international association for shell and spatial structures

John F. ABEL

(1940- )
President 2006-2012
Torroja Medalist 2013

Abel was President of the IASS from 2006 until 2012 and remained a member of the Executive Council until 2017 when he joined the Advisory Board.  As a former President, he has a courtesy appointment as advisor to the Working Bureau.  He had previously served as a Vice President of IASS since 1992 and as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the IASS from 1995 to 2008. Abel is co-chair of the IASS Website Committee and was chair of Working Group 5 on Concrete Shell Roofs from 1995 until 2015.  He was a contributing author and co-editor of the IASS Jubilee Book, Fifty Years of Progress for Shell and Spatial Structures (2011).  Professor Abel was also the General Chair for IASS-IACM 2008, the Sixth International Conference on the Computation of Shell and Spatial Structures that was held at Cornell University on May 28-31, 2008.

He is a registered professional engineer and a member of several technical committees, journal editorial boards, and technical societies (including ASCE, ACI and IABSE).

Abel is a Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.  He joined the Cornell faculty in 1974, after four years of teaching civil engineering and architecture at Princeton University.  He retired from the faculty in 2004.  During his research career, he has worked on such topics as concrete shells (especially cooling towers), membrane roofs, domes, steel framed structures, earthquake engineering, computer-aided design, computational mechanics, and interactive computer graphics for engineering applications and education.  He is the author or co-author of over 200 papers and reports, dealing mainly with computer-related topics in structural engineering.  He is the co-author (with C. S. Desai) of one of the earliest published textbooks on the finite element method, Introduction to the Finite Element Method (1972), which was later translated into Japanese and Chinese.
John F. Abel
Photo credit: J. F. Abel

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