Meet the 2011 Recipients Dr. Jan-Ming Ko and Dr. Urs Meier

Like Aftab Mufti, the first president of ISHMII, Jan-Ming Ko and Urs Meier foresaw the need for an international organization that would combine and share the knowledge of materials, structures, sensing and monitoring, and the hands-on experience of many practitioners.  It is from this vision that ISHMII was built.

Dr. Jan-Ming Ko is an Emeritus Professor of Structural Engineering of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Internationally renowned for his research on structural health monitoring systems.  Dr. Ko was represented at SHMII-5 and the Mufti Medal Award Ceremony by his colleague Professor You-Lin Xu, who accepted the medal  on his behalf.

Dr. Ko has had a profound impact on engineering education and research for over 40 years.  During 31 years with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, he served as the head of the department for 8 years, Dean of Faculty of Construction and Land Use for four years and Vice President of the University for 7 years.

Professor Ko and his colleagues developed a structural health monitoring system for the Tsing Ma Bridge in the 1990s.  This far-sighted development was a precursor of things to come.

Over the past 15 years, they pushed this design further, creating a Mega-Structure Diagnostic and Prognostic System that is now widely applied to newly-built bridges and skyscrapers in the China Mainland, including the new Guangzhou TV Tower.  As an international benchmark for structural health monitoring, it won the Gold Prize at the 2009 China International Fair in Shanghai as well as the Special Prize and Gold Medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions, New Techniques and Products, in Geneva, also in 2009.

Professor Jan-Ming Ko is a leader in our field, and as an academic his name is found on many honors and award, and among the editors of the finest, most competitive journals.

Our congratulations to Professor Ko as a 2011 recipient of the Aftab Mufti Medal.

Dr. Urs Meier has built a long career at EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, where he has been the Managing Director at Dubendorf, and subsequently the Deputy Director General of all of EMPA. It is a career filled with international honors, patents, and publications.

Above all of this, Dr. Meier is a structural health monitoring visionary and a materials trailblazer who is renowned for his pioneering efforts in the use of carbon fiber reinforced polymers in civil engineering structures.  Urs Meier has brought together the understanding of unique design concepts with the practical need for monitoring structures.

Two early, oft-repeated examples of his innovations reflect the role of innovation in his career:  In 1996, Dr. Meier and his scientific staff, including doctoral students, replaced several steel cables on the Stork Bridge in Winterthur, Switzerland with carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites.   This was a new application.  Since these cables were being used for the first time, Dr. Meier had to simultaneously provide a method of monitoring them in order to receive the approval from the community to install the cables.  They succeeded by creating a novel monitoring system using his idea of inserting single optical fibers into the carbon bundle to act as sensors, laying the groundwork for many techniques that we use today.

Earlier, in 1987, Urs Meier captured our imagination when he presented a paper on the possibilities for a bridge across the 8.4 km Strait of Gibraltar.  While the engineering world thought that this was theoretically impossible, Professor Meier showed that replacing the steel with CFRP would double or triple the limiting span of such a bridge, making it possible.  He caught our attention.

We are pleased to honor Dr. Urs Meier as a 2011 recipient of the Aftab Mufti Medal.

Contact Info
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  • ISHMII Administrative Center c/o University of Manitoba Department of Civil Engineering, A250 – 96 Dafoe Road Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2 Canada