Alessandro Palermo

Citation on the award of NZSEE Fellow, April 2021

Professor Alessandro Palermo is awarded a Fellowship of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.  His earthquake engineering research work is highly respected in a wide range of areas including bridge engineering, seismic resistant low-damage technologies, post-tensioned timber buildings, seismic interaction of non-structural components, seismic performance of precast concrete buildings and other concrete structures.

Alessandro’s special contribution to the Society includes:

  • co-authoring 14 Bulletin papers and more than 50 papers presented at the Society’s Annual Conferences, together with many of his students;
  • co-organizer and chairman for the Society’s 2020 bridge webinars;
  • one of the three guest editors of the 2017 Bulletin Special Issue on the Kaikoura Earthquake containing twenty-one journal papers;
  • invited speaker at the 2017 at the Society’s Annual Conference where he presented: An Overview of Accelerated Bridge Construction Technologies in Seismic Areas;
  • as a member of the Bulletin editorial board undertaking reviews in structural and bridge engineering;
  • organizing a pending special issue of the Bulletin on accelerated bridge construction.

Alessandro received the Otto Glogau Award jointly with others for the Special Issue on the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake; the Ivan Skinner Award in 2013 for recognition of his research on bridges damaged in the Canterbury Earthquakes; the best Research Paper Award and at the 2007 Conference.

In 2020 he received the prestigious Alfred Nobel prize awarded by the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) for the journal paper “Low-damage Design for Accelerated Bridge Construction”, (co-authored with a former PhD student).

Alessandro’s infectious enthusiasm, the quality of his teaching and his industry-aligned research has had a significant impact on bridge and earthquake engineering in New Zealand.  Over the more than 10 years he has been on the staff at the University of Canterbury his teaching skills and mentoring of many post-graduate students has had an incredibly positive influence and has been the direct benefit of the engineering industry in New Zealand.

For his contribution to the Society and the advancement of earthquake engineering knowledge and practice, Alessandro Palermo is awarded a Fellowship of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.