skip navigation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE contact at (716) 645-5151


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has chosen George C. Lee, Ph.D., director of the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) and Samuel P. Capen Professor of Engineering at the University at Buffalo (UB), to receive the prestigious Nathan M. Newmark Medal for 2000.

Lee will receive the award later this month at the 14th Engineering Mechanics Conference being held in Austin, Texas. The national medal, sponsored by the ASCE's Engineering Mechanics Division and its Structural Engineering Institute, is given to an ASCE member who, through contributions in structural mechanics, has helped substantially to strengthen the scientific base of structural engineering.

Lee is cited for his achievements in both research, where he has made major contributions to the study and practice of making steel buildings safer during earthquakes, and education, where he was an early player in the move to build a program in earthquake engineering at UB, now one of the nation's most acclaimed, and home to MCEER.

Lee is being honored specifically for his work on plastic analysis of structures and his research and leadership in aseismic design of structural and mechanical systems.

Among the original contributions ASCE cites are those to the field of steel structures,

Lee also is recognized for the development of a state-of-the-art, semi-active, vibration-reduction system -- conceived from human body-motion control behavior – resulting in an invention developed with colleagues Z. Liang and M. Tong, that was licensed by Enidine, Inc.

The citation credits Lee with being a prime mover in the drive to establish earthquake-engineering education and research programs at UB, beginning in the 1970s.

"Convinced of the need of civil engineers in the eastern U.S. to be knowledgeable in earthquake engineering, he overcame many objections to pursue this development as department chair and, subsequently, as dean of engineering, until the earthquake-engineering research laboratory with an earthquake ground-motion simulator was completed in 1981 by the State of New York," the citation states.

As a result, the programs that were developed at UB in earthquake engineering "enabled UB to become the first NSF-sponsored national center of earthquake engineering research, which (Lee) presently serves as the center director (since 1992)."

A member of the UB faculty since 1961, Lee served as dean of the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences from 1977-95, and as Senior University Advisor for Technology since 1995.

In addition to fostering research and educational advancements in engineering, Lee has been active in conducting outreach programs for students and the business community. He directed UB’s Greater Regional Industrial Technology program, designed to help area businesses develop new products. He also founded the Engineering Career Institute, a summer program designed to supplement the technical education of UB engineering students.

He also launched the Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities, a major effort to encourage minority students to pursue careers in engineering.

Lee has published over 150 papers in structural engineering, mechanics and earthquake engineering, and has co-authored four books including one on cold regions engineering. He is also a frequent contributor to the literature concerning biomechanics of living systems.

Lee is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and has held numerous volunteer positions with ASCE’s Engineering Mechanics Division, including chair of its executive committee from 1989-1990. He is also a member of

He is a former member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Earthquake Engineering, and Committee on Hazard Mitigation.

  Contact Us  |  Acknowledgements   |  Disclaimer  |  Copyright© 2007 by the Research Foundation of the State of New York. All rights reserved.