Professor Charles Dowding Receives ASCE's Highest Honor

Professor Charles DowdingProfessor Charles Dowding has been selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be honored as a Distinguished Member. Distinguished Membership is the highest honor ASCE bestows. In 2017 nine ASCE members will be inducted; currently there are only 228 Distinguished Members among ASCE’s 150,000 membership and since 1853 only 688 have received this honor. Learn More about Distinguished Membership and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Upon induction Dowding will join ranks of other famous ASCE Distinguished Members such as John Stevens and Grenville Dodge, chief engineers of the Panama Canal and Transcontinental Railroad as well as current and former Northwestern professors including Zdeněk Bažant, Raymond Krizek, Donald Berry, Jorj Osterberg, and Bruce Rittmann. He will be formally honored at the Distinguished Member Induction Ceremony during the Annual Convention from October 8-11, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Charles H Dowding is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University, with a BS from the University of Colorado in 1967, a PhD from the University of Illinois, a post doc at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, and an assistant professorship at MIT. He is best known for his four books: Construction Vibrations, Blast Vibration Monitoring and Control, Micro-Meter Crack Response to Vibration and Weather and GeoMeasurements by Pulsing TDR Cables and Probes. 

He is a former member of the board of directors of the International Society of Explosive Engineers and founded Digital Vibration Inc. formerly of Northbrook, the first company to perfect remote digital blast vibration monitoring in the early 1980’s. Along with coauthors he received the Applied Research Award from the National Rock Mechanics Committee for work on blast induced cracking of structures which serves as the basis of federal regulations (US Bureau of Mines RI 8507). He is a former chairman of the ASCE Rock Mechanics Committee, a Fellow and former member of the board of directors of the American Rock Mechanics Association.

His consulting engagements have involved projects in Alaska, Panama, Hong Kong, Italy and some 30 of the United States. He has consulted for many governmental agencies including the National Park Service, US Department of Transportation, US Department of Energy, and companies, including IBM, MWH, Stone & Webster, Sargent & Lundy, CH2MHill, Shell and Fina oil. He is proud of his graduate students who have gone on to form companies and lead other Civil Engineering Departments. He is also active in public service and is currently the Chair of the Environmental and Forestry Commission in Winnetka.