November 6 – 8, 2016, Orlando, Florida



Short Biography of
Professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Ph.D., P.E.University of California, Berkeley


Prof Astaneh is currently a professor of structural engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the winner of the 1998 T. R. Higgins Lectureship Award of the American Institute of Steel Construction. This award is the highest award in the field of steel construction.

After September 11, 2001, tragic terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the collapse of the towers, armed with a research grant from the National Science Foundation, he conducted a reconnaissance investigation of the collapse and collected perishable data. As an expert, he later testified before the Committee on Science of the House of Representative of the U.S. Congress on his findings regarding the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

He has conducted more than 50 major research and development projects on buildings and bridge structures subjected to gravity, the wind, earthquakes, blast, and impact.  He has more than 300 technical publications on these projects.

Since 1967, he has been involved in the design of numerous structures and in providing consulting to structural engineering teams both in bridges and in buildings. He has designed bridges and buildings including being the lead engineer in the structural design of the Century development in Doha, Qatar being done by the Chicago Design Consortium International (CDCi). The tallest structure is a steel/composite 48 story 2-tower high rise.

Keynote Speech Title:

The Engineering Aspects of the WTC Towers Collapse

Keynote Speech Abstract:

A week after the tragic collapse of the WTC towers, armed with a grant from the National Science Foundation, Prof. Astaneh arrived at New York to undertake a reconnaissance of the collapsed towers and to collect data on the collapsed structures. After spending a total of tree weeks there, he continued his investigation and in May of 2002 he testified before the Committee on Science of the House of Representative on his findings. Then he spent five years in analysis of the failure.  He will summarize why the towers failed and the root engineering causes of the failure, which were the unusual design of the tower using “bearing walls” instead of the traditional structural systems with columns and beams. In addition to using the “bearing walls,”  instead of a “structural system,”  some other unusual design aspects used in the towers, left them no chance of survival during the fires that ensued after the initial impact of the airplanes. The talk will show that if the towers were designed using the known and time-tested structural systems, it is very highly likely that they would have survived the murderous terrorist attacks.

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