Dr. Franklin Cheng, Curators’ Professor emeritus of civil engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, has been selected as an honorary member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
ASCE awards honorary member status to individuals “who have attained acknowledged eminence in some branch of engineering or in the arts and sciences, including the fields of engineering education and construction.” The total number of honorary members elected in any year cannot exceed one for every 7,500 members. There are now 565 individuals who have been elected to this distinguished grade of membership since 1853.
“Cheng’s research is at the cutting edge of progress,” according to the society’s board of direction. “He recognized early on the vital importance of the possibilities of automatic computing in the future of civil engineering. He was one of the pioneers in allying computing expertise to the design of large and complex structures against dynamic loads. His research expanded over the years to include the important topics of structural optimization and the design of smart structures. In fact, he is one of the foremost experts in the world on the application of structural dynamics optimization to the design of structures.”
Cheng joined UMR as an assistant professor in 1966. In 1987, the University of Missouri Board of Curators appointed him Curators’ Professor, the highest professorial position in the system. He received four honorary professorships abroad and chaired seven of his 24 National Science Foundation delegations to various countries for research cooperation. His leadership also includes director of international earthquake engineering symposia and numerous state-of-the-art short courses. He has warranted grants from several funding agencies including more than 30 from NSF. He has served as either chair or member of 37 professional societies and communities, including 12 ASCE-related groups.
He was the first chair of the Technical Administrative Committee on Analysis and Computation and initiated Emerging Computing Technology Committee and Structural Control Committee. He also initiated and chaired the Stability Under Seismic Loading Task Group of the Structural Research Council.
In addition, Cheng has consulted with Martin Marietta Energy Systems Inc., Los Alamos National Laboratory, Martin and Huang International Inc., Buchmuellor, Whitworth and Faust Inc., Kjaima Corp., Arnold and O’Sherdan Engineers, and Ames, Torkelson and Nugent Architects and Engineers.
Cheng is the author of more than 280 publications, including two textbooks on matrix analysis of structural dynamics and earthquake engineering, and dynamic structural analysis. He also has two forthcoming books on smart structures and earthquake engineering applications, and structural optimization. He has received numerous awards, including two ASCE State-of-the-Art of Civil Engineering Awards.