Distinguished Seminar Series

Each semester, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering invites renowned leaders from academia and industry to speak at Northeastern University. Exploring issues of environmental health, sustainable resource engineering and infrastructure security, the Distinguished Seminar Series highlights the latest ideas and research into the most pressing challenges of our time. Seminars are free and open to the public.

Spring 2021 Semester




Apri 8, 2021Jennie Stephens
Northeastern University
Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy
March 25, 2021Katherine Simeon & Roben Torosyan
CATLR Professional Development Seminar: Evidence-Based Teaching in Engineering
February 25, 2021Deb Niemeier
University of Maryland, College Park
COE Distinguished Seminar: Can AI Models Advance Our Understanding of Exposure to Local Scale Mobile Source Pollutants in Highly Urbanized Areas?


Fall 2020 Semester




October 19, 2020Paige Novak
University of Minnesota
Distributed Resource Recovery From Brewery Wastewater
November 5, 2020Burcu Akinci
Carnegie Mellon University
Context Driven Analytics and AI for Infrastructure and Facility Management
November 9, 2020Michelle Bell, Yale
Adrienne Katner, LSU
Andrew George, UNC
Panel Discussion: Using Community-based Research Strategies to Address Environmental Health Concerns
November 16, 2020Laura Lowes
University of Washington
Simulation to Advance Earthquake Engineering of Concrete Wall Buildings and Reduce Earthquake Risk
December 3, 2020Priscilla Nelson
Colorado School of Mines
Geological Risk and Underground Construction

Spring 2020 Semester




April 1, 2020Matthew Eckelman
Northeastern University
Consumption, Coronavirus, and the Industrial Ecosystem
February 20, 2020Gerald E. Buckwalter
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Engineers Week Distinguished Seminar: Anticipating The Future Built Environment


Fall 2019 Semester




December 5, 2019Ana Barros
Duke University
COE Distinguished Speaker: Planned and Unintended Consequences of Environmental Change
November 18, 2019David Sanders
Iowa State University
Impact of Earthquake Duration on the Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Columns
November 14, 2019Allison MacKay
The Ohio State University
Molecular Tools to Provide Insights into the Fate of Organic Contaminants in Aquatic Systems
October 24, 2019Duc Nguyen
Old Dominion University
Divide & Conquer Algorithms: Finite Element Based Structural and Transportation Engineering Applications
Oct 22, 2019Glenn Bell
Simpson Gumbertz & Heger
Thoughts on Our Future Vision for Structural Engineering: From the Structural Engineering Institute’s New President
October 16, 2019Anders Brandt
Southern Denmark University
Test and Validation in the Age of Simulations of Dynamics
September 30, 2019Jesús M. de la Garza
Clemson University
Traffic-Based Framework for Measuring the Resilience of Ground Transportation Systems under Normal and Extreme Conditions


Spring 2019 Semester




March 25, 2019Ertugrul Taciroglu
University of California Los Angeles
Big Data –A New Research Frontier in Civil Engineering
March 21, 2019Danny Reible
Texas Tech University
Managing the Physical, Chemical and Ecological Challenges of Sediments
February 21, 2019Matthew Eckelman, NU (Moderator)
Qin Jim Chen, NU (Panelist)
Auroop R. Ganguly, NU (Panelist)
Paul Kirshen, UMass (Panelist)
Indrani Ghosh, Kleinfelder (Panelist)
Panel Discussion: Climate Change in Boston: Preparing for Impacts

Fall 2018 Semester




September 17, 2018Ehab Meselhe
The Water Institute of the Gulf
Biophysical Analysis of a Proposed Network of Sediment Diversions
September 24, 2018Chimay Anumba
University of Florida
Cyber-Physical Systems Development For Construction Applications
October 4, 2018Kartick Chandran
Columbia University
Carbon Based Interactions In Autotrophic N-Cycle Communities
October 15, 2018Lynn Hildemann
Stanford University
Personal Exposure to Indoor Air Pollutants –Are You to Blame, or is it the Building’s Fault?
November 1, 2018Cynthia Barnhart
COE Distinguished Seminar: Air Transportation Optimization
November 5, 2018Theodore P. Zoli
HNTB Corporation
A Critical Look at Bridge Design Practice: Beyond Material Efficiency
November 15, 2018Carmelo Gentile
Politecnico di Milano
Vibration-based Structural Health Monitoring of Historic Structures
November 29, 2018Robert Gilbert
The University of Texas at Austin
Lessons From Forensic Geotechnical Engineering
December 3, 2018Ameet Pinto
Northeastern University
Who’s In Your Water?


