Research Assistantship and Fellowship Opportunities for Ph.D. in Structural Engineering

The Structural Health Monitoring group at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lehigh University has open positions for motivated Ph.D. students. Interested students are encouraged to apply for the positions starting Spring 2015, and Fall 2015.

There are currently two research projects with open positions. The first is on the applications of mobile sensing for structural monitoring. We are trying to create the theoretical foundations for analysis of sparse data matrices for structural identification and damage detection. The second project is on compact sensing, where dense arrays of sensing grids are used for identifying the existence, location and severity of structural damage. In both cases decision support frameworks are created to integrate the information for the improvement of the safety and reliability of structural systems and infrastructure.

Students with a M.Sc. degree in Structural Engineering or Mechanical Engineering, preferably with experience in Structural Health Monitoring or other related areas are strongly encouraged to apply. Strong interest and background in applied mathematics, statistics, and signal processing is necessary. Undergraduate students with strong background in any of the aforementioned fields are also encouraged to apply. Our research profile includes highly rigorous theoretical work, as well as medium and large scale laboratory experiments, and field testing.

Lehigh is a premier residential research university, ranked in the top tier of national research universities each year. The CEE department is highly regarded in the US, and has a long history of excellence in research in structural engineering. We are a coeducational, nondenominational, private university that offers a distinct academic environment of undergraduate and graduate students from across the globe. Located in Pennsylvania’s scenic Lehigh Valley, the campus is in close proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia. Lehigh is comprised of 2,358 acres, making it one of the largest private universities in the country.

Interested applicants may contact Prof. Shamim Pakzad ( with the following information: (1) a single page research statement explaining how your background fits our current research interests, (2) your resume, (3) copies of all publications. All documents should be in PDF format.

DorvashSiavash Dorvash

Siavash is an Engineering Associate at Paul C. Rizzo Associates Inc. Siavash started his PhD at Lehigh University in August 2008 and received his PhD in January 2013. His research focused on distributed system identification of structural systems using wireless sensor networks. During his PhD, Siavash developed a new algorithm that uses the on-board processing capability of wireless sensors to distribute SID process among sensing nodes.

 ChangMinwoo Chang

Minwoo is a PhD candidate, working on system identification and application of wireless sensor networks. His research is on developing frameworks for optimal sensor placement on bridge systems.

He has a BS and a MS degree from Seoul National University, as well as a MS degree from Lehigh University. He joined the research group in 2009.

 ShahidiGolnaz Shahidi

Golnaz has a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology and a MS degree in Earthquake Engineering from Sharif University of Technology. She is currently a PhD candidate at Lehigh University working on stochastic non-linear finite element model updating techniques.

 YaoRuigen Yao

Ruigen has a BS degree from Tongji University. She joined the research group in 2009, received her MS from Lehigh University in 2011, and is currently a PhD candidate. Her work is on damage detection of dynamic systems using time series analysis, spectrum analysis and other statistical methods.

MatarazzoThomas J. Matarazzo

Tom holds a BS degree from Manhattan College. He joined the research group in 2010, and is currently a PhD student. He works on structural modal identification using mobile sensors and with data sets containing missing observations.

 ChuXin Chu

Xin came to Lehigh with a BS degree from Tongji University. He is on the MS/PhD track, and joined the research group in 2012. He is working on soil-structure interaction effects on behavior and damage to structures (co-advised with Professor James Ricles).



Elizabeth (Labuz) LaCrosse

Liz is an Associate Engineer at Wiss, Janney, Elstner and Associates in Chicago. Her work is on investigation and evaluation of various modern and historic concrete, steel, masonry, and wood structures. Liz has a BS degree in Civil Engineering from the MIT and received her MS in Structural Engineering from Lehigh University in 2011. While at Lehigh, Liz completed her master’s thesis on the development and validation of a statistics-based localized damage detection method using a densely clustered sensor network.


Yuchen Pan

Yuchen has a his BS degree from Hohai Unversity in China. He began his master study in Lehigh University in September, 2010 and earned his MS in civil engineering in January, 2013. His research was focused on developing damage features based on regression analysis. He is currently pursuing his studies further by working on a second MS degree in Urban Planning at Rutgers University.

PetersonKristen A. Peterson

Kristen has a BS degree from Lehigh University and joined the research group in 2011 as an undergraduate researcher. Since summer of 2012, she has been working on her MS degree. Her research focuses on damage detection and localization methods in reinforced concrete structures using dense sensing grids.

NigroMallory B. Nigro

Mallory holds a BS degree from Lehigh University and joined the research group in 2010 as an undergraduate researcher. Since summer of 2012, she has been working on her MS degree. Her research concentrates on developing and using change point detection methods for damage localization and implementation on laboratory

MullenEvan Mullen

Evan is a junior at Lehigh, who joined the research group in 2013. He is working on instrumentation and damage detection of RC shear

SlavinChase M. Slavin

Chase is a senior pursuing a B.S. in civil engineering and a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences. He has been working with Dr. Pakzad since the spring of 2012 on various aspects of the project relating to steel truss bridge vibration

BrookerHillary M. Brooker

Hillary is a senior, pursuing her BS in civil engineering. She is currently working on reconnaissance, modeling and damage identification of the Washington National Monument after the 2011 Virginia Earthquake. Hillary has been with the research group since Summer

SmalleyBrooke N. Smalley

Brooke is a senior pursuing a B.S. in civil engineering.  She joined the research group as an undergraduate in the spring of 2012. She started her research on basic fatigue and failure of steel bridges. She is now working on the Northhampton Bridge monitoring project, using wireless sensors to collect ambient vibration data due to traffic on the steel truss

SandfordShadoe R. Sandford

Shadoe is a senior pursuing a B.S. in civil engineering.  He joined the research group as an undergraduate researcher in Summer 2012 as an REU student. His research was on local damage detection of a large scale moment  connection for structures on locations with seismic

EarlySarah E. Early

Sarah is a junior at Lehigh, studying civil engineering.  She has been working with Dr. Pakzad since spring 2012 on the vibration monitoring  of a steel truss bridge  using wireless sensor

HohrathBabette L. Hohrath

Babette is a sophomore at Lehigh, who joined the research group in Fall 2013.  She is working on various non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques for civil

LeonardRebecca L. Leonard

Rebecca spent summer 2010 at Lehigh as a REU student. She worked on implementation of Structural Modal Identification Toolsuite on MATLAB. She has since graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2011, and is now working towards a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Her doctoral research focuses on drilling automation and developing automated control algorithms to mitigate drill string


Diane was NEES REU student at Lehigh during the summer of 2010. She worked on localized damage detection of a large-scale earthquake certified steel moment connection using a strain gauge network.  She received her B.S. from Rowan University in 2011 and is currently attending the University of Delaware for her graduate degree with a concentration in structures and