Honorary Civil Professor Awarded fib Medal of Merit

Thursday, June 25, 2015 | By Lindsay Cashin

Dr. Koji Sakai, Representative of the Japan Sustainability Institute and Honorary UBC Civil Engineering professor, was awarded the fib (International Federation for Structural Concrete) Medal of Merit at the opening ceremony of the fib symposium in Copenhagen in May 2015. This award is given to a person who made outstanding contributions to both the field of structural concrete and the fib. This is the 3rd consecutive year of award for him, as he received the JSCE Book of the Year award for “The sustainable use of concrete (CRC PRESS)” in 2013 and the ACI Concrete Sustainability Award in 2014. Congratulations to Prof. Sakai!


Prof. Sakai received his master and doctoral degrees from Hokkaido University, where he also worked as a research associate and associate professor. He also served at the Civil Engineering Research Institute as the head of the materials section and director of the structural division; the University of Canterbury and University of Houston as an invited research associate; and Kagawa University as a professor. He retired from Kagawa University on March 2014 and founded the Japan Sustainability Institute.

He started his career in concrete structures and shifted to concrete materials. The broadening of his research area brought him to the concept of integrated design. To expand this idea, he decided to organize a new international conference entitled “Concrete under Severe Conditions – Environment and Loading” in 1995. UBC Civil Engineering Professor Nemy Banthia was a co-founder of the conference, which continues to be held every three years, and has taken place in Norway, Canada, Korea, France, Mexico, and China.

Prof. Sakai has worked for fib from its foundation in 1998, as both the Deputy Chair and Chair of Commission 3 (environmental aspect) until 2010, and chair of the fib Sustainability Initiative from 2010 - 2014. He was a member of the fib Presidium from 2009 – 2014 and he introduced “sustainability” in the fib Model Code 2010.

Additional contributions to the field by Prof. Sakai include the founding of the ACI Concrete Sustainability Forum in 2008, the 8th of which will be held at the Denver ACI Fall Convention in November, 2015. He is also the chair of the ISO technical committee TC71 SC8 (Environmental management for concrete and concrete structures), which he founded in 2007. More recently, in 2013, he founded a new international conference on concrete sustainability (ICCS).

Prof. Sakai continues his activities on sustainability domestically and internationally. In addition, he has collaborated with several companies to incorporate the sustainability concept into their business.

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