Spring 2018 Semester

January 18, 2018Joan Rose
Michigan State University
Global Pathogen Risks and Sanitation Goals
February 22, 2018Soroosh Sorooshian
University of California Irvine
COE Distinguished Seminar: Climate Variability and the Global Hydrologic Cycle: Efforts in Monitoring, Modeling, and Challenges in Forecast Changes
March 16, 2018Glenn R. Bell
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.
Societal Challenges and Civil Engineering Leadership: Implications for Industry-Academia Partnership

Fall 2017 Semester

September 28, 2017Darcy Bullock
Purdue University
Real Time Traffic Congestion Dashboards for Decision Makers
October 6, 2017Hui Hu
Iowa State University
Fluid-Structure Interactions (FSI) of Built Structures in Violent Wind Storms
October 16, 2017Michel Boufadel
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Quantification of pore water hydrodynamics in beaches: Impact of tide, waves, evaporation, and buoyancy
October 30, 2017Satish Nagarajaiah
Rice University
Sparse and Low-rank Methods for Structural System Identification
November 13, 2017Bill Spencer
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Advances in Monitoring of Civil Infrastructure: from Research to Engineering Practice
December 4, 2017Jerry Lynch
University of Michigan
Long-Term Management and Control of Critical Infrastructure Systems using Cyber-Physical System Architectures

Spring 2017 Semester

January 26, 2017Igor Linkov
US Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Risk and Resilience: Current Developments and Trends
February 2, 2017David Dzombak
Carnegie Mellon University
COE Distinguished Seminar: Climate Change Adaptation for Infrastructure: A Grand Challenge for Civil and Environmental Engineering
February 23, 2017Gregory Deierlein
Stanford University
COE Distinguished Seminar and 2016-2017 EERI Distinguished Seminar: From Performance-Based Engineering to Earthquake Resilience
April 6, 2017William Lam
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Transport Smart in Congested Road Networks
April 10, 2017G. Edward Gibson
Arizona State University
If I knew then, what I know now…
April 13, 2017Branko Glisic
Princeton University
Strain-Based Structural Health Monitoring using Advanced Sensing Technologies

Fall 2016 Semester

September 23, 2016Ashish Sharma
University of New South Wales
Estimating Design Floods in a Warming Climate – Gaps, Challenges, and the Way Forward
October 24, 2016Harry Shenton
University of Delaware
Structural Health Monitoring: Case of the Indian River Inlet Bridge
November 14, 2016Menachem Elimelech
Yale University
2016-2017 AEESP Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series: High-Performance Membranes for Energy-Efficient Desalination and Wastewater Reuse
November 17, 2016Shuyang Cao
Tongji University, Shanghai
Advanced physical and numerical modeling of atmospheric boundary layer flow for wind engineering applications
November 21, 2016Frederick Hammes
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Sciences and Technology
MicrobiHomes: managing building plumbing biofilms through material selection
November 28, 2016Mehrdad Sasani
Northeastern University
From elements to systems and from collapse to resilience under extreme events

Spring 2016 Semester

February 11, 2016Haeng-Ki Lee
Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology
NT- and BT-based functional construction materials and low-carbon, eco-friendly construction materials
February 25, 2016William Howard
CDM Smith
The Precarious State of the World’s Water
February 29, 2016Lori Graham-Brady
Johns Hopkins University
What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us: the Case for Stochastic Multi-scale Mechanics
March 14, 2016Michael Lowry
University of Idaho
Tools and Strategies for Improving Citywide Bicycle Travel
April 5, 2016Glenn Bell
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Supercharging Your Career and Making a Difference
April 20, 2016David Mendonca
Research Opportunities in Infrastructure Management and Extreme Events (IMEE) at the National Science Foundation

