Prestigious Australian engineering honour for CityU academic

Craig Francis

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Chair Professor Sritawat Kitipornchai, Head of the Department of Building and Construction at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), was given a reception on 18 December in honour of his election as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, an independent body of 800 eminent Australian technologists. The accolade was presented in recognition of his outstanding research and world-renowned publications in structural engineering and solid mechanics.

Speaking at the reception, Acting Australian Consul-General Hong Kong and Macau, Mr David Livingstone, commended Professor Kitipornchai for his pioneering research, which has found widespread practical application. Professor Way Kuo, CityU President, said, “City University is extremely proud to have such an esteemed faculty member. I would like to offer our congratulations to Professor Kitipornchai for attaining this prestigious fellowship.”

An accomplished structural engineer with more than 30 years of experience in teaching, research and consulting, Professor Kitipornchai is a leading global expert in the fields of structural stability, thin-walled structures and transmission towers.

In his acceptance speech at the reception, Professor Kitipornchai described his contribution to Australian life as having begun in 1969 when he started his PhD researching steel structures at the University of Sydney. “Much of that research over the years found its way into practice through new design rules. But the most significant piece of work was that on predicting the ultimate behaviour of transmission tower structures,” he said.

Since his appointment as Head of CityU’s Department of Building and Construction in 2005, Professor Kitipornchai has developed the department into a very professionally oriented department. “There is a need to strike a balance between practical expertise and research in teaching, as both are integral to the development of the building industry”, he noted. “I’m proud we have been able to excel in both”.

A significant departmental achievement under Professor Kitipornchai’s leadership is the establishment of one of the most advanced wind tunnel facilities in the region, which has enhanced CityU’s research in the important areas of wind engineering, urban development planning and the environment.

His broader service to the University has included, amongst other roles, as Chairman of the College Research Committee for seven years and the Teaching Excellence Awards Selection Panel for three years.

Professor Kitipornchai is also involved in promoting exchanges with academic institutions around the world, particularly with those in Australia.

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