Professor Ignacio Payá-Zaforteza holds a degree in civil engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Spain, and a master’s degree in bridge design from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (Paris, France). He received a European PhD (Doctor Europaeus) on structural optimization using nature-based algorithms from the UPV in 2007. His main areas of interest are Structural Art (or how the best examples of structural engineering define a new art form), fire engineering (analysis of a bridge’s fire response and development of sensors for monitoring structures submitted to fires), structural optimization, and the development of innovative teaching methodologies to foster creativity and passion for engineering. Prof. Payá-Zaforteza has authored or co-authored more than seventy publications in the aforementioned topics and was the main translator of the Spanish version of Prof. Billington’s book, The Tower and the Bridge. The New Art of Structural Engineering. In 2010, he created the Facebook group “El Club de los Locos del Arte Estructural” (“Crazy for Structural Art Club”) where people with different backgrounds discuss the relations between engineering, society, art and architecture.
Prof. Payá-Zaforteza worked as a consultant engineer in Spain, France and India for circa ten years before becoming an associate professor at the UPV. As a consultant, he was involved in the design and construction of roads, bridges, buildings, subway lines and wastewater plants, among other projects. As a visiting professor, he has taught and conducted research with Prof. M. Schlaich at the TU Berlin (nine months) and with Prof. M. Garlock at Princeton University (fifteen months, 2009-10). In addition, he also was the Kenan Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education of Princeton University for the academic year 2014-15. Prof. Payá-Zaforteza has received several awards such as the Outstanding PhD Award from UPV, the Excellence in Teaching Award from UPV (2009) and the best civil engineering student (UPV class of 1996).
Professor Maria Eugenia Moreyra Garlock received her Bachelors of Science degree from Lehigh University and a Masters of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Cornell University. She subsequently worked four years for Leslie E. Robertson Associates in New York City as a structural engineer before returning to Lehigh University and completing her Ph.D. in 2003. She is currently an Associate Professor at Princeton University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where she teaches structural engineering and researches the response of structures to large earthquakes and large fires. She also studies the best examples of structural designs of the present and past (i.e. “structural art”) and uses this to inspire her research and teaching. Professor Garlock was co-curator of Felix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist, which was an exhibition that was held in the Princeton University Art Museum, the MIT Museum, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. She co-authored a book with the same name. In 2010, she was co-curator for Fazlur Khan: Structural Artist of Urban Building Forms, which was an exhibition focusing on the structural engineering works of Fazlur Khan. In addition, she has designed several exhibitions to be on permanent display at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco beginning in May 2012. Among those exhibitions is an 80-foot stainless steel model of the bridge.