Professor Manabu Ito, Japan

Prof. Manabu Ito has received the 2007 International Award of Merit "in recognition of his outstanding contributions to structural engineering as a teacher and engineer, in particular in the fields of cable-supported bridges and wind effects on flexible structures". Prof. Manfred A. Hirt, President of the IABSE, presented him the Award on September 19, 2007 in Weimar, Germany at the Opening Session of the IABSE Symposium 'Improving Infrastructure Worldwide – Bringing People Closer'.

Manabu Ito graduated in 1953 and received his Doctorate in engineering in1959 from the University of Tokyo. After he had taught structural engineering at the Civil Engineering Department of his alma mater for more than 30 years, he successively moved to Saitama University and Takushoku University. His research activities have covered a wide range of bridge and structural engineering. In particular, he made important contributions to the design of cable-supported bridges and to wind effects on flexible structures. He published more than one hundred peer-reviewed papers and nine authored and co-authored books.

Prof. Ito has also been a leading advisor for many of the major cable-supported bridge projects. Noteworthy is that he successively served as chair of technical advisory panels of the longest–span cable-stayed bridges in Japan, such as the Yokohama Bay, Tsurumi, Meiko- Central and Tatara bridges, the latter being the world’s longest of this type.

His international activities have also been numerous. Professor Ito organised several international events such as a cable-stayed bridge seminar in Yokohama in 1991 and was the Chair of the Organising Committee for the IABSE Symposium in Kobe in 1998 on 'Long Span and High Rise Structures'. He has also been involved in many international bridge projects: for example the design competition panel of the Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong and the San Francisco/Oakland Bay East Bridge, respectively, and he acted as the technical advisor for the Sutong Yangtze Bridge in China that will be the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge.

Prof. Ito was Vice-President of IABSE from 1989 to 1997 and President from 2001 to 2004. Because of his extensive contributions to both engineering and academia, he has received many awards and honours: Emeritus Professor of the University of Tokyo and Saitama University, Japan; Honorary Professor of Tongji University, China; Honorary Member of IABSE, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Japan Society of Civil Engineers etc.; the Award of Merit from the Japan Society of Civil Engineers and the Chevalier Distinction from the Republic of Zaire as an advisor for construction of the largest suspension bridge in Africa in 1985.