School of Civil Engineering

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

UQ engineer elected to elite European academy

European Academy of Sciences and Arts Festive Plenary Session reception in Salzburg earlier this year. Photo: EASA

UQ engineer elected to elite European academy

European Academy of Sciences and Arts Festive Plenary Session reception in Salzburg earlier this year. Photo: EASA

A University of Queensland civil engineering researcher has become only the fifth Australian elected to the elite European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA).

The prestigious academy embraces seven disciplines, ranging from humanities to world religion. 

Professor Sritawat Kitipornchai’s pioneering structural engineering research has drawn accolades worldwide.

The School of Civil Engineering academic – known on campus as Kit - said he was humbled to join EASA.

“To be elected to an academy which includes dozens of Nobel Prize winners and a Pope is a great honour,” Professor Kitipornchai said. 

“To be recognised for my life’s work and elected in the class of technical sciences is truly humbling.” 

Professor Kitipornchai has been invited to receive his honour at the Plenary Session of the EASA meeting in Salzburg, Austria, in March.

Professor Kitipornchai’s ground-breaking work gave engineers a comprehensive understanding of structural characteristics and led to new practices and procedures in building design.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and co-author of Design of Portal Frame Buildings, which is widely referenced in engineering internationally..

Professor Kitipornchai and UQ colleague Associate Professor Faris Albermani gained worldwide recognition for their work in establishing accurate modelling for predicting the behaviour of electricity transmission towers. This work earned them the coveted Munro Prize in 1992.

“It is very hard to calculate the failure load for these structures, and for decades engineers had resorted to full-scale testing,” Professor Kitipornchai said.

“At the time of this research, no numerical modelling existed to predict the full range of nonlinear load-carrying capacity for these structures.”

The model is now considered a standard by large utility companies in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Professor Kitipornchai is recognised for his work in advanced composites and nanomaterials, holds two patents, and has authored eight books, eight book chapters and 320 journal papers.

Media: Casey Fung, c.fung@uq.edu.au, +61 3365 8525.