Bruno Thürlimann, Switzerland


  Prof. Bruno Thürlimann was awarded the 1997 International Award of Merit in Structural Engineering in recognition of his "contributions to the advancement of structural engineering theory and practice, and his lifelong commitment to the engineering profession."

Born in 1923, Bruno Thürlimann is one of the structural engineering community's most distinguished citizens. He received his civil engineering degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich in 1946. His Ph.D. studies took him to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, USA, where he completed his doctorate in 1951.

Bruno Thürlimann stayed on as a professor at Lehigh from 1953 to 1960. In 1960, he returned to the ETH, where he served as a professor until 1990.

As a researcher, Bruno Thürlimann has made significant contributions to the study of both steel and concrete. At the Fritz Engineering Laboratory at Lehigh, he did pathfinding work on concrete shell structures, and later on the plastic design of steel structures. In Zurich, his research focused on prestressed concrete structural phenomena.

Throughout his distinguished academic career, Bruno Thürlimann has been repeatedly called in to consult on projects of significant size and/or complexity around the world. Three prominent ones on a long list are the CN Tower in Toronto, the Hancock Tower in Boston and the forensic study of the Sleipner A oil platform accident off the coast of Norway.

Bruno Thürlimann's professional honours are numerous. A member of many international civil engineering societies, he is a past President of IABSE, an Honorary Member of ASCE and ACI, and a member of the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences, to name just a few. Honorary doctorates from the universities of Stuttgart and Glasgow also indicate the esteem in which he is held by his peers.