REGINALD DESROCHES, Ph.D., F. ASCE, F. SEI
Karen and John Huff School Chair and Professor
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Office: Mason 1109
Reginald DesRoches is the Karen and John Huff School Chair and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. As School Chair, he provides leadership to a top-ranked program with 100 faculty and staff and 1,100 students. His primary research interests are in design of resilient infrastructure systems under extreme loads. He has published more than 250 articles in the general area of resilience and seismic risk assessment, and he has given more than 100 presentations in 30 different countries.
A fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the society's Structural Engineering Institute, Dr. DesRoches has served as the key technical leader in the United States’ response to the Haiti earthquake and led a team of 28 engineers, architects, city planners, and social scientists to study the impact of the earthquake. He has also participated in numerous congressional briefings to underscore the critical role that university research must play in addressing the country’s infrastructure crisis and resilience to natural hazards. Dr. DesRoches has served as thesis advisor to 29 Doctoral and 17 Master’s thesis students.
Dr. DesRoches serves on the National Academy of Sciences Resilience Roundtable and the Academy’s Board on Army Science and Technology as well as on the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for Engineering, 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.
In recent years, Dr. DesRoches has testified before U.S. House and Senate subcommittees on earthquake resilience and science and participated in Washington, D.C., roundtables on topics ranging from disaster preparedness to challenges for African-American men in STEM fields. National media outlets frequently contact him for expert analysis following earthquake events, including CNN, CNN International, LiveScience, National Geographic, and Asia Times online. He also is frequently called on as a champion of the critical role that university research must play in addressing the country’s infrastructure crisis and resilience to natural hazards.
Dr. DesRoches has received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2002 — the highest honor bestowed upon scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers. Most recently, he was a recipient of the 2007 ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, the 2015 ASCE Charles Martin Duke Lifeline Earthquake Engineering Award, the Georgia Tech Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Advisor Award (2010), and the Georgia Tech ANAK Award (2008). The ANAK award is the highest honor the undergraduate student body can bestow on a Georgia Tech faculty member.
In his tenure as Karen and John Huff School Chair, he has guided the development of a new minor in global engineering leadership, a strategic interdisciplinary research initiative, and the creation of the Hyatt Distinguished Alumni Leadership Speaker Series. He also oversaw a $13.5 million renovation of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s main facility, the Jesse W. Mason Building. In 2014, he became Georgia Tech’s Faculty Athletics Representative, serving as the liaison between the Institute and the Athletics Association.
DesRoches was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and grew up in Queens, New York. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science in Civil Engineering, and Ph.D. in Structural Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was recently elected to the civil engineering department’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni.