Professor Juan José Arenas, Spain

The International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) presents the International Award of Merit in Structural Engineering, to Juan José Arenas, Spain, ‘in recognition of his outstanding contributions for more than 50 years to structural engineering including several span world records and outstanding structures, and his sensitivity to bring structural engineering design close to art and poetry.

Juan José Arenas is a renowned Spanish bridge engineer, born in Huesca in 1940. He graduated from the Civil Engineering Faculty (ETSI Caminos, Canales y Puertos) in Madrid in 1963, and obtained his Doctorate in 1970 from the same Polytechnic University (UPM). Between 1970 and 1976 he was appointed Professor of Prestressed Concrete at ETS Ingenieros de Caminos de Madrid. In 1976, he became Chair Professor of Bridge Design in Santander’s Engineering Faculty (University of Cantabria).

After his graduation, Arenas started his professional career as an independent bridge designer in Madrid from 1969 to 1978. He then moved to Santander and co-founded the engineering firm APIA XXI in 1988. During that period, Arenas’ most relevant projects included La Barqueta steel arch Bridge in Seville, La Arena cable-stayed Viaduct, Hispanoamérica cable-stayed Bridge in Valladolid, La Regenta concrete arch Bridge or Barcelona’s Harbor Movable Bridge.

In 1999, Arenas founded the engineering firm Arenas & Asociados, which continues his bridge design work until today. Some of the noted bridges that Mr. Arenas has designed as President of Arenas & Asociados include the Third Millennium Bridge in Zaragoza, Almonte HSR Viaduct, Las Rozas cable-stayed Bridge in Madrid, Chilina Bridge in Peru, or the future Ponte dei Congressi in Rome.

During his career, Arenas won many prestigious awards in recognition of his design work. These include the 1993 ECCS European Award for Steel Structures; 1999 VI Alcántara Bridge Award; 2009 Gustave Magnel Gold Medal, 2010 fib Award for Outstanding Concrete Structure and 2011 1st ACHE Engineering Prize.

He is member of IABSE, fib, ACHE, IASS, APTA, AITIM, etc., and has published many technical papers and delivered numerous lectures at international conferences.