Masayoshi Nakashima '81 Ph.D. is a Professor at Kyoto University, Japan, and was elected to membership in the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2015 for large-scale dynamic building testing that has contributed significantly to structural earthquake engineering.
Dr. Nakashima has been engaged in research and education in structural and earthquake engineering research throughout his career. After graduating from Kyoto University, he went to the United States and earned his Ph.D. degree from Lehigh. When he returned to Japan, he worked at the Building Research Institute (BRI) of the Ministry of Construction and then at Kobe University, before moving to the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) of Kyoto University. DPRI, founded in 1951, is a unique research organization featured with over one-hundred faculty members whose expertise extends from natural science, engineering, informatics, to social sciences. Between 2011 and 2013, he served as Director of DPRI and lead the research and education implemented in DPRI.
Nakashima's fields of research include inelastic, stability, and collapse behavior of steel members and frames, seismic analysis and design of steel building structures, and experimental techniques for the simulation of earthquake responses. In particular, he pioneered the realization of two very important experimental techniques in earthquake engineering: the hybrid simulation and the shaking table test. Between 2004 and 2011, Nakashima served as Inaugurating Director of E-Defense, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED). E-Defense is a research center that operates the world's largest shaking table.
Extending over a 30-year time span, Nakashima and his students have published some three hundred technical papers, over one hundred and fifty of them in archived journals. He supervised over 70 graduate students including 30 doctoral students. Based on the research carried out by him and his students, Nakashima has earned various national awards including the Best Paper Prize of the Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ) and the Best Paper Award of the Japan Society of Steel Construction (JSSC, equivalent to the American Society for Steel Construction), among others. The Japanese academia recognizes Nakashima's academic achievements and elected him Member of the Engineering Academy of Japan (EAJ, equivalent to the National Academy of Engineering of the United States) and also Fellow of the Japan Federation of Engineering Societies (JFES). He also earned four awards in the United States: the ASCE Moisseiff Award (2000), the Special Achievement Award of AISC (2009), the ASCE Ernest E. Howard Award (2013), and he EERI George W. Housner Medal (2014). The U.S. National Academy of Engineering nducted him to Foreign Member (in Civil Engineering) in 2015.
Regarding his contribution to the concerned profession, he served as Vice-President of AIJ, Vice-President of the Japanese Society for Earthquake Engineering (JAEE, equivalent to the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), and Director of EERI. In June 2015, he was elected President of AIJ, with his term to continue to May 2017. Currently he is also Executive Vice President of International Association of Earthquake Engineering (IAEE) and serves as Editor of International Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics (EESD), an official journal of IAEE. According to 2014 ISI Journal Citation Reports, EESD is ranked #3 out of 32 journals in the category of Geological Engineering and #15 out of 122 journals in the category of Civil Engineering.