ASCE has honored Andrew S. Whittaker, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE, with the 2017 Stephen D. Bechtel Jr. Energy Award for significant contributions to the energy sector through promoting the safe design and operation of nuclear power plants and Department of Energy facilities.
Whittaker’s work with the power plants and DOE is done in the context of both the research, evaluation, and retrofitting of our aging nuclear infrastructure, and the safe design of next-generation power plants.
Whittaker’s energy-related research is broad in scope and application, and includes seismic isolation, earthquake ground motion, nonlinear analysis, soil-structure-interaction analysis, seismic behavior of reinforced concrete and steel-plate concrete composite walls, seismic probabilistic risk assessment, missile impact on reinforced concrete walls and panels, and air blast and ground shock effects on structures such as nuclear containment vessels.
The benefits of his research to the energy industry are recognized through funding from a wide range of sources, among them the U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. When not teaching or doing research, Whittaker provides engineering consulting to federal agencies, regulators, consultancies, contractors, and utilities in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Central America, and Asia. He serves on DOE-funded review panels for the NuScale Small Modular Reactor and the TerraPower Traveling Wave Reactor, and chairs a Seismic Expert Panel for the National Nuclear Security Administration at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is a registered civil and structural engineer in the State of California.
The Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. Energy Award was established to recognize outstanding achievements in the energy field by a civil engineer.