The Institution of Structural Engineers bestowed their honorable 2017 Gold Medal to Jo da Silva, the Director of Arup's International Development Group and Arup Fellow. Jo da Silva was distinguished for her leadership as a structural and humanitarian engineer, as well as her inter-disciplinary work on urban resilience. Among her achievements, she coordinated the efforts of over 100 humanitarian agencies to construct 60,000 shelters in six months in Sri Lanka, following the 2005 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
“Looking back at my career I have been lucky to work on some wonderful projects, but honestly my proudest achievements have always related to designs that help build better societies,” Jo da Silva said in a statement. “I'm deeply passionate about my current work with Arup which focusses on building resilience so that we are better able to tackle the big issues facing society such as urbanisation, climate change and poverty. The RESILIENCE SHIFT is a new initiative supported by the Lloyds Register Foundation which seeks to move the agenda among structural engineers from risk to resilience, applying performance based design across the profession, beyond areas like seismic engineering. Put simply, a hospital isn't just a building, its a critical asset within the healthcare system that serves society. As structural engineers we need to think about the social outcomes of our projects, not just physical outputs.”
Martin Powell, Chief Executive of The Institution of Structural Engineers, stated: “Jo is a more than worthy addition to this distinguished rollcall, in particular for her work setting up Arup's International Development Group, which has delivered much improved professional expertise and deep technical knowledge to humanitarian and development agencies.”
Jo da Silva will address the Institution at its London headquarters on October 11.
First awarded in 1922 to Professor Henry Adams, other notable winners in the Gold Medal's history include Felix Candela, Ove Arup, Oleg Kerensky, and Edmund Happold.
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