Professor Fernando Branco, Portugal – New President of IABSE
Professor Fernando Branco, assumed office on November 1, 2016, as president of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), for the period 2016-2019. He follows Professor David A. Nethercot, UK. Founded in 1929, IABSE’s mission is to promote the exchange of knowledge and to advance the practice of structural engineering worldwide.
Fernando Branco is a full-time professor and former president of the Civil Engineering Dept., IST –University Lisbon. He left recently the Presidency of the European Council of Civil Engineers (ECCE) and he is currently partner of GATEWIT - Construction Information Technologies and of SACIV, Ld.- Civil Engineering Services. His fields of expertise are bridge design, maintenance and rehabilitation, and new materials, having been consultant for major Public Works such as the S. João Bridge, Vasco da Gama Bridge in Portugal and the Macau-Taipa Bridge, China.
Fernando Branco has been the Chair of the Portuguese Group of IABSE, a delegate of the Permanent Committee, and has participated first as member then as Chair in Working Commission 8 and the Technical Committee of IABSE. He has been a member of the Executive and Administrative Committees and the IABSE Strategy Group.
Being simultaneously an academic and a bridge consultant, he joined IABSE in the late 1980’s because of the quality of IABSE’s journal Structural Engineering International (SEI) and the very interesting conferences, where he felt and as he feels today, to be updated with the recent innovations in structural engineering. Soon afterwards, he was invited to participate in one of the IABSE Technical Groups, where he joined those people who were performing innovation and became part of it himself. Those contacts led to joint European Research projects, like the development of one of the first Knowledge Based Bridge Management Systems, or the building of a bridge model with active control flaps to reduce wind vibrations.
Fernando Branco’s main objectives as President are to develop the leading path of IABSE, to reach more people, to increase the network of its members and, essentially, to bring to the association young engineers. The plan to increase the network considers, among others, to make the National Groups of IABSE more dynamic, to increase their number, to invite world specialists to lead the creation of New Working Groups, and to put the Working Groups to produce more technical information, and also to reach the small countries where IABSE is not yet present.