Le-Wu Lu, Renowned Civil Engineer Researcher, Dies

Le-Wu Lu, who gained international renown for his research into the strength and behavior of building structures during a Lehigh University career that spanned six decades, died July 27 at the age of 81.

Throughout his research and teaching career, Lu’s expertise helped expand Lehigh’s global reputation for structural engineering. He is best known for his extensive studies on the seismic response of steel building structures, precast concrete structures, innovative structural systems, composite steel-concrete structures, structural connections and the repair and retrofit of structures.

He received several major awards, published more than 250 journal articles and conference papers and supervised or co-supervised two dozen Ph.D. students during his academic career. He also served as chair of Lehigh’s department of civil and environmental engineering.

Research by Lu and his Lehigh colleagues has been cited thousands of times, according to Google Scholar, and continues to inform codes and specifications, design recommendations, and the work of practicing engineers and professional organizations, including AISC.

He was actively involved in numerous professional societies including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the International Association for Structural Safety and Reliability and the original Joint Committee on Tall Buildings, which later became the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

Lu is survived by his wife, Dorothy Lu; a daughter, Julia; a son, Paul; and one grandchild.