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International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE)
Website name:
International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering
URL: http://www.iabse.org/

This section focuses on a unique overseas website related to civil engineering IT. This issue features International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE). The Association has a mission to promote the exchange of knowledge and to advance the practice of structural engineering worldwide in the service of the profession and society.

A Scientific / Technical Association for Civil Engineering and Building Structures Reaching the 80th Year
IABSE was founded in 1929 with its seat in Zurich, Switzerland. It has reached the 80th year of its existence.

The objectives, field of activities, organization, and the responsibilities of different committees etc. are described in the By-laws, which is available on the Web site for download. Other basic documents available for viewing include Standing Orders setting procedures for the management of the Association activities, Long Range Plan, Ethical Principles for the Practice of Structural Engineering, IABSE Declarations, and the IABSE Logo.

They define the term "Structures" as something including bridges, buildings and all types of civil engineering structures, composed of any structural material. Based on this, IABSE deals with all possible aspects of structural engineering. It says that structural engineering is the science and art of planning, design, construction, operation, monitoring and inspection, maintenance, rehabilitation and preservation, demolition and dismantling of structures, taking into consideration technical, economic, environmental, aesthetic and social aspects.

About its activities, IABSE enumerates its objectives as follows: 1) to promote cooperation and understanding among all those concerned with structural engineering and related fields by worldwide exchange of knowledge and experience, 2) to encourage awareness and responsibility of structural engineers towards the needs of society, 3) to encourage actions necessary for progress in structural engineering, 4) to improve and foster cooperation and understanding between organizations having similar objectives. For this purpose, the Association describes its specific approaches including: 1) organizing conferences by itself or in collaboration with other organizations, 2) encouraging and conducting continuing education programs, 3) publishing reports, communications, and periodicals, 4) identifying research and development needs, and initiating and supporting research activities, and 5) conferring awards for structural engineering achievements.

Presently, IABSE has about 4,000 members in over 100 countries, including individual and collective members. Anyone who possesses appropriate structural engineering knowledge and is willing to support the Association's objectives may become an individual member. Students can also apply for membership. Membership fee is grouped in two country categories: A and B in consideration of the economic situation of each country. Individual members pay different annual fees depending on their age: under 35 years of age, between 35 and 65, and over 65. On the other hand, collective members consist of organizations with appropriate structural engineering interests, such as universities, qualified firms, libraries and public authorities. Members also include IABSE Fellows who demonstrate their special dedication to IABSE and their desire to support promising young engineers, as well as Honorary Members for the dedicated services of long-standing Members.

One of the things that are emphasized is to support young researchers and engineers. IABSE started YEP (Young Engineers Programme) in 2002, encouraging promising young researchers and practitioners to participate in IABSE through giving them a chance to build up a network where they can utilize knowledge of more experienced engineers.

Members have a chance to develop an international network of professional and personal contacts with colleagues of structural engineering experts all over the world. In addition, members enjoy the benefits including subscription to the quarterly Journal of IABSE, Structural Engineering International (SEI), subscription to the electronic newsletter, reduced prices on IABSE publications and conferences, and IABSE Website members area services.

IABSE Holds a Main Symposium and Conferences Annually in September
The association holds the yearly main conference  Ethe IABSE Symposium  Eusually organized in September in conjunction with the Annual Meeting. The IABSE Awards are presented at the Opening Ceremony of the Symposium. Besides, all IABSE Committees meet before the major IABSE Symposium every year.

By-laws mentioned before describes the committees, defining their organization, schedules of activities, roles, terms of the chairman and members, etc. The Groups, which are subdivided depending on their specific fields, objectives, or responsibilities within IABSE including committees fall into Technical and Non-Technical Groups.

As Technical Groups, active groups include Technical Committees, Working Commissions that have more specific and individual themes, SEI and SED (Structural Engineering Document) Editorial Boards, E-Learning Board, and various working groups. Some groups are of indefinite duration and others limited in time. The main results of their activity appear in publications and conferences of the Association. On the other hand, the roles of the Non-Technical Groups include those related to governing, managing, and promoting activities of IABSE. There are Permanent Committee, Auditing Committee, Executive Committee, Administrative Committee, and Outstanding Structure Award Committee. Other non-technical groups may also be set up for the study of specific topics. Moreover, a National Group consists of all members of the Association within one country. Each National Group has its own rules and viewpoints, supporting the Association in particular through the nomination of qualified members for election to the committees of the Association.

33rd IABSE Symposium Bangkok 2009 is held from September 9-11, 2009. Entitled "Sustainable Infrastructure Environment Friendly, Safe and Resource Efficient", the Symposium aims to provide a forum for academics, researchers, and practitioners on how to achieve sustainable infrastructure through planning, design, operation, renovation, retrofitting and repairs.

34th IABSE Symposium Venice 2010 will be held in September 22-24, 2010. Entitled "Large Structures and Infrastructures for Environmentally Constrained and Urbanized Areas", invitation has started to submit abstracts and others.

Home page: International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering 'Outstanding Contribution Award'
as a part of YEP
(Images provided by IABSE)

This article is written based on the above Web site with permission from IABSE.