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Civil and Environmental Engineering


Reginald DesRoches

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, William and Stephanie Sick Dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering

Research Summary

DesRoches’ research focuses on the design of resilient infrastructure systems under extreme loads and the application of smart and adaptive materials. A fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), he has published more than 250 articles in the field of resilience and seismic risk assessment, and served as the technical leader in the U.S. response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Brief Bio

DesRoches joined the faculty of Georgia Tech in Atlanta as an assistant professor in 1998 after completing his Ph.D. in structural engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2002 he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given to scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers. He became a professor in 2008, and in 2012 he was named the Karen and John Huff School Chair and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He joined the Rice faculty in 2017.

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in Queens, a borough of New York City, DesRoches said his love of science and math and his interest in “tinkering with things” led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Berkeley. He was at Berkeley when the San Francisco area was hit with a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in 1989, and he witnessed firsthand the structural damage in the Bay Area.

DesRoches serves on the National Academies Resilient America Roundtable, the Board on Army Science and Technology, the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Advisory Committee, the Global Earthquake Modeling Scientific Board and the advisory board for the Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure and Emergency Management Research Center. He has chaired the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Seismic Effects Committee as well as the executive committee of the Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering.

Among DesRoches’ honors are the 2015 ASCE Charles Martin Duke Lifeline Earthquake Engineering Award, the 2007 ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize and the 2008 Georgia Tech ANAK Award, which is the highest honor the undergraduate student body can bestow on a Georgia Tech faculty member. He was elected to the UC Berkeley Civil Engineering Department Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 2015.

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