Public Release: 

Engineer who led investigation into collapse of World Trade Center among 6 honored by AAES


Dr. W. Gene Corley, P.E., who led the federal investigation into the 2001 collapse of the World Trade Center, received the National Engineering Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) on 7 May. He was one of six honorees during the organization's 28th annual awards ceremony in the Great Hall of the National Academy of Engineering.

Corley, a preeminent expert on building collapse investigations and building codes, is senior vice president of CTL Group. He serves as the company's managing agent for professional and structural engineering and is active in earthquake engineering projects. In 1995, the American Society of Civil Engineers selected him to lead a Building Performance Assessment Team investigating the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. In addition to heading up the building performance evaluation of the World Trade Center, Corley also served as a team member evaluating the structural performance of the Pentagon following the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The National Engineering Award is presented for inspirational leadership and tireless devotion to the improvement of engineering education and to the advancement of the engineering profession, as well as to the development of sound public policies as an engineer-statesman. Previous recipients include astronaut Neil Armstrong (1979) and former Lockheed Martin CEO Norm Augustine (1991).

Dr. Gavriel Salvendy received the John Fritz Medal "for his fundamental, international, and seminal leadership and technical contributions to human engineering and industrial engineering education, theory and practice." A professor of industrial engineering at Purdue University and chair professor and head of the Department of Industrial Engineering at China's Tsinghua University, Salvendy's main research deals with the human aspects of design, operation, and management of advanced engineering systems. He has authored or co-authored more than 430 research publications, and is the author or editor of 27 books.

The John Fritz Medal, referred to as the highest award in the engineering profession, is presented each year for scientific or industrial achievement in any field of pure or applied science. It was established in 1902 as a memorial to the great engineer whose name it bears. Past recipients include Thomas Edison (1908), Alexander Graham Bell (1907), Alfred Nobel (1910), Orville Wright (1920) and Guglielmo Marconi (1923).

Dr. Colin G. Drury was recognized with the Kenneth Andrew Roe Award "for his exemplary leadership and distinguished contributions in promoting cooperation, understanding, and congruency across several engineering disciplines and related professions, including human factors engineering and ergonomics; industrial, manufacturing, quality and systems engineering; maintenance, reliability, and management engineering in the aviation area; and safety and health engineering in the industry at large."

Drury is a distinguished professor and director of the Research Institute for Safety and Security in Transportation (RISST) at the University at Buffalo, where his work is concentrated on the application of human factors techniques to inspection and maintenance processes. Since 1989 he has been leading a team applying human factors techniques to reduce errors in aviation maintenance and inspection at RISST.

The Kenneth Andrew Roe Award is presented on behalf of the engineering community to recognize an engineer who has been effective in promoting unity among the engineering societies.

Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-Mich.) won the Norm Augustine Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Communications "for his strong and consistent leadership in Congress and for communicating to the general public, media and public policymakers the value of engineering, science and technology to our defense, economic growth and societal well-being." Ehlers, who holds a Ph.D. in nuclear physics, is the first research physicist to serve in Congress. A member of the House Science and Technology Committee, he oversaw in 1998 the nation's first major statement on science policy since 1945. Ehlers also co-chairs the House STEM Ed Caucus, which is dedicated to improving K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

The Norm Augustine Award is presented to an engineer who has demonstrated the capacity for communicating the excitement and wonder of engineering. The award is to be conferred on those rare individuals who can speak with passion about engineering - its promise as well as its responsibility - so that the public may have a better understanding of engineering and a better appreciation for how engineers improve our quality of life.

Aileen Cho received the Engineering Journalism Award for her three-part series, "Future of Interstates," that appeared in Engineering News Record (ENR). She has traveled across the United States and around the world covering airport, transit, bridge, highway and port projects since joining ENR in 1996. Cho was part of ENR's award-winning editorial teams that covered the 11 September attacks and Hurricane Katrina.

The Engineering Journalism Award recognizes outstanding reporting of an event or issue that furthers public understanding of engineering. Each year, one award is presented in one of three categories: daily newspapers, general circulation print media, or broadcast radio or television.

Dr. William A. Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering, was honored with the AAES Chair's Award "for his continuous advocacy that engineers learn today the tools they will need tomorrow, his wise counsel that the profession needs to consider views from all perspectives in designing engineering solutions, and his efforts to advance the dialog between the engineering community, public policymakers and society." Wulf, who also serves as vice chair of the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, is on leave as a professor from the University of Virginia. He holds two U.S. patents and has written more than 100 papers and technical reports, as well as three books. Wulf received the Kenneth Andrew Roe Award in 2001.

Established in 1980, the AAES Chair's Award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the welfare of our nation.


The American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES), of which the IEEE is a member, is a federation of engineering societies dedicated to advancing the knowledge, understanding and practice of engineering. AAES' membership represents more than a half million engineers in the United States.

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 220,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of the IEEE. IEEE-USA is part of the IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society with 360,000 members in 150 countries.

[NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of the award recipients are available.]

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.