Multiple Tower Failure
Partha Sarkar

G’day! On behalf of the AAWE I want to wish you all a productive 2015. I would particularly like to welcome new members, as well as thank...

Click logo for US design windspeeds

The American Association for Wind Engineering

The American Association for Wind Engineering

Mitigating Wind Damage Through Engineering is Why we Exist

Severe winds of many types with associated water penetration and water impacts are responsible for the largest component of insured losses in the U.S. Yet the insured losses are only a part of the total physical losses. Hurricane losses can be large and examples are Hurricane Andrew that generated more than $36 billion in losses and Hurricane Katrina that generated more than $100 billion in losses. Although individual Tornado events may not reach these totals, there are numerous events each year that result in a cumulative loss of comparable magnitude. Many thousands of homes and businesses are destroyed or rendered unusable each year. During the period from 2003 to early 2008 there have been 10 damaging hurricanes that have struck the U.S. and there have been more than 1000 tornadoes each year, many of them causing damage. In addition to physical and economic losses many lives have been lost.

The reduction of losses and impacts is complex due to the existence of a large inventory of structures and infrastructure that were constructed before we understood how to construct them to provide acceptable resistance with a large reduction of potential losses. For new construction the research carried out on wind loadings and resistance some years ago has provided a basis of reducing losses if applied. However, the level of research on wind engineering has fallen to a level and many important areas of knowledge building to support loss reduction are not being pursued today. This is particularly true with respect to existing construction. The level of losses being sustained is not necessary and could be substantially reduced through increased support of wind engineering.

Unfortunately the long-term recovery and economic impacts from wind storms are not uniform and those who least can afford to be impacted are also those who are at the lower end of the recovery cycle. Average yearly economic and life losses in the United States due to wind has far exceeded that from Earthquakes and only floods have the demonstrated potential to cause greater yearly losses.

AAWE is dedicated to building and extending the knowledge base and achieving application to reduce losses from severe wind-water events. AAWE was founded in 1966 (known as the Wind Engineering Research Council, WERC, at that time) and has grown and expanded to encompass all aspects of wind enginereing. For more of the history of AAWE see the "History" tab to the left and/or download PDF under the "brochure" tab. The AAWE leadership is noted below.

Presidents of AAWE:
Richard Parmalee, 1966-1975
WERC established at Northwestern University in 1966
Jack Cermak, 1976-1985
WERC was formally incorporated in 1976 in the State of Colorado
Kishor Mehta, 1986-1989
Dale Perry, 1990-1993
Ahsan Kareem, 1994-1997
The name WERC was formally changed to AAWE in 1995
Mike Gaus, 1998-2002
Bogusz Bienkiewicz, 2003-2004
Marc Levitan, 2005-2006
Leighton Cochran, 2007-2008
Nick Jones, 2009-2010
Partha Sarkar, 2011-2012
Greg Kopp, 2013-2014,
Chris Letchford, 2014 - 2015, President

AAWE Corporate Members:

 Corporate Members

Current News

AAWE President, Prof. Sarkar, shared the sad news that our colleague, long-time friend, and one of the pioneers of wind engineering, Dr. Jack E....

Program announced. In the 20th anniversary year (2012) of Hurricane Andrew ATC and ASCE will host this event in Miami.

The AAWE Awards Committee has renamed a traditional quadrennial award to be the "Michael Gaus Distinguished Service Award" and created two new annual...