Le-Wu Lu first came to Lehigh University as a graduate student and earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering in 1960. Prior to his arrival at Lehigh he received master's and bachelor's degrees from Iowa State University in 1956 and National Taiwan University in 1954, respectively. Dr. Lu was the first Bruce G. Johnston Professor Emeritus in the department of civil and environmental engineering.
Dr. Lu was a recipient of the 1967 Leon S. Moisseiff Award for excellence in a paper published by the American Society of Civil Engineers. He taught at the Moscow Civil Engineering Institute and was awarded an honorary professorship at the Harbin Civil Engineering and Architecture University in China. He was also an honorary consultant for the Central Research Institute for Building and Construction and the National Research Center for Industrial Building Diagnosis and Rehabilitation, both in China. Dr. Lu also belonged to a number of professional engineering societies, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and the International Association for Structural Safety and Reliability. He held administrative positions at many of these organizations. Most notably, Dr. Lu was a member of the original Joint Committee on Tall Buildings, which later became the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. He also served on the organizing committee that brought the Council's first International Conference on Tall Buildings to Lehigh in 1972.
Dr. Lu was well-known for his expertise in the seismic response of building structures, precast concrete structures, innovative structural systems, composite steel-concrete structures, structural connections, and the repair and retrofit of structures, and it is in these subjects that he wrote numerous papers. Dr. Lu also participated in research conducted at Lehigh's ATLSS (Advanced Technologies for Large Structural Systems) Center. Much of his work has contributed to design provisions for seismic-resistant structures around the world.