Michel Virlogeux was born in France in 1946. He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in 1967 and from the Ecole National des Pontes et Chaussees in 1970. In 1974 he joined the French Highway Administration, SETRA, and over a period of 20 years as Head of the Bridge Division designed more than 100 bridges. In particular he was involved in the design and construction of the Pont de Normandie (1994) over the River Seine adjacent to Le Havre. This was a cable stayed bridge with a main span of 860m (2821 ft) which exceeded the next largest cable stayed bridge the Yangpu Bridge (1993) in China, by 43%. The development of longer spans of bridges is usually carried out in incremental stages so to build a bridge of this scale was a leap into the unknown. In 1995 he left SETRA and became a Consultant Engineer. Since then he has been involved in the Vasco de Gama Bridge (1997) in Lisbon and the 2.5km long Millau Viaduct (2004) in the South of France. He has also worked on the new Pont Bacalan – Bastile Vertical Lift Bridge (2013) in Bordeaux. The opening section of the bridge has a span of 117m (384 ft) and has a clearance of 60m (197 ft) beneath it when in the open position. He is currently working on the new cable stayed bridge across the Panama Canal. Virlogeux has won many international awards for his work and is recognised worldwide for his innovation in bridge design.