PhD Students


Current PhD Students

Civil Engineering PhD student

Pablo Vega

Pablo is a PhD candidate in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Pablo received his Bachelors and Masters of Science in Civil Engineering at The University of Puerto Rico–Mayaguez.

Pablo’s PhD research investigates new ways to retrofit old concrete buildings and applications of shape memory alloys in structural engineering. He also has a keen interest in automation of design/analysis processes for civil engineering projects. While finishing his PhD, Pablo works as a structural analyst at Arup’s Advanced Technology + Research group in New York. In his spare time, Pablo enjoys sports and athletic activities, playing guitar, and exploring the wide variety of cuisines New York City has to offer.

Research: Cost-Benefit Analyses for Seismic Retrofit of Nonductile Concrete Buildings


Sujith Mangalathu 

Sujith Mangalathu is a PhD scholar at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), Atlanta. His research is focused on the problems in performance based grouping of structures for regional risk assessment, statistical decisions that supports post-earthquake response and infrastructure resilience.

Further, he also dabbles in biomedical engineering research, especially in the area of big-data analysis and is collaborating with neurologists to assess the upper extremity performance of stroke patients.

He is also a member of the SEI-ASCE’s Task Group 3 (TG3) on the risk assessment of structural and infrastructural systems. He has a MS degree in Earthquake Engineering from Rose School, Italy and EPFL Switzerland.  Currently, he is leading the EERI and SEI chapters at Georgia Tech.

He attends independent film festivals and have an active passion for movies. He also plays football and do hikes in his free time.

Research: Response of CA Bridges in Earthquakes



Nan Gao

Nan Gao is a PhD student in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Tongji University in 2008. After that, he worked as a structural engineer in China for five years. In 2012, he became a registered structural engineer in China. In 2013, he started his graduate studies at Georgia Tech.

His major research interest is the application of shape memory alloys in earthquake engineering and blast protection. Nan is currently carrying out experimental research at the Structural Engineering and Materials Laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Reginald DesRoches and Dr. Lauren Stewart.

Research: Experimental Testing of Strain Rate Dependency of Shape Memory Alloy Materials under Quasistatic and Dynamic Loading


Farahnaz Soleimani

Farahnaz Soleimani

Farahnaz is a PhD student in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. She received her Master’s degrees from Tufts University and Georgia Tech.

Her Ph.D. work in the Natural Hazards Mitigation Research Group under the supervision of Dr. DesRoches focuses on the fragility analysis of California bridges.

In general, her research interests include seismic probabilistic assessment, multi-hazards analysis, structural reliability, finite element analysis, structural damage identification, and performance of advanced materials for structures.

She enjoys baking, jogging, and playing music in her spare time.

Research: Fragility of California Bridges: Development of Modification Factors


La Sasha Walker

Research: Application of Recycled Concrete Aggregate in Seismic Design of Buildings

Past PhD Students


Dr.Tim Wright (2015)
MS Student in Data Analytics, GT


Dr. Laura Redmond (2014)
Structural Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA.


Prof. Jong-Su Jeon (2013)
Assistant Professor
Andong University, Seoul, Korea


Prof.Reza Mizaeifar (2013)
Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering
Virginia Tech


Prof. Stephanie Paal(2013)
Assistant Professor
Texas A&M University


Dr.Jazalyn Dukes (2013)
Research Engineer
Naval Surface Warfare Center
Washington, D.C.


Dr. Karthik Ramanathan (2012)
Research and Modeling Engineer Air Worldwide
Boston, MA


Dr. Ben Kosbab (2010)
Prinicipal Engineer
SC Solutions
Atlanta, GA


Prof. Abdollah Shafieezadeh (2011)
Assistant Professor,
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Ohio State University


Dr. Laura Jacobs (2010)
Research Engineer,
Los Alamos National Labs
New Mexico


Dr. Matthew Speicher (2009)
Research Structural Engineer
Gaithersburg, MD


Prof. Masahiro Kurata (2009)
Associate Professor
Kyoto University
Kyoto, Japan


Prof. Jamie Padgett (2009)
Associate Professor
Rice University


Dr. Murat Eroz(2007)
Project Engineer
Alpaslan, Hydro Projects II
Ankara, Turkey


Prof. Monique Head (2007)
Associate Professor
Morgan State University


Dr. Berk Taftali (2007)
Software Engineer
Ankara, Turkey


Dr. Walter Yang (2006)
Research Engineer II
Georgia Tech Atlanta, GA


Prof. Jason McCormick (2006)
Associate Professor
University of Michigan


Prof. Bryant Nielson (2005)
Professor of Practice
Clemson University


Prof. Bassem Andrawes (2005)
Associate Professor


Dr. Davide Fugazza (2005)
Sales Engineer


Dr. Susendar Muthukumar (2003)
Senior Associate
Walter P Moore
Austin, TX


Prof. Eunsoo Choi (2002)
Hongik University Korea