Fall 2015 Semester

September 10, 2015Prof. Raimondo Betti
Columbia University
Monitoring the Structural Health of Main Cables of Suspension Bridges
October 28, 2015Vilas Mujumdar, P.E., S.E.
World Federation of Engineering Organizations
Critical Urban Infrastructure, and Community Resilience to Natural Hazards – A Complex System View
November 2, 2015Prof. Stephen Monismith
Stanford University
Waves and Wave-Driven Flow over Reefs
November 5, 2015Chris D. Poland
Consulting Engineer
COE DIstinguished Seminar: Community Resilience and the Built Environment
November 23, 2015Matthias Ruth
Northeastern University
Stakeholder-Driven Strategies in Regional Assessment Models: the Case of Energy Transitions in Northwest Germany
November 30, 2015Svend Ole Hansen
Svend Ole Hansen ApS & SOH Wind Engineering LLC
Wind-Induced Vibrations of Structures
December 3, 2015Amvrossios Bagtzoglou
University of Connecticut
Using Atmospheric Tracers to Reduce Uncertainty in Groundwater Recharge Areas and Quality Trends in Transient Flow Systems

Spring 2015 Semester

February 12, 2015Prof. Lucio Soibelman
University of Southern California
Sustainable Infrastructure Design, Construction, and Operation
April 9, 2015Prof. Steve Flynn
Northeastern University
A Strategic Framework for Advancing Societal Resilience and the Role of Resilience Engineering


Fall 2014 Semester

September 15, 2014Prof. Dan Kuchma
Tufts University
Advanced Measurement and Data Analysis Methods in Structural Engineering Research
September 25, 2014Prof. Markus Buehler
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Making Nano Big
October 20, 2014Prof. Auroop Ganguly
Northeastern University
Climate Adaptation and Hazards Resilience with Big Data and Bigger Models
November 3, 2014Prof. Peggy Johnson
Penn State University
Waterway Transitions and Restoration at Bridges


Spring 2014 Semester

January 30, 2014Prof. Taha Marhaba
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Natural Organic Matter and Disinfection-By Products Formation Potential Characterization
February 24, 2014Prof. Paul Westerhoff
Arizona State University
Nitrosamines: Why it has Emerged as a New Disinfection By-product of Concern for Drinking Water Systems
February 27, 2014Prof. Reginald DesRoches
Georgia Institute of Technology
Seismic Retrofit of Structures Using Shape Memory Alloys and Innovative Systems


Fall 2013 Semester

October 3, 2013Prof. Dennis Lettenmaier
University of Washington
Understanding the Implications of Climate Change and Seasonal Climate Variations On Regional Hydrology
October 7, 2013Prof. Chris Letchford
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Wind Loads in Tornadoes
November 4, 2013Prof. Andrew Whittaker
University of Buffalo
In-plane Response of Low Aspect Ratio, Steel-concrete Composite Shear Walls
November 14, 2013Prof. Jacobo Bielak
Carnegie Mellon University
COE Distinguished Seminar: End-to-End Earthquake Simulation: From the Source to Propagation Path, Site Effects, and Seismic Response of Building Clusters
December 5, 2013Prof. April Gu
Northeastern University
Toxicogenomics-enabled Technology Platform For Water Toxicity Assessment and Monitoring


Spring 2013 Semester

January 17, 2013Prof. Paul O’Gorman
Intensification of Precipitation Extremes With Warming: Theory, Simulations, and Observations
February 4, 2013Prof. Amit Kanvinde
U. California Davis
Forensic Analysis of Eccentrically Braced Frame Fracture in the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake: Multi-scale Simulations, Tests, and Findings
February 11, 2013Prof. Claire Welty
U. Maryland B.C.
Regional Climate Variability and Patterns of Urban Development – Impacts on the Urban Water Cycle and Nutrient Export
April 4, 2013Prof. Bruce Ellingwood
Georgia Institute of Technology
COE Distinguished Seminar: Performance-Based Engineering for Multiple Hazards: The Role of Structural Reliability and Risk Assessment


