El Damatty receives global engineering recognitions

Ashraf El Damatty

Western Engineering News | January 29, 2015

By Jason Teakle

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Chair Ashraf El Damatty has recently received national and international recognition by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) and the Wind & Structures: An International Journal.

The CSCE will present El Damatty with the E. Whitman Wright Award in May during its annual conference banquet in Regina. In addition to being selected for the CSCE award, El Damatty has been named co-editor-in-chief of Wind & Structures: An International Journal, for North and South America region.

The E. Whitman Wright Award is presented annually to an engineer who has made significant contributions to the advancement of information technology in civil engineering.

“It is a very nice feeling to receive recognition for the work I’ve been doing for close to 20 years in structural engineering,” said El Damatty. “My work has focused on the development of software which makes our lives better, in terms of adapting more efficiently to the impacts of natural disasters.

The E. Whitman Wright Award is one of the CSCE’s career awards, which are presented to those with much experience and expertise in their specialty of civil engineering.

Two of El Damatty’s major career accomplishments in software development have shed light on the performance of structures in severe windstorms and earthquakes.

“I led the development of software for the electricity utility industry for its structures to better resist tornadoes and downbursts,” he said. “This software is the first of its kind in the world and used to design high-voltage transmission systems.”

His research work has also protected precious water reservoirs from natural disasters across the world.

“The other software project that I have worked on can assess the performance of water reservoirs during earthquakes,” he explained. “This software has been used in various places, but most recently in Monterrey, Mexico, a city in a region of the country prone to earthquakes.”

El Damatty further explained that this software capability came from two decades of research along with the work of many graduate students.

“We can’t stop natural disasters, but we can adapt through the engineering performance of structures and the human response to these events,” he said.

El Damatty has also been named co-editor-in-chief of Wind & Structures: An International Journal.

“This is good for Western and it makes sense because we are the leader in wind engineering,” he explained. “This is a reflection of not only me, but all the ground breaking work in wind engineering at Western for the past five decades.”