Academic Engineer of the Year

Last Modified: February 10, 2020
by Dave

Current Recipient

  • Academic Engineer of the Year, 2020

    Professor Laura N. Lowes, Ph.D.

    University of Washington

    Professor Laura N. Lowes, Ph. D., University of Washington, has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Academic Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of her exceptional career as a structural engineering educator who integrated cutting edge research with engineering design and problem solving. Her teaching, student advising, publications, lectures, and participation in technical conferences have led to significant advances in the seismic design of structures. 

    She employs a unique knowledge base and skill set that includes expertise in development and application of numerical models.  Specifically, she uses laboratory testing and numerical simulation to develop recommendations for advancing design codes and standards. She is best known for her research addressing the behavior, simulation, design, and performance assessment of the slender reinforced concrete walls that are used commonly to resist lateral loads in mid- and high-rise buildings.  She and her collaborators developed a numerical modeling approach that enables simulation of loss of lateral load carrying capacity that could result in building collapse during a seismic event. 

    As a teacher, she provides students with the fundamental knowledge and technical skills needed to accomplish their research and enter professional practice upon graduation. Her classes include some traditional lectures as well as carefully crafted laboratory exercises and homework assignments that help students link fundamental theory to practice.  Her students are required to model a structure or a component of choice and demonstrate that their results are valid.  In addition to her traditional teaching activities, she has established multiple webinars to inform the natural hazard engineering community about the state of the art in earthquake engineering.

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Award Criteria

  • Has significantly advanced the state of the engineering art.
  • Has actively participated in interposing new technologies in society.
  • Has actively participated in improving the level and scope of engineering education.

Past Recipients

  • 2019 – Professor Jeffrey W. Berman, Ph. D., University of Washington
  • 2018 – Professor Marc O. Eberhard, , Ph.D., University of Washington
  • 2017 – Dr. H. David Stensel, P.E., University of Washington
  • 2016 – Dr. Elaine Scott, University of Washington Bothell
  • 2015 – Gregory Miller, Ph.D. – University of Washington
  • 2014 – Dorothy A. Reed, P.E., Ph.D. – University of Washington
  • 2013 – G. Scott Rutherford, Ph. D. – University of Washington
  • 2012 – Steven Kramer, Ph,D., P.E. – University of Washington
  • 2011 – Stephen Burges, P.E. – University of Washington
  • 2010 – Ronald E. Nece, ScD, P.E. – University of Washington
  • 2009 – Neil M. Hawkins, Ph.D., P.E. – University of Washington
  • 2008 – Robert D Holtz, Ph.D., P.E. – University of Washington
  • 2007 – Ann Mescher, Ph.D. – University of Washington
  • 2006 – Nirmala Ganapragasam, Ph.D, PE – Seattle University
  • 2005 – Amanie N. Abdelmessih, Ph.D – Saint Martin’s College
  • 2004 – Jean M. Jacoby, Ph.D – Seattle University
  • 2003 – Richard Storch, Ph.D, PE – University of Washington
  • 2002 – Charles W. Roeder, Ph.D, PE – University of Washington
  • 2001 – John E. Schaufelberger, Ph.D, PE – University of Washington
  • 2000 – Richard C. Collet, PE, Ph.D – University of Washington ret.
  • 1999 – R. T. Schwaegler, Ph.D – Seattle University
  • 1998 – D. Scott Eberhardt, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1997 – Juris Vagners, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1996 – Kelin J. Kuhn, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1995 – Barry I. Hyman, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1994 – Mamidala Ramulu, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1993 – Stephen B. Robel – Seattle University
  • 1992 – Jens E. Jorgenson, Ph.D – University of Washington
  • 1991 – Patricia Daniels, Ph.D – Seattle University
  • 1990 – Ashley F. Emery, Ph.D, PE – University of Washington
  • 1989 – Rolf Thorsten Skrinde, Ph.D, PE – Seattle University
  • 1988 – Ilhan A Aksay – University of Washington
  • 1987 – Fr. Francis P. Wood – Seattle University
  • 1986 – Piere Gehlen – Seattle University
  • 1985 – Harry Majors Jr. – Seattle University
  • 1982 – Creighton Depew, Ph.D, PE – University of Washington
  • 1981 – Edward Wenk, PE – University of Washington
  • 1980 – Albert Drui, PE – The Richardson Associates