer to guide and inform implementations by other engineers.

In addition to these analytic and code advancements, he has led the development of improved construction details through laboratory testing of subassemblies of buildings. Specifically, research programs at the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Los Angeles have resulted in improved connection details for floor slabs and more constructible reinforcing details for concrete and steel coupling beams.

These projects and other ongoing research have enhanced the engineering community’s understanding of the response of critical building elements when subjected to varying levels of earthquake demands.

The Ernest E. Howard Award is given to a member of the Society who has made a definite contribution to the advancement of structural engineering through research, planning, design, or construction.

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