Thomas D. O’Rourke is the Thomas R. Briggs Professor of Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, where he has been on the faculty since 1978. He taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and holds a B.S. degree from Cornell University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois.
O’Rourke has been a member of EERI since 1980, and has served on the EERI Board of Directors (1998– 2001) and as EERI Vice President (2000–2001). He has been a speaker at EERI-sponsored conferences, seminars, and workshops, and has served on several EERI committees, including chair of the Publications Policy Committee. His earthquake investigations include the 1987 Ecuador, 1988 Armenia, 1989 Loma Prieta, 1994 Northridge, 1995 Kobe, 1999 Kocaelli, Turkey, and 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan, earthquakes. He serves on the Executive Committees of MCEER and the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems. He is a member of the Engineering Advisory Committee to the NSF Engineering Directorate. He is past chair of the Executive Committee of the ASCE Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering. He testified as an expert witness on earthquake-related issues in 1985 and 1999 before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science.
O’Rourke is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering. His awards include the 1976 Hogentogler Award from ASTM, and 1983 Collingwood and 1989 Huber Research prizes from ASCE. He received the 1995 C. Martin Duke Award from ASCE for his work in lifeline earthquake engineering, and the 1997 Stephen D. Bechtel Award from ASCE for his work in pipeline engineering. He is an elected fellow of AAAS.