The Isler Prize was established by the Executive Council in 2020 to promote the aims and objectives of the Association to the world body of engineers and architects. The Prize is awarded every two years to an IASS member or non-member in recognition of a significant contribution that embodies the ideals and accomplishments of the late Heinz Isler (1926-2009): exploration, realization, discovery and innovation; playfulness and inclusivity; and sustainability and low impact on the environment. The Prize consists of both a trophy resembling an Isler shell presented during the IASS Symposium and an invitation to deliver a plenary lecture at the Symposium.
The Isler Prize is named in honor of Heinz Isler, a distinguished and active member of the IASS from its founding in 1959. As man of exceptional talent, he was both an IASS Honorary Member and a Torroja Medalist. During a career spanning over 50 years he designed and realized numerous shells in several countries, becoming one of the most innovative designers of reinforced concrete shells in the 20th century. Described by David Billington as a 'structural artist', he combined his aesthetic sensibility, novel form-finding techniques, precision measurement of structural models, deep understanding of statics and materials, and love of nature to create elegant and economic forms.The first Isler Prize is expected to be conferred in 2022.