Awad recently founded Grenea, an investment firm advancing and providing technical assistance to eco-developments around the world. Prior to establishing Grenea, he was the Founding Director of Property Development at the Masdar Initiative in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Masdar is a multi-faceted initiative advancing the development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions. He oversaw the development of emission-free Masdar City, the world's first development aiming to become carbon-neutral.
Awad worked in the real estate and construction industry in the Arabian Gulf for more than 25 years. He was the founder and CEO of various construction and real estate companies, dealing with the supply chain and information technology side of the industry, as well as the development of large-scale projects.
He received his BE in civil engineering from the American University in Beirut, Lebanon, and his MA in business administration from the Lebanese University in Beirut, Lebanon. Awad is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and ASTM International and a Fellow of the UK Institute of Concrete Technology.
Also joining the ACI Board of Direction for the first time is James R. Harris. He is principal of J.R. Harris & Company, Structural Engineers, Denver, Colo. He is a member of ACI Committee 318, Structural Concrete Building Code, and ACI Subcommittees 318-G, Precast and Prestressed Concrete, and 318-H, Seismic Provisions.
Harris also serves on various technical committees of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Institute of Steel Construction, the Applied Technology Council, the Building Seismic Safety Council, the International Standards Organization, the Mid-America Earthquake Engineering Research Center, the Portland Cement Association, and the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE. His contributions to the advancement of standards for structural engineering practice were recognized by his election to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005. In 2010, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.
He has been involved in the design or evaluation of several hundred structures ranging from residences to high-rise buildings, including industrial facilities, long spans, buildings in high seismic zones, excavation bracing, pile and pier foundations, vibration issues, and historic building renovations. His research focuses on the loading and response of structures, particularly earthquake and snow loadings, and on improving the formulation and use of engineering standards. He has authored more than 30 reports and journal articles on the results of his research and practice.
Harris received his MS and PhD in structural engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.
Cecil L. Jones also joins the ACI Board of Direction this year. He is the president of Diversified Engineering Services, Inc., located in Raleigh, N.C., and has more than 38 years of experience in construction and materials related to the transportation area. Prior to establishing Diversified Engineering Services, he worked with the North Carolina Department of Transportation for over 30 years with assignments ranging from field construction engineering to the position of State Materials Engineer.