Penn State's Boothby honored by Structural Engineering Institute

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Thomas Boothby, professor of architectural engineering at Penn State, has been named the recipient of the 2019 George Winter Award by the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Thomas Boothby is professor of architectural engineering at Penn State. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

The award recognizes the achievements of an active structural engineering researcher, educator or practitioner who has consistently demonstrated a humanistic approach to his or her profession, with an equal concern for matters technical and social, for art as well as science, and for soul as well as intellect.

Boothby received the award for his expertise as a structural engineer and his passion for art, history and culture to captivate a widespread professional understanding of the interdependence of engineering and the humanities.

“I am gratified by this recognition from ASCE of the continuing importance of art and humanities in the practice of structural engineering,” said Boothby.

Boothby joined the Department of Architectural Engineering in 1992 after receiving his doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Washington. His research and teaching efforts have focused primarily on assessing historical structures, structure preservation, and structural analysis and design methods.

His current research projects include collaborations with a visiting professor from the University of Granada, Spain, on the application of graphical methods of structural analysis to dome and vault analysis; with a professor from Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, in a study of proportioning systems in use in early Christian architecture in Rome; and with two professors from Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy, on the analysis of medieval masonry vaulting.

Boothby also is an amateur artist, and for the past 20 years, he has recorded his world travels in watercolor sketches and participates regularly in figure-drawing sessions.

A watercolor sketch by Thomas Boothby, professor of architectural engineering, titled “Tiber Millstones” from Rome, Italy. Credit: Thomas Boothby, professor of architectural engineering at Penn StateAll Rights Reserved.

He is making a specialty of teaching the technology curriculum for architectural engineering students. During his tenure at Penn State, he has taught portions of the Architectural Engineering 210 (Introduction to Architectural Structural Systems), Architectural Engineering 421 (Architectural Structural Systems), and Architectural Engineering 422 (Architectural Structural Systems II) courses.

Boothby received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 1996 for his research project “Assessment, Maintenance, Repair, and Rehabilitation of Historic Structures.” He has led several additional significant preservation research projects, including “Preservation of Thin-Shell Concrete Structures” and “Historic concrete and masonry assessment by the air-coupled impact-echo method,” both funded by the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, and “Assessment of Historic Concrete and Masonry Structures by Broadband Vibration Testing,” funded by the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program.

Boothby has authored two books, “Empirical Structural Design for Architects, Engineers and Builders” and “Engineering Iron and Stone: Understanding Structural Analysis and Design Methods of the Late 19th Century.” He also has written more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles.

He will be presented with the award on April 27 at the ASCE Structures Congress 2019 in Orlando, Florida.

Last Updated April 09, 2019