I was in the Civil Engineering Institute in the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering at EPFL where I was involved in research, teaching, collaboration with industry, looking for funding, sitting on committees and running a lab. As an Emeritus Professor since December 2020, things are a lot less hectic.
I did my undergraduate work in Civil Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Canada in a four-month alternating study/industry cooperative program – finishing in 1978. This allowed me to work in structural design offices, a boundary-layer wind tunnel lab (University of Western Ontario) and for steel fabricators in Canada between 1974 and 1979. The British Government offered me a Commonwealth Scholarship in 1979 and I completed my PhD at the Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, UK in 1982. I was fortunate to be able to do this with two industrial partners (The Welding Institute and GKN).
Since then, I have been involved in research and teaching within three laboratories at EPFL. Up to 1991, I was in the Civil Engineering Department where I continued work on measurement systems, fatigue and fracture mechanics in collaboration with industry. After a long consulting job in the USA, I formed the Knowledge Systems Group there in 1988.
From 1991 to 1996, I was at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the Computer Science Department where I continued to focus on software applications for the construction industry. In 1996, I moved back to the Civil Engineering Department and was nominated “Extraordinary Professor” (!!) in 1999 and “Ordinary Professor” in 2005. I took over the direction of the Applied Computing and Mechanics Laboratory (IMAC) in November 2000. From 2001 to 2006, I was Chair of the Structural Engineering Institute within the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering.
I was elected to the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences in 2004 and received the Computing in Civil Engineering Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2005. In 2011, I was nominated an Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, USA and an Affiliate Professor for one year at George Mason University, USA. In 2010, I began residence (twelve months over five years) in Singapore as a Principal Investigator in the SEC Future Cities Laboratory. This collaboration continued in a second phase of research (2015-2020) in the area of sensed civil infrastructure. Activities and interests are summarised in the following links:
In March 2022, I became the Founding Director of the Georg Nemetschek Institute AI for the Built World at TU München, Germany. Also that year, I was elected to the National Academy of Construction (USA). In 2023, I won the EG-ICE Prize from the European Group for Intelligent Computing in Engineering.