Atorod Azizinamini, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University’s College of Engineering and Computing, is known worldwide as a leading visionary bridge engineer.
Azizinamini is director of FIU’s Accelerated Bridge Construction Center, established in 2011, as well as the Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC) at FIU, the first federally-funded entity focused on developing technology and methods to improve bridge building.
Azizinamini came to FIU in 2011 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was a Distinguished College of Engineering Professor and the Director of National Bridge Research Organization. He has been instrumental in facilitating the use of advanced materials and technologies in bridges by educating professional engineers and conducting major research studies. He has also been an entrepreneur and a leader in developing innovative bridge systems and implementing novel concepts in practice. His patented “Folded Plate Girder” system provides a cost-effective solution for replacing deficient short span bridges, which account for the majority of the 600,000 bridges in the U.S.
When the Congress established the second strategic highway research program (SHRP 2) in 2006 with $232M funding to advance the nation’s transportation infrastructure, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences identified three topics in the bridge engineering area. Azizinamini was the principal investigator leading one of the three initiatives (SHRP2 R19A), with an objective of developing technologies for bridges with 100+ years of service life. As part of this multi-million dollar project, Azizinamini developed the most comprehensive guide worldwide entitled, “Design Guide for Bridges for Service Life,” for enhancing the service life of bridges. This guide, published in 2013, is expected to have long-lasting effect on how bridges are designed, constructed and maintained.
He has received a number of awards, including the Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF) Charles Pankow Award for his innovative bridge system, the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Special Achievement Award for his significant contributions to steel bridge engineering and its impact on the steel industry, the AISC’s 2005 Prize Bridge Competition Merit Award for his outstanding design in structural steel-Medium Span Bridge Category, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Innovation in Steel Bridge Award for his valuable contributions to High Performance Steel, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) “Partnership in Excellence Award” for his contributions to the Accelerated Bridge Construction, and the FHWA’s “Major Achievement Award” for promoting the use of High Performance Steel in the U.S.