FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
at (716) 645-5151
NATIONAL CIVIL ENGINEERING GROUP HONORS MCEERS LEE
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
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,
- including stability and design of thin-wall structural members;
- inelastic behavior of structural steel under cyclic and nonproportional dynamic loading;
- a two-surface plasticity model;
- post-buckling strength;
- low cycle fatigue and damage accumulation of thin-walled steel structural members;
- formulation of principles and guidelines for the seismic retrofit of steel buildings
with added passive and semi-active vibration-reduction technologies.
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
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 UBs 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
Lee is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and has held numerous
volunteer positions with ASCEs Engineering Mechanics Division, including chair of
its executive committee from 1989-1990. He is also a member of
- Chi Epsilon,
- Tau Beta Pi
- the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
- Structural Stability Research Council
- American Society of Engineering Education
- the U.S. National Committee on Biomechanics.
He is a former member of the National Research Councils Committee on Earthquake
Engineering, and Committee on Hazard Mitigation.