Civil engineering professors earn top honors from state professional chapter
Two professors at West Virginia University claimed top honors at the state section meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Hota GangaRao, the Maurice and JoAnn Wadsworth Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, received the 2016 West Virginia ASCE Civil Engineer of the Year Award. The award is given to a distinguished civil engineer for sustained outstanding civil engineering performance.
GangaRao serves as the director for WVU’s Constructed Facilities Center and the Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure, a multi-university center with industry partners at national and international levels. He has been instrumental in implementing innovative composites technology to a large number of West Virginia highway and railway bridges, thus restoring them to full design capacity at a fraction of the replacement cost.
GangaRao was the first person to design and implement fiber-reinforced plastic decks, rebars and fabric wraps in several state bridges, including the East Lynn Lake Bridge in Huntington, which won the 2015 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Innovation of the Year Award. His work on composite wicket gates at the Peoria Lock & Dam on the Illinois River at Creve Coeur, Illinois, won the 2016 USACE Innovation of the Year Award. GangaRao has also been recognized at the national level for his contributions in evaluating fire damage at the historic Harpers Ferry district.
Udaya Halabe received the 2016 West Virginia ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineering Educator of the Year Award in recognition of excellence in teaching civil engineering and positive impact in the civil engineering profession.
During his academic career, Halabe has won numerous Departmental and College teaching awards, including being named Outstanding Advisor in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in 2016. On the national level, he was the recipient of 2012 James M. Robbins Excellence in Teaching Award, a national award given by Chi Epsilon, the Civil Engineering Honor Society.
In 2013, Halabe established the Structural Engineering Institute Graduate Student Chapter at WVU, and in February 2016, the Chapter received the 2016 SEI Graduate Student Chapter of the Year Award from ASCE-SEI.
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