Open main menu

Bernard Amadei (born July 23, 1954 in Roubaix, France) is a professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, founder of Engineers Without Borders (USA), and former director of the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a recipient of the Hoover Medal. In 2009, he was recognized with an Award of Excellence from Engineering News-Record. In 2012, Dr. Amadei was appointed as a Science Envoy by the U.S. Department of State.

Bernard Amadei
Born(1954-07-23)July 23, 1954
ResidenceUnited States
NationalityUnited States
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materEcole Supérieure de Géologie Appliquée
et de Prospection Minière,
University of Toronto, and
University of California, Berkeley
Known forFounding Engineers Without Borders (USA)
Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities
Awards Heinz Award in the Environment (2007)
National Academy of Engineering
Hoover Medal (2007)
ENR Award of Excellence
Washington Award (2015)
ASCE OPAL Award (2015)
Five Honorary Doctorate Degrees
Senior Ashoka Fellow
Scientific career
FieldsDevelopment Engineering and Geotechnical engineering
InstitutionsUniversity of Colorado Boulder
Doctoral advisorRichard E. Goodman



Amadei is a native of Roubaix, France, born on July 23, 1954.[1] Amadei earned a Diploma of Engineer (Dipl. Eng.) in 1977 in the area of Applied Geology from the School of Applied Geology and Mining Engineering (Ecole Supérieure de Géologie Appliquée et de Prospection Minière) in Nancy, France (currently known as the École nationale supérieure de géologie or ENSG).[1][2][3] Following a year of service in the French Army (August 1977 to August 1978), he began graduate studies abroad. He earned a Master of Science from the University of Toronto in 1979 and was awarded a doctorate (PhD) in civil engineering in 1982 from the University of California, Berkeley for his thesis publication entitled "The Influence of Rock Anisotropy on Measurement of Stresses in Rock in situ."[1] The Obama administration, following up the president's announcement of the program in Cairo, named Dr. Amadei one of three Scientific Envoys appointed by Secretary of State Clinton in November, 2012.[4]

Establishment of Engineers Without Borders-USAEdit

A firm belief in the principle that engineers must hold the public welfare paramount, or above any other responsibility, led Amadei to reconsider his involvement in a hydroelectric plant in Costa Rica in 2002. He thought that this project would displace too many local residents and violate this principle of "do no harm." This realization came along about two years after his first experience with a humanitarian engineering project.[5]

In 2000, Amadei organized an effort resulting in the construction of a water pump for a village in Belize. He undertook the effort at the suggestion of an immigrant landscaper working at his residence. Amadei saw that the installation of a pump to supply drinking water to the village of San Pablo would have a social impact on this community. Young girls in the village were tasked with carrying water each day from the river to the village. This meant that they could not attend school. Using the engineering talent of himself and his students to bring clean drinking water to the village had a huge social benefit to the community.[6] This comprehension of the larger meaning of engineering inspired Amadei to create a volunteer organization that could enable engineers to donate their services in this manner.[5]

From a small beginning with just a few students volunteering alongside him, the Engineers Without Borders-USA organization has grown to 15,900 members in 400 chapters. Humanitarian aid has been provided in 48 countries, benefiting more than 600,000 people.[5]

Awards and distinctionsEdit

  • Rocha Medal (1984) from the International Society for Rock Mechanics - an award issued annually for an outstanding doctoral thesis in the field of rock mechanics.[7]
  • 2007 Hoover Medal.
  • The 13th Annual Heinz Award in the Environment, 2007[8]
  • Membership in the National Academy of Engineering (United States) (2008) for "the creation of Engineers Without Borders, leadership in sustainable development education, and research on geomechanics."
  • 2009 Award of Excellence from Engineering News-Record for founding Engineers Without Borders (USA).[5]
  • Elected a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009.[9]
  • Membership in the National Academy of Construction (United States) (2013)[10]
  • Holds five honorary doctoral degrees (UMass Lowell; Carroll College; Clarkson, Drexel, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
  • Elected Senior Ashoka Fellow (2011)[11]
  • 2015 Washington Award, The Western Society of Engineers
  • 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers, Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) (education)

List of worksEdit

  • Amadei, Bernard (1983). Rock Anisotropy and the Theory of Stress Measurements. Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-0-387-12388-2.
  • Amadei, Bernard; Stephansson, Ove (2007). Rock Stress and its Measurement (1st ed.). Chapman & Hall. ISBN 978-0-412-44700-6.
  • Amadei, Bernard (2014). Engineering in Sustainable Human Development. ASCE Press. ISBN 978-0-7844-1353-1.
  • Amadei, Bernard (2015). A Systems Approach to Modeling Community Development Projects. Momentum Press. ISBN 978-1-60650-518-2.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Nomination for Manuel Rocha Medal, Brief CV of Bernard Amadei" (PDF). International Society for Rock Mechanics. 1984. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2006. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  2. ^ University of Colorado Boulder, Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering Department. "Faculty biography". Archived from the original on April 20, 2009.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ École nationale supérieure de géologie. "History of ENSG". (in French). Archived from the original on December 10, 2007. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
  4. ^ Marlow, Jeffrey. (December 11, 2012) The Promise and Pitfalls of Science Diplomacy. Wired Magazine.
  5. ^ a b c d Rubin, Debra K. (March 30, 2009). "Award of Excellence: Academic ignites engineering talent to drive levele of needed change". Engineering News-Record. New York: McGraw-Hill. 262 (10): 24–31. ISSN 0891-9526. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2009. Archived from the original Archived 2009-04-22 at WebCite on April 22, 2009. Second page; archived from the original on April 22, 2009.
  6. ^ Michels, Spencer (December 7, 2007). "Engineers Lend Technical Aid to Developing Countries". The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Public Broadcasting Service. Archived from the original on April 23, 2009. Retrieved April 23, 2009.
  7. ^ "ISRM: The Rocha Medal". International Society for Rock Mechanics. Archived from the original on January 14, 2008. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  8. ^ The Heinz Awards, Bernard Amadei profile
  9. ^ ASCE, 2009 Distinguished Members.
  10. ^ National Academy of Construction, Member Page, Bernard Amadei. The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, 2013.
  11. ^ Ashoka, Bernard Amadei. 2009.

External linksEdit