risa celebrates: asian american & pacific islander heritage month

RISA Celebrates: Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a month-long celebration in the United States that takes place annually during the month of May. During Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, there are various events and activities organized across the United States to celebrate and recognize the contributions of Asian American & Pacific Islander Americans. These events can include cultural festivals, music concerts, art exhibits, food fairs, and educational programs

The month-long celebration is dedicated to honoring and celebrating the contributions and influence of Asian American & Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. Let’s celebrate just a few structures and people this community has contributed to the field and practice of Structural Engineering.

1. Iolani Palace, Honolulu, HI

Iolani Palace

The Iolani Palace is a historic royal palace located in downtown Honolulu, Hawai'i. It was the official residence of the Hawaiian monarchs from 1882 to 1893.  The palace was considered one of the most luxurious buildings in the world at the time, with modern amenities such as electric lighting and telephones. It served as the political and cultural center of the Hawaiian Kingdom during the late 19th century, hosting important events such as the coronation of King Kalakaua and the reception of foreign dignitaries. In 1962, the palace was designated a National Historic Landmark and in 1978, it was restored and opened as a museum by the Hawai'i State government. Today, visitors can take guided tours of the palace and learn about the history and culture of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

2. Fazlur Rahman Khan (1951-)

willis tower

Fazlur Rahman Khan (1929-1982) was a Bangladeshi-American structural engineer and architect, who is considered to be one of the most important architects and engineers of the 20th century. He is best known for his innovative structural systems for skyscrapers, including the "tube" structural system and the "trussed tube" structural system. During his career, Khan worked for the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) in Chicago, where he designed numerous iconic buildings such as the John Hancock Center and the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower), which was the tallest building in the world at the time of its completion in 1973.    

3. Nan Madol, Federated States of Micronesia

Nan Madol

The Nan Madol is an ancient city located on the eastern shore of the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. The city is made up of a series of small artificial islands connected by a network of canals, causeways, and bridges, and is believed to have been constructed between the 8th and 16th centuries CE by the Saudeleur dynasty. The structures in Nan Madol are made up of massive basalt stones, some weighing up to 50 tons, and were transported from quarries located several miles away. The city was an important political and religious center and was believed to have been the capital of the Saudeleur dynasty. Nan Madol is the only extant ancient city built on top of a coral reef. Constructed in a lagoon and surrounded by water on three sides with a stone wall enclosing the complex, the city is often referred to as the "Venice of the Pacific." Today, it is still unknown how the early builders transported the heavy stones to their final locations.

4. Tung-Yen Lin (1912-2003)

Mackinac Bridge

Tung-Yen Lin was a prominent Taiwanese-American civil engineer, known for his innovative work in bridge engineering and his contributions to the field of earthquake engineering. Lin's most famous works include the design of the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, the world's longest suspension bridge when it opened in 1957, and the concept and design of the concept of "soft story" buildings, which are designed to be more resilient to earthquakes. Lin was also a pioneer in the development of computer-based structural analysis techniques, which have since become a standard tool in civil engineering. He also was the founder of the infrastructure services firm T.Y. Lin and Associates (eventually renamed T.Y. Lin International).


Happy Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

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