Fall 2012 Semester

September 13, 2012Prof. Horia Hangan
The University of Western Ontario
Wind Resiliance and Sustainability
September 20, 2012Lawrence Novak
Portland Cement Association
The Philosophy of Engineering the Burj Khalifa: The World’s Tallest Building
October 18, 2012Prof. Helen Poynton
UMass – Boston
Talking to Genes: Understanding Pollutant Exposures through Gene Expression Analysis in Aquatic and Marine Invertebrates
October 25, 2012Prof. Peter Furth
Northeastern University
Low-Stress Biking and Bike Network Connectivity
December 3, 2012Prof. Jamie Guest
Johns Hopkins Univeristy
Design with Topology Optimization – From Material Architectures to Structural Systems


Spring 2012 Semester

January 26, 2012Prof. Charles Shackelford
Colorado State University
Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Research in Geoenvironmental Engineering at Colorado State University
January 30, 2012Prof. Robert Oglesby
University of Nebraska
Modeling Future Climate Change: Global and Regional Issues
February 9, 2012Prof. Ming Wang
Northeastern University
Sensor-Enriched Sustainable and Secured Infrastructure Systems
April 11, 2012Surendra P. Shah
Northwestern University
COE Distinguished Seminar: Nanoscale Modification of Cementitious Materials


Fall 2011 Semester

September 21, 2011Prof. Magued Iskander Polytechnic Institute of New York UniversityModeling of Soil Structure Interaction and Flow Using Transparent Soils
September 27, 2011Prof. Cliff Schexnayder
Arizona State University
Engineering the Great Inka Road
October 11, 2011Prof. Zhen Chen University of Missouri-ColumbiaSimulation-Based Engineering Science (SBES) to Promote Interdisciplinary Research Education
October 18, 2011Prof. Robert Tremblay
Ecole Polytechnic, Canada
Innovative Steel Braced Frame Structure for Resistance to Earthquakes
November 8, 2011Prof. Soon-Duck Kwon
Chonbuk National University, Korea
Bad Wind and Good Wind: From Frightful Structural Threat to Valuable Energy Source
December 6, 2011Prof. Michael Shuler
Cornell University
Do We Know Enough To Reconstruct Life In Vitro?


Spring 2011 Semester

January 18, 2011Prof. Greg Kopp
University of Western Ontario, Canada
Huffing and Puffing and Blowing It Down: Can we mitigate damage to houses in severe storms?
January 25, 2011Dr. Laurent Mevel
INRIA, France
The Local Approach to Change Detection, Diagnosis, and Model Validation: Application to Vibration Mechanics
February 22, 2011Prof. Francis de los Reyes
North Carolina State University
From Function to Phylogeny: Determining Who’s Doing What in an Environmental System
March 22, 2011Prof. Edward Bouwer
Johns Hopkins University
The Illusion of Certainty: Health Benefits and Risks


Fall 2010 Semester

September 17, 2010Prof. Chris Hendrickson
Carnegie Mellon University
Four Examples of Green Engineering Design
September 30, 2010Prof. Cliff Davidson
Syracuse University
The Emerging Discipline of Sustainable Engineering
October 14, 2010Prof. Kitty Hancock
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Geospatially Enabling Civil Engineering
October 21, 2010Ramon Gilsanz
Gilsanz Murray Steficek LLP
The February 10, 2010 Maule Earthquake in Chile: Damage Reconnaissance and Implications on Seismic Design
November 4, 2010Prof. Lynn Katz
University of Texas at Austin
Processes for the Removal of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products from Water: Preparing for Indirect and Direct Water Reuse
December 2, 2010Dr. Nancy Love
University of Michigan
At the Confluence of Nutrients, Pharmaceuticals and Sustainability: Emerging Issues in Managing Wastewater