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Wai-Fah Chen is presently Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Hawaii. He was a George E. Goodwin Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of the Department of Structural Engineering at Purdue University from 1976 to 1999.

He received his B.S. in civil engineering from the National ChengKung University, Taiwan, in 1959,M.S. in structural engineering from Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, in 1963, and Ph.D. in solid mechanics from Brown University, Rhode Island, in 1966. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the National Cheng-Kung University in 1988 and the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Medal from Brown University in 1999.

Dr. Chen’s research interests cover several areas, including constitutive modeling of engineering materials, soil and concrete plasticity, structural connections, and structural stability. He is the recipient of several national engineering awards, including the Raymond Reese Research Prize and the Shortridge Hardesty Award, both from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the T. R. Higgins Lectureship Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction. In 1995, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. In 1997, he was awarded Honorary Membership by the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 1998, he was elected to the Academia Sinica (National Academy of Science) in Taiwan.

A widely respected author, Dr. Chen authored and coauthored more than 20 engineering books and
500 technical papers. His books include several classical works such as Limit Analysis and Soil Plasticity (Elsevier, 1975), the two-volume Theory of Beam-Columns (McGraw-Hill, 1976–77), Plasticity in Reinforced Concrete(McGraw-Hill, 1982), and the two-volume Constitutive Equations for Engineering Materials (Elsevier, 1994). He currently serves on the editorial boards of more than 10 technical journals. He has been listed in more than 20 Who’s Who publications.

Dr. Chen is the editor-in-chief for the popular 1995 Civil Engineering Handbook, the 1997 Handbook
of Structural Engineering, and the 1999 Bridge Engineering Handbook. He currently serves as the consulting editor for McGraw-Hill’s Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. He has been a longtime member of the Executive Committee of the Structural Stability Research Council and the Specification Committee of the American Institute of Steel Construction. He has been a consultant for Exxon Production Research on offshore structures, for Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in Chicago on tall steel buildings, and for the World Bank on the Chinese University Development Projects, among many others. Dr. Chen has taught at Lehigh University, Purdue University, and the University of Hawaii.