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Professor Steve Kramer Receives International 2016 Nigel Priestley Prize

June 1, 2016

A Picture of Steve Kramer accepts his prize from Canadian artist Louise Daoust
Steve Kramer accepts his prize from Canadian artist Louise Daoust.Every year a new artist is commissioned to create a painting for the awardee.

UW CEE Professor Steve Kramer has been honored with the 2016 Nigel Priestley Prize and is the first geotechnical engineer to receive the award.

Bestowed by the European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering (EUCENTRE), the award honors individuals who have demonstrated excellence in innovation, creativity, research and education in the area of earthquake engineering and engineering seismology.

Kramer received the honor in May 2016 at the culmination of the two-day Nigel Priestley Seminar, held at the CAR College of Pavia, Italy. The prize was a painting by Canadian artist Louise Daoust. Each year, a new artist is commissioned to create a painting of their interpretation of earthquake engineering, which is presented to the awardee.

An expert in performance-based earthquake engineering, which aims to develop technologies that reduce the hazards of earthquakes, Kramer has been associated with the EUCENTRE since 2007, when he was first invited to teach a class at the European School for Advanced Studies in the Reduction of Seismic Risk (the ROSE School), one of the EUCENTRE’s organizations. Offering master’s and Ph.D. degrees in earthquake engineering, the ROSE School invites well-known faculty from around the world to spend a month teaching an intensive course. Kramer returned again in 2010 to teach.

The EUCENTRE’s research focus is primarily on performance-based earthquake engineering. Through Kramer’s work with the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, he has become an expert in this developing area, particularly in the U.S.

“I think my selection was due to the EUCENTRE’s appreciation of the relationship between my research and theirs, and their desire to recognize the importance of geotechnical aspects of earthquake risk,” Kramer said.

A few highlights from the award selection committee are below:

“The impact of his book Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, published in 1996, cannot be overstated; it revolutionized how geotechnical earthquake engineering was taught and still 20 years later there is no other book that can compare.”

“He has shown uncommon skills in presenting his work and the state of art of geotechnical earthquake engineering; in particular, his invited presentations at conferences and his seminars have always been stimulating and exceptionally well prepared.”

“His strong influence on a generation of students, researchers and professionals is fully recognized, while his potential for future important achievements is a well-founded hope.”

Congratulations, Steve!