Lawrence G. Griffis, P.E., is joining the FIU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty as a professor of practice. Griffis, known as one of the most established building designers in the world, will provide students and faculty with tremendous opportunities in the educational and research fronts.
“I have known and worked with Larry for many years,” said Atorod Azizinamini, chair of the department. “He is among few designers who continuously explores new ideas and concepts. His recent interest in performance based design of high-rise buildings under high wind loads provides our faculty with great opportunities to collaborate and explore new frontiers.”
Griffis is a senior principal and past president of the Structures Division at Walter P. Moore and Associates. Over the years, Griffis has directed or made significant contributions to the structural design of over 80 major buildings throughout the United States and internationally. He has combined his 40 years of practical design and management experience with ongoing involvement in numerous technical committees, exploring and documenting specialized structural issues of design, construction, and delivery.
Griffis has developed particular expertise in the design of long span roof structures (stadiums, ballparks, arenas and convention centers), high-rise buildings, composite steel and concrete systems, and analysis of large buildings under wind and seismic forces. He is considered one of the top specialists in wind engineering in the U.S. and author and contributor to the development of the ASCE 7 wind standard used by all U.S. building codes. He has been a pioneer in the design of retractable roof stadiums and ballparks in the U.S., including Reliant Stadium and Minute Maid Park in Houston, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and the Cardinals Stadium in Phoenix.
Projects completed under his direction have been honored with numerous structural awards, including the Eminent Conceptor Award, emblematic of the top engineering accomplishment in Texas, for eight different projects over the last 14 years. In 1994, Griffis’ career body of work in the development of composite steel systems was recognized by the American Institute of Steel Construction when he was named T.R. Higgins Lecturer. This prestigious award is the highest honor given by the steel industry in the United States. In 2002, Griffis was the recipient of the Civil and Architectural Engineering Outstanding Alumni Award at the University of Texas. A second honor bestowed on him during 2002, was the AISC Lifetime Achievement Award. Additional professional honors include finalist as ENR Magazine’s Construction Man of the Year, 1990.
Since 2003, Griffis has been member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is one of only a few engineers to serve simultaneously on the code committees for both AISC and ACI and also as an on-going member of the ASCE 7 Standards Committee. In 2009, Griffis received the coveted Kimbrough Award presented by the American Institute of Steel Construction as the highest award presented for design innovation in structural steel. Griffis’ other awards include: recipient of Walter P. Moore Jr. Award from SEI/ASCE for development of codes and standards in 2006, Wilbur C. Schoeller Award from Structural Engineers Association of Texas in 2003.
Griffis is also a very active member of professional societies and has served in many national and international committees as member and chair. He has been published widely, covering diverse structural engineering topics.
“Larry Griffis brings many years of experience in design, innovation, education and research to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at FIU,” Azizinamini said. “The faculty is excited to have such well accomplished engineer as a colleague in the department.”