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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 24, Number 1, Spring 2010

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Volume 24, Number 1, Spring 2010

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NCEER/MCEER Founder Honored at Retirement Dinner

Professor Tsu T. “Larry” Soong, one of the founders of NCEER/MCEER

Professor Tsu T. “Larry” Soong, one of the founders of NCEER/MCEER, retired after serving more than 40 years at UB.

Dr. Tsu T. “Larry” Soong, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Samuel P. Capen Professor of Engineering Science, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo, and one of the founders of MCEER (originally the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research - NCEER), was honored for over 40 years of academic service to the University at Buffalo on November 14, 2009. Held at the Ramada Hotel in Amherst, NY, over 50 of Dr. Soong's colleagues, family members and friends gathered together to celebrate his long and fruitful career.

The festivities began when two fellow faculty members, George Lee and Andrei Reinhorn, made presentations on the life and times of Larry Soong. Dr. Lee's talk focused on the many coincidences between his life and Dr. Soong's, beginning in their native homeland of China, continuing through their years in Taiwan, and their eventual meeting as colleagues at the University at Buffalo. Andrei Reinhorn discussed Dr. Soong's many academic achievements, in particular his development and implementation of structural control systems in China, Japan and the U.S.

Over his long and productive career, Dr. Soong has mentored over 45 Ph.D. and M.S. students, published 10 books, 134 journal publications, and 138 conference papers, and been the recipient of many prestigious awards, most notably the ASCE Norman Medal (1999) and the ASCE Nathan Newmark Medal (2002). He also led the field implementation of passive energy dissipation technology in a U.S. Naval supply facility in San Diego, California. The retrofit, completed in 1996, was the first seismic upgrade of a reinforced concrete structure using viscoelastic damper technology.

While retired, he is still actively involved in research and mentoring. He will be spending about four months this year and the next at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as Chair Professor of Engineering Science, primarily working with students on research projects related to the implementation of structural control devices and health monitoring of bridges and towers in Hong Kong and China.