Russell Green, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has received the university's 2013 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who has had a significant impact on international research at Virginia Tech. Selection is based on contributions to the internationalization of Virginia Tech, global impact, significance of the project, and sustainability of the project. Recipients are awarded $2,000.

Since joining the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2008, Green has been heavily involved in international research in the areas of engineering seismology and earthquake engineering with the objective of lowering the risk of damage from future earthquakes worldwide. He and his students have performed collaborative work in New Zealand, Japan, Iceland, Haiti, China, and Dubai, among others. The results of his research are currently being used in the rebuilding of Christchurch, New Zealand, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, following recent devastating earthquakes.

In 2011, Green worked with researchers from New Zealand gathering post-earthquake data. Of particular significance was his analysis of soil liquefaction that was pervasive in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch, the results of which have direct implications on how the risk due to liquefaction is evaluated in the US and worldwide.   

In 2010, Green was a member of a National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored team that performed a post-earthquake investigation in Haiti. The research focused on collecting performance data on building foundations, bridges, levees, buried pipelines, natural slopes, and transportation systems. He was part of a subsequent NSF study to develop seismic hazard maps for Port-au-Prince.

“More than any other project in which Russell has been involved, the development of the Port-au-Prince seismic hazard maps has the greatest potential to save lives in future earthquakes,” said Sam Easterling, Montague-Betts Professor of Structural Steel Design and department head.

Green emphasizes the value of international research experience to his students, and has led a group of undergraduate and graduate students to Iceland to establish a formal student exchange agreement between the college and the University of Iceland. He is the recipient of several prestigious fellowships with international universities, all geared at increasing research collaborations.

Green received a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a master’s degree from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

Written by Catherine Doss.