Structural Engineering

Structural Engineering

Research Areas

The structural engineering program's research areas include:

  • Development of innovative performance-based procedures for the design and retrofit of structures
  • Use of fiber reinforcement polymers for the structural rehabilitation of structures
  • Design and analysis of prestressed and reinforced concrete structures
  • Precast concrete structures
  • Development of new systems for rapid replacement of bridge decks and girders.
  • Design, fabrication, and construction engineering processes
  • Applications of artificial intelligence to civil and structural engineering
  • Web enhanced teaching of engineering design
  • Design of computer-aided tools for civil engineering
  • Fatigue and fracture in steel bridges
  • Behavior of structural steel joints
  • Frame stability
  • Nondestructive testing and evaluation of structures

Research Projects

Recent structural engineering research projects include:

  • "Damage Compliant Inelastic Design Parameters for Performance-Based-Seismic-Design of Slender RC Columns," Sponsored by the National Science
  • "NCHRP 12-96 [Active]: Simplified Full-Depth Precast Concrete Deck Panel Systems", Sponsored by the National Academy of Science (NAS)
  • "Wireless monitoring of the Alaskan Way Viaduct", Seattle, WA State:
  • "NCHRP 12-65: Full-Depth, Precast-Concrete Bridge Deck Panel Systems," Sponsored by the National Academy of Science (NAS)
  • "Use of Recent Innovation in Highway Bridge Decks," Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Sponsored by TEA-21 Innovative Bridge Research & Construction Program
  • "GWU Initiative for Excellence in Transportation Safety and Security," Sponsored GWU/EVP Office
  • "Flexural Analysis of High Performance Concrete Members," Sponsored by GWU/UFF
  • "Utilization of Coal Ash in Concrete Products Used by OPPD," Sponsored by the Omaha Public Power District
  • "NEESR-SG Seismic Simulation and Design of Bridge Columns under Combined Actions, and Implications on System Response," Sponsored by the National Science Foundation - NEES. 
  • "Experimental Study on Seismic Retrofit Techniques for Cap Beams, Columns and their Connections of Highway Bridges," Sponsored by the Alaska Department of Transportation and University Transportation Center (UMR-UTC).
  • "NCAC - Honda Visiting Scientist", Sponsored by Honda R&D Americas Inc
  • "K-16 Over Tuttle Creek Fatigue Repair Project", Sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation
  • "Steel Girder Lateral Stability," Sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation
  • "Fabrication error Indexed eXamples and Solutions," Sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
  • "Cost-Effective Design of Bridges on Low-Volume Roads," Sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation


Dr. Kim Roddis is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Roddis received each of her academic degrees (BS, MS, and Ph.D.) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A registered professional engineer, Professor Roddis has experience in heavy industrial and general commercial building design, as well as in bridge design. She is a structural engineer with varied teaching and research interests, which include: design, fabrication, and construction processes; structural applications of artificial intelligence and computer-aided design; web-enhanced teaching; fatigue and fracture in bridges; frame stability; and seismic steel connections. She is recognized nationally as an expert in distortion-induced fatigue of steel highway bridges and internationally as an expert on the application of artificial intelligence and advanced computing methods to civil engineering problem solving. Professor Roddis currently serves as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) representative on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Computing in Civil and Structural Engineering. She is a fellow of ASCE and active at the national level in ASCE, the American Institute of Steel Construction, and the Transportation Research Board.  Learn more about Dr. Roddis

Dr. Sameh Badie specializes in the area of design and analysis of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures. His area of specialty is advanced concrete materials (HPC), use of corrosion resistant reinforcement in reinforced concrete structures, and application of prestressed concrete in buildings and bridges. Dr. Badie has provided guidance and supervised various projects including the Student Bridge Design Award Competition in 2002 and 2003. He is an author of many publications and received the ACI-structural engineering design award in 2000 for his paper, "Innovative Bridge Panel System A Success: A Success". Another of his publications was cited in a survey of PCI JOURNAL readers as one of the top ten useful papers by designers and plant engineers. He is a nationally renowned structural engineering professional and has lead a number of successful research projects. Learn more about Dr. Badie

Dr. Pedro Silva specializes in the area of seismic and blast design of civil infrastructures. Other research areas include the development of innovative performance-based procedures for the design and retrofit of structures, and use of fiber reinforcement polymers for the structural rehabilitation of structures. Dr. Silva has approximately 10 years of professional experience in both architectural and structural engineering design practice in the United States. Recently, he was involved in a research project funded by FHWA that investigated the seismic hazards of existing bridge structures located in the New Madrid Seismic Region. Most recently, Dr. Silva was funded under an exploratory research grant from the National Science Foundation that deals with design of structures to resist blast loads. Learn more about Dr. Silva


Students and faculty conduct research in the Structural Testing/Materials Science Laboratory, which contains the following capabilities and equipment:

  • Material testing, structural component testing, composite and advanced cementatious materials research lab
  • Contains static and dynamic materials loading equipment, data acquisition systems, and a 400-kip self equilibrium testing frame