Dr. Michel Virlogeux, France

Dr. Michel Virlogeux has received the 2003 IABSE Award of Merit in Structural Engineering in recognition of "his major contributions leading to very significant progress in the field of civil engineering, in particular through the development of external prestressing, landmark cable-stayed bridges and composite structures". The Award Presentation took place during the Opening of the IABSE Symposium 'Structures for High-Speed Railway Transportation', Antwerp, Belgium on August 27, 2003. The presentation was presented by Dr Manabu Ito, President of IABSE.

Michel Virlogeux, born in 1946, graduated at the 'Ecole Polytechnique' in 1967 and at the 'Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées' in 1970. From 1970 to 1973 he served in Tunisia on road projects and at the same time gained his Dr Engineer at the 'Pierre et Marie Curie University' (Paris VI). In January 1974 he joined the Bridge Department of SETRA, the technical service of the French Highway Administration. In 1980 he became Head of the Large Concrete Bridge Division, and in 1987 of the large Bridge Division, Steel and Concrete. During twenty years he designed more than 100 bridges, including the 'Normandy Bridge' which held the world record for four years. In 1995 he left the French Administration and settled as independent consulting engineer; his major achievements include his participation to the construction of the 'Second Tagus Crossing' in Lisbon and the design of the 'Millau Viaduct' in France. Several of his bridges received architectural awards.
Michel Virlogeux had an important teaching activity, e.g. as part time professor of structural analysis at the 'Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées' (1977 - 1991). He also has been very active in technical associations such as the French Association of Civil Engineering (AFGC), 1974 - 1995; the 'Fédération Internationale de Précontrainte (FIP)' (President 1996); the 'Fédération Internationale du Béton (fib)' first President in 1998 after the merger with the 'Comité Européen du Béton (CEB)'.

Member of IABSE since 1974, Michel Virlogeux received the IABSE Prize for its first attribution in 1983, in Venice. He received many other international awards, among which the 'Award of Excellence of the Engineering News Record' (1995), the 'Gold Medal of the Institution of Structural Engineers' (1979), the 'Gustave Magnel Medal' (1999) and the 'Fritz Leonhardt Prize' the same year for its first attribution. He is a member of the 'French Academy of Technology'.

Michel Virlogeux took an important part in the development of external prestressing and of composite and cable-stayed bridges, and these last years he devotes a great energy to promote the role of engineers as designers and creators.