Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- January 22, 2001

Cal Poly Engineering Professor Receives Research Prize

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently awarded its prestigious Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize to Cal Poly's Rakesh Goel, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.

The award, which carries a cash prize and a certificate, was for "advancing the current understanding of the earthquake response of asymmetric-plan buildings and for improving procedures for the seismic design of buildings and other structures."

The award is presented to individuals whose early accomplishments promise fruitful research careers and continued contributions to the foundational science of the discipline. Goel is the first faculty member at Cal Poly to receive the honor.

Goel's award recognizes, in part, the work he has done with a $122,000 National Science Foundation grant awarded in 1999.

"Buildings that are asymmetrical are likely to twist and contort because of uneven weight, thereby causing greater damage," Goel said. "Our main goal is to develop seismic protection for these vulnerable structures.

"The devastating earthquake that struck El Salvador and Guatemala just this Saturday is a harsh reminder of the research that is vitally needed in the field," he said.

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