Pictured from left are Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) President Robert Risser, PCI 2016 Distinguished Educator Awardee Dr. Wael Zatar, and PCI Chairman of the Board Chuck Prussack.

Marshall University Professor Wael Zatar, dean of the College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE), has been named the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Distinguished Educator for 2016.

The Distinguished Educator Award was developed by PCI to recognize distinguished engineering, architecture and construction educators who have made significant and sustained educational contributions to the precast and prestressed concrete industry.

Zatar is the first professor from West Virginia to receive this distinguished award. The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute President Robert Risser and Chairman of the Board Chuck Prussack presented the award to Zatar during the fall 2016 PCI Committee Days and Membership Conference in Chicago. The award was presented during the award ceremony event, which was attended by more than 800 experts in the field. A video displaying Zatar’s accomplishments was shown to the event attendees.

“I am truly honored and certainly privileged to be selected as the recipient of the 2016 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Distinguished Educator,” Zatar said. “It was such a special moment to be on the stage in front of more than 800 experts representing every state in the US and from all over the world and accepting this prestigious award from the PCI President Robert Risser and PCI Chairman of the Board Chuck Prussack.  The announcement that I was the first professor from West Virginia to ever receive this distinguished award is a moment that I will never forget.

“The support I received from the Marshall University family throughout the past years provided the greatest motivation to excel in this field.  I hope that I was able to best educate and train my students about the latest knowledge and technologies that I acquired throughout my career involvement with the PCI. I am privileged to join a very select and elite group of senior professors who have received this award in the past.”

In 2009, Zatar was also the first professor from West Virginia to receive the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Educator Award. He has consistently been heavily involved in numerous PCI activities and he has received more than 80 awards/honors. He also has provided numerous presentations at the PCI National Bridge conferences.

Previously employed at the University of Kentucky, and West Virginia University Tech, Zatar has been at Marshall University for the past 10 years. He joined Marshall as a structural engineering professor and served as the interim dean of CITE prior to his selection as the permanent dean in May of 2012.

He has over 26 years of research and experience in the field of prestressed concrete structures, seismic design and retrofit of bridge structures, all of which gained him national and international acclaim that was exemplified by his receiving prestigious awards and recognition from the United States, Japan and Mexico.

Zatar has taught 12 undergraduate courses, three undergraduate laboratories, nine graduate courses and two graduate laboratories. He has attracted, directed and participated in 59 funded projects from governmental and state agencies and disseminated research findings through authoring more than 160 journal papers and technical publications.

He has published and written chapters in six books. Zatar has attended and presented articles in more than 200 conferences, workshops and short courses and has held memberships in 24 professional societies, three honor societies and on 44 national committees.