ASCE has honored John W. van de Lindt, Ph.D., F.ASCE, with the 2017 Ernest E. Howard Award for his influential work in advancing the understanding of the performance of wood buildings under extreme hazard loading.
Van de Lindt is an internationally recognized expert in wood engineering and his research work over the past decade has pushed the boundary of performance-based engineering for wood frame structures. The vast majority of our nation’s building stock is wood-based construction, which is vulnerable to extreme hazard events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Van de Lindt’s efforts over the past 15 years greatly advanced the engineering community’s understanding of wood-building system performance for extreme natural hazards. That work has also significantly enhanced the application of performance-based design to wood structures. Van de Lindt has been a tremendous advocate for resilience of wood buildings. Through over 130 peer-reviewed journal publications and numerous conference publications and presentations, he has played an influential role in shaping the landscape of wood engineering research and design in the U.S. Specifically, his major contributions to wood engineering are the following:
• Developed a performance-based seismic design philosophy to enable design and construction of midrise light-framed wood building in high seismic regions. The PBSD methodology developed by van de Lindt’s team was validated through full-scale testing of a six-story wood building at Japan’s E-Defense shake table. This structure remains the largest building tested at full scale on a shake table to date.
• Greatly advanced the engineering community’s understanding of the soft-story collapse phenomenon in light-framed wood buildings. Seismic retrofit measures developed by van de Lindt’s research team have been implemented in soft-story projects in the western United States.
• Played a leading role in multiple investigations into wood-building performance in extreme wind events, including the 2005 Hurricane Katrina and 2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado. Enhanced the concept of performance-based wind engineering for wood-frame buildings and developed a dual-objective design philosophy against tornado hazard. This philosophy is cited in the ASCE 7-16 commentary on tornadoes.
• Advanced seismic design of cross-laminated timber systems through his research work in CLT shear wall modeling and design, his contribution to the lateral load chapter of the CLT handbook, and his ongoing research project to determine the seismic design parameters for CLT wall systems following the FEMA P695 procedure. These seismic performance factors will be proposed for the next update of the ASCE 7 Standard.
• Currently leading the development of a resilience-based seismic design methodology for tall mass timber buildings in the height range of 8 to 20 stories, which will be validated through a full-scale 10-story wood-building test at the world’s largest outdoor shake table, at the University of California, San Diego.
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.