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PCI Announces Educator Awards
December 2, 2009

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) has announced that Cathy French was conferred with the 2009 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Distinguished Educator Award and Wael A. Zatar was conferred with the 2009 PCI Young Educator Achievement Award at the PCI Annual Convention & Exhibition.

The Distinguished Educator Award was developed by the Student Education Committee and recognizes distinguished engineering, architecture, and construction technology educators who have made significant contributions to the precast, prestressed concrete industry. The Young Educator Achievement Award recognizes young engineering, architecture, and construction technology educators who have made significant contributions in their early careers to the precast, prestressed concrete industry.

French is an I.T. Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota–Minneapolis. She received her MSCE and PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Over the past 25 years, Prof. French has been involved in prestressed concrete teaching and research. She has been a member of PCI since 1985, has served on the Seismic and High-Performance Concrete committees, and was elected a Fellow of PCI in 2005. She also served on the Scientific Committee of the PCI-FHWA High Performance Concrete Conference (1996–1997) and the Organizing Committee of the PCI-FHWA-FIB Conference (2000), and is currently serving on the Scientific Committee of the 2010 fib-PCI conference.

She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and is serving on the Building Code Committee (ACI 318). She also chairs ACI 318-B, Reinforcement and Development Committee; is a past chair of ACI 445, Shear and Torsion; and has served on ASCE-ACI 423, Prestressed Concrete Committee.

Prof. French’s research has been sponsored by PCI, the National Science Foundation, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT), and the Midwest Precast/Prestressed Concrete Association.

Prof. French has also been recognized with numerous awards over her illustrious career. These include the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) Research Partnership Award (2008) for her work on the Full-Depth Precast Concrete Bridge Deck System sponsored by Mn/DOT and NCHRP, Ada Comstock Women Scholars Award (2007), Institute of Technology Distinguished Professorship (2006), CTS Braun Distinguished Service Award (2005) for outstanding leadership in research and innovation, University of Illinois Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award (2005), ACI Henry L. Kennedy Award (2004) recognizing her contributions to prestressed concrete advancement, ACI RCRC Boase Award (2000), University of New Zealand Erskine Fellowship (1995), ACI Fellow (1994), and ASCE Raymond Reese Research Prize (1990). In addition, she has received numerous teaching awards, including the 2008 Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlik and Associates Undergraduate Faculty Award. Prof. French has authored or coauthored more than 120 technical publications.

Zatar is an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Marshall University. He completed an MSc on behavior of precast concrete deep beams in 1994 and a Ph.D. on the seismic behavior of prestressed concrete bridge piers and viaduct structures in 1999. He has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in reinforced concrete design, prestressed concrete design, bridge design, structural analysis, and advanced construction materials for several years.

Prof. Zatar has served on PCI’s Student Education, Educational Activities, Building Code, Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites, Sustainability, and Bridges committees. He has received several awards, including the 2001 Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) Excellent Publication Honor, the 2000 JSCE Award for Best Quality Paper, the 2009 Marshall University Distinguished Senior Scholar Award, the JSCE Award for the Best Published Paper in 1999, the 1998 Japan Concrete Institute Honor for Quality Paper, and the 1999 Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences Outstanding Researcher Fellowship for studying.

His research has focused on nondestructive and destructive experimental techniques for prestressed concrete structures; development of online pseudodynamic testing techniques to simulate the behavior of prestressed concrete full-scale structural models; bridge decks reinforced with fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcing bars; innovative FRP composite materials in the next-generation prestressed/precast concrete infrastructures; retrofitting and strengthening deteriorated structures and bridges with FRP composites; and structural modeling, evaluation, and health monitoring of concrete structures.

Prof. Zatar has authored or coauthored more than 75 technical publications and reviewed more than 200 technical papers in peer-reviewed international journals.

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