CCEE Hall of Fame

Nationwide impact and leadership in bridge engineering, significant contributions to bridge engineering research

Inducted 2023

Ahmad Abu-Hawash graduated in 1993 with a master’s degree in civil engineering with a structural focus at Iowa State University (ISU). Since graduation, he has been breaking new ground as a structural engineer and built a 37-year career at the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT). After holding several positions in construction and design, he became the Chief Structural Engineer for Iowa and remained in that position until 2021. In 2021, Abu-Hawash started a position at the National Corporative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), where he currently serves as a Senior Program Officer.

Throughout Abu-Hawash’s time as a structural engineer, he oversaw the design of several high-profile projects and design activities including the reconstruction of I-235 in Des Moines, which consisted of over 70 bridges, the I-80 and US 34 bridges over the Missouri River, and the recently opened I-74 Twin Basket Handle Steel Arch bridges over the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities.

Not only has Abu-Hawash overseen the completion of high-impact projects, but he has contributed significantly to advancing bridge engineering research. Through his partnership with ISU’s Bridge Engineering Center and the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, he played a crucial role in identifying promising technologies and helped the DOT and local agencies lead in their implementation by securing federal grants for demonstration projects. One of Abu-Hawash’s greatest national impacts was his enthusiastic promotion of Ultra-High Performance Concrete. He led his team to develop the Ultra-High Performance deck overlay concept, causing Iowa to become the first North American state to apply the concept in 2015.

Abu-Hawash has held prominent leadership roles in professional organizations such as the American Association of State Highways and Transportation Officials and the Transportation Research Board. He is a proponent of innovation with an emphasis on practical values, instrumental in the DOT developing a strong bridge research program and ensuring the implementation of research outcomes in practice.