Department of

Civil and Environmental Engineering



Kavanagh Lecture - Biographical Sketch

The Eighth Annual Thomas C. Kavanagh Memorial Structural Engineering Lecture

April 6, 2000

7:30 pm

Applied Research Laboratory Auditorium

Research Basis for Technological Developments in Precast Post-tensioned Segmental Concrete Bridges


Dr. John E. Breen
Nassar I. Al-Rashid Chair in Civil Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin


Dr. John E. Breen holds the Nasser I. Al-Rashid Chair in Civil Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin where he was the Director of the Phil. M. Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory from 1967 to 1985. After receiving a B.C.E. from Marquette University in 1953, he served as a United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer from 1953-1956. He received a M.S.C.E. at the University of Missouri in 1957 and was a faculty member there from 1957-1959. He then went to The University of Texas at Austin to study under the late professor Phil M. Ferguson. In 1962, he received his Ph.D. from Texas and joined the faculty there. During his time at The University of Texas, Dr. Breen has received four awards for excellence in teaching. He is co-author of the highly acclaimed text, Reinforced Concrete Fundamentals. He also served as a Visiting Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland in 1984.

Dr. Breen is active in reinforced and prestressed concrete research and development. He played a key role in the design and construction of the United States' first segmentally constructed precast post-tensioned box girder in Corpus Christi, Texas, which received the Prestressed Concrete Institute Award for merit in 1974. His continuing role in segmental bridge research earned the initial Leadership Award of the American Segmental Bridge Institute in 1989. He frequently serves as a consultant on bridge and building projects. His research accomplishments have been recognized by receipt of over 10 national prizes and medals, many based on TxDOT and FHWA research. In October, 1999, he shared receipt of ASCE's prestigious Croes Medal for a paper on cable stay corrosion protection tests. He is an Honorary Member of ACI. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1976, and was elected a Foreign Associate of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Science in 1995. He is past chair of the ACI Building Code Committee and of the IABSE Working Commission on Concrete Structures. In 1990, he received the FIP Medal awarded by the International Federation of Prestressed Concrete Associations at their Hamburg World Congress. He is a registered professional engineer in both Missouri and Texas.