Dr Jurgen Becque won the ASCE Moisseiff Award for providing accurate solutions to a century-unresolved set of equations.
I am honoured to be recognised by the ASCE for my work. I believe these new insights in structural mechanics will pave the way for practical design methodologies for plated structures which are based on rational analysis, rather than the empirical equations we have been using so far.Dr Jurgen Becque
The Moisseiff Award by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recognises substantial advances in the field of structural mechanics and design. Lucy Cavendish College’s Director of Studies in Engineering and Fellow, Dr Jurgen Becque, received the award for providing approximate yet highly accurate solutions to the Föppl-von Karman equations. These equations describe the stability of compressed plates and have many practical applications, but have been unresolved for more than a century.
Jurgen says, “I am honoured to be recognised by the ASCE for my work. I believe these new insights in structural mechanics will pave the way for practical design methodologies for plated structures which are based on rational analysis, rather than the empirical equations we have been using so far.”
Jurgen practiced as a design engineer for AECOM, specialising in the design of low-rise steel frame buildings, steel plate girder bridges, concrete tanks, and water treatment facilities. He completed his PhD in 2008 at the University of Sydney and then lectured there for three years. He joined the University of Sheffield in 2011 and is now at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge as Lecturer in Structural Engineering .
His key research interests include the stability of cold-formed steel and stainless steel structural elements, tri-axial concrete behaviour, connections in structural hollow sections and the application of FRP to strengthen concrete structures. He uses analytical methods and software to improve the understanding of how much load structural elements can withstand before they fail and cause structural instability. By concentrating on cold-formed steel, Jurgen’s work contributes to optimisation and sustainability in construction practices.
This prize, established by ASCE in April 1947, is a memorial in recognition of the accomplishments of Leon S. Moisseiff, M.ASCE, a notable contributor to the science and art of structural design. Funds were provided by Moisseiff's friends to set up the medal and to establish a trust fund to support the yearly awards.
Leon Moisseiff might be known to some as the engineer responsible for one of the most spectacular structural collapses in history: that of the Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge in 1940. Nevertheless, the award recognizes the fact that Moisseiff’s novel insight into the mechanics of suspension bridges has allowed us to build them with a lot less material, paving the way for the slender bridges with super-long spans we know today. Because of their increased slenderness, however, these bridges become susceptible to dynamic instability under wind loading, an unknown phenomenon at the time of Moisseiff’s design.
Dr Jurgen Becque pictured below.