We’re excited to introduce the recipient of the 2018–2019 Excellence in Engineering Fellowship: Juan Carlos Restrepo.
This is the second year of the fellowship, a successful partnership between Build Change, a Denver-based international nonprofit social enterprise, and Simpson Strong-Tie, a global leader in innovative structural solutions.
This year’s fellow, Juan Carlos Restrepo, is taking leave as Director of the Technical Department at Advanced Engineering Solutions (SAS) in Bogota, Colombia, to join Build Change. Earthquakes and their dangers, in fact, have been a big part of his life. Restrepo grew up in Armenia, Colombia, site of a large 1999 earthquake that devastated his native region. From an early age, Restrepo chose to dedicate his life to structural engineering and earthquake engineering.
Today, Restrepo has over 15 years of experience in structural and earthquake engineering. During his professional career, Restrepo was a pioneer in implementing building information mapping (BIM) technology as well as high-strength concrete in Colombia. In 2011, Restrepo founded SAS. During his time as CEO of SAS, Restrepo was responsible for the seismic design of over 125,000 square meters of school space, including significant retrofitting projects.
“We are grateful to have Juan Carlos join our team for the Fellowship,” said Lizzie Blaisdell Collins, Build Change Director of Engineering. “His expertise will not only provide key support to our housing mitigation projects in making access to disaster-resistant housing scalable in the vulnerable areas of urban Colombia and the Philippines but will also help our engineering teams grow and develop additional professional experience.”
Restrepo earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Quindío, a professional Diploma in Structures from the University of Valle and a master’s degree in Earthquake Engineering from the MEEES Program at the Rose School in Pavia, Italy, a leading institution for seismic studies. Restrepo will primarily be supporting our prevention programs in Colombia and the Philippines.
“The Fellowship for Engineering Excellence provides a unique opportunity to reduce risk from natural disasters by helping to identify and implement innovative solutions for building safer, more resilient structures in emerging countries throughout the world,” said Simpson Strong-Tie CEO Karen Colonias.
Restrepo is the second professional to hold the Build Change – Simpson Strong-Tie fellowship. June 2018 marked the completion of the tenure of our inaugural fellow, Professor James Mwangi, Ph.D., P.E., S.E. Over the course of 2017–2018, Dr. Mwangi traveled to three different countries and supported four different programs.
Restrepo, like his predecessor, will document his fellowship experiences right here on the Simpson Strong-Tie Structural Engineering Blog. Here are links to Dr. Mwangi’s journals.
- Part One: Introducing James Mwangi
- Part Two: Visiting New Jersey and Indonesia
- Part Three: Visiting Colombia
- Part Four: Visiting the Philippines