Scientific Committee

Billie F. Spencer Jr.

Nathan M. and Anne M. Newmark Endowed Chair in Civil Engineering Director

Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA. Director

International Joint Research Laboratory of Earthquake Engineering, Tongji University


Billie F. Spencer Jr. received his Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985. He worked on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame for 17 years before returning to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he currently holds the Nathan M. and Anne M. Newmark Endowed Chair in Civil Engineering and is the Director of the Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory. His research has been primarily in the areas of structural health monitoring, structural control, cyberinfrastructure applications, stochastic fatigue, stochastic computational mechanics, and natural hazard mitigation. Dr. Spencer has directed more than $50M in funded research and published more than 700 technical papers/reports, including two books. He pioneered the design and use of magnetorheological (MR) fluid dampers for protection of structures against earthquakes and strong winds, overcoming the inherent limitations of existing passive energy dissipation systems, as well as power-dependent active control systems, which are in common use today. He led NSF's George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) system integration project, which constituted the nation's first engineering cyberinfrastructure initiative. He was the PI on the NEES MUST-SIM facility at the University of Illinois focusing on hybrid simulation. His research on structural health monitoring systems and smart wireless sensors integrates advanced computing tools with smart sensors, to provide a functional platform with self-interrogation capabilities. He led the Jindo Bridge monitoring project in South Korea, which constitutes the world's largest deployment of wireless smart sensors to monitor civil infrastructure to date. His most recent research uses computer vision and machine learning techniques to enable rapid post-earthquake inspection of structures using drones, as well as topology optimization of structures subjected to stochastic dynamic loads. Dr. Spencer has received numerous awards, including the ASCE Norman Medal, the ASCE Housner Structural Control and Monitoring Medal, the ASCE Newmark Medal, the ASCE Outstanding Instructor Award, the Zhu Kezhen International Lectureship Award, the ANCRiSST Outstanding Senior Investigator Award, the Structural Health Monitoring Person of the Year Award, the J.M. Ko Medal of Advances in Structural Engineering, IASCM Takuji Kobori Prize, and the Raymond & Sidney Epstein Structural Engineering Faculty Award. Dr. Spencer is a Fellow of ASCE, a Foreign Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the North American Editor in Chief of Smart Structures and Systems, the Executive Managing Editor of the journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration, the past president of the Asia-Pacific Network of Centers for Research in Smart Structures Technology, and a Designated Foreign Expert by China's State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.