Chia-Ming Uang, AISC, TR Higgins Lectureship AwardChia-Ming Uang, Ph.D., professor of structural engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is the 2015 recipient of the prestigious T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award, presented annually by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). Uang is being honored for his paper “A Flexibility-Based Formulation for the Design of Continuity Plates in Steel Special Moment Frames,” which he co-authored. It was published in the third quarter 2013 edition of AISC’s Engineering Journal.

The T.R. Higgins Award recognizes an outstanding lecturer and author whose technical paper or papers, published during the eligibility period, are considered an outstanding contribution to the engineering literature on fabricated structural steel. The award, which includes a $15,000 cash prize, will be presented to Uang at the 2015 NASCC: The Steel Conference at Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn., March 25-27.

“Dr. Uang has been a tireless contributor to the success of AISC and the steel industry through his research and educational activities,” said Charlie Carter, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., AISC’s vice president and chief structural engineer. “We are all very pleased to see Chia-Ming recognized as a recipient of this prestigious award.”

Uang is a research expert in seismic design, rehabilitation, and testing of large-scale steel structures, including both buildings and bridges. He studies seismic code design issues and actively participates in code committees to ensure that provisions promote the design of structures that perform well during earthquakes. He has served in various capacities for professional engineering societies, including as a member of AISC’s Committee on Specifications, Committee on Research, and Connection Prequalification Review Panel. He also has coauthored two textbooks on structural analysis and steel design and his research results are published in many journal papers, conference proceedings and technical reports.

In 2007 he received an AISC Special Achievement Award for his research and service contributions to the structural steel industry. He also received three research awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers: the Raymond C. Reese Research Prize in 2001 and the Moisseiff Award in 2004 and 2014. He is also a member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the American Welding Society, and the Structural Engineers Association of California.

Uang joined UCSD in 1993 after serving on the faculty at Northeastern University in Boston for six years. Prior to entering the world of academia, Uang was a structural designer in Taipei, Taiwan. His outstanding teaching is reflected by the many awards he’s received in this area, including the Distinguished Teaching Award from the UCSD Academic Senate (2004), the Outstanding Engineering Professor Award from national engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi (2002), the Outstanding Teaching Award from Earl Warren College (2010) and Teacher of the Year from the Triton Engineering Student Council (2010).

Each year the AISC Education Foundation invites a distinguished panel of industry experts to judge the nominations. The jury reflects a blend of professional insight, industry experience and academic excellence. The following jurors collaborated to select Uang as the recipient of the 2015 award:

  • Caroline R. Bennett, Ph.D., P.E., associate professor, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.
  • Joel A. Chandler, chief engineer, Owen Steel Company, Inc., Columbia, S.C. (an AISC Member/AISC Certified Fabricator)
  • Larry A. Fahnestock, Ph.D., P.E., associate professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.
  • Keith Landwehr, consultant, Chandler, Ariz.
  • Jules Van de Pas, P.E., S.E., vice president, Computerized Structural Design, S.C., Greenwood Village, Colo.

Recent T.R. Higgins Award recipients include: Larry S. Muir, P.E., (2014) for his paper “Designing Compact Gussets with the Uniform Force Method,” published in the first quarter 2008 issue of AISC’s Engineering Journal; William F. Baker, P.E., S.E., (2013) for co-authoring the papers “Stability Design of the Bow String Trusses of the Virginia Beach Convention Center” and “Applications of Structural Optimization in Architectural Design,” published in the proceedings of the combined 2012 ASCE Structures Congress and 20th Analysis and Computation Specialty Conference; and Michel Bruneau, P.E., Ph.D., (2012) for his papers on steel plate shear wall design published in AISC’s Engineering Journal and the proceedings of the Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering.

The T.R. Higgins Award is named for Theodore R. Higgins, former AISC director of engineering and research, who was widely acclaimed for his many contributions to the advancement of engineering technology related to fabricated structural steel. The award honors Higgins for his innovative engineering, timely technical papers and distinguished lectures. For more information about the award